At the Opening Liturgy for the Pontifical Mission Societies national meeting in St. Louis (Tuesday, April 28), Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa pointed to prayer as the path to holiness, and holiness the way we will accomplish our task of "stirring to flame" the hearts of the faithful in our dioceses to live out their call to be missionaries. A video clip of Bishop Walsh's homily is to the right; click here for a text of that homily.
The Opening Liturgy was celebrated on the Feast of St. Peter Chanel, a priest, missionary and martyr, who is, in fact, the Patron Saint of Oceania.
In his opening remarks at the Mass, Monsignor John Kozar observed how fitting that we would be in this Old Cathedral -- an edifice built with support from Catholics in Europe through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the 1800s.
Inside the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) - built with help from Catholics of Europe to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Father Timothy Lehane (secretary general, Society for the Propagation of the Faith), Bishop Walsh, and Bishop Ignatius Wang (Auxiliary of San Francisco, former director there)
Bishop Walsh with altar servers from Our Lady of Providence parish
Morning Prayer - 4.29
Prayer First - and Throughout...
The full day of meeting sessions - Wednesday, April 29 - began with Morning Prayer, led by the Chicago director, Sister Madge Karecki, SSJ, and with readers from San Francisco (Genevieve Elizondo) and St. Louis (Colleen Coughlin). Interestingly, many of the presenters that day brought prayer into their presentations.
The text of that Morning Prayer can be downloaded by clicking here; the cover for that booklet is available through this link.
Sister Madge Karecki, SSJ (Chicago, Illinois) led Morning Prayer on Wednesday, April 29, with Genevieve Elizondo (San Francisco, California) and Colleen Coughlin (St. Louis, Missouri)
Liturgy - 4.29
On the second day of our meeting (Wednesday, April 29), we returned to the Old Cathedral for Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius Wang of San Francisco -- former director there; the homily was offered by the departing secretary general of the Holy Childhood Association, Father Patrick Byrne. To the right, Bishop Wang is shown after Mass with servers from Our Lady of Providence parish.
Father Patrick Byrne, SVD, outgoing secretary general of the Holy Childhood Association, offering homily at the Wednesday, April 29, Liturgy.
Closing Liturgy - 4.30
Forgiveness and Mission...
The Liturgy on the final day of our gathering (Thursday, April 30) brought our family the presence of St. Louis Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann, who has been serving as archdiocesan administrator. He spoke of the end of Jesus' life and the abandonment and denial of our Lord by the Apostles. And yet, Bishop Hermann observed, Jesus greeted His closest followers after His Resurrection with peace and forgiveness - the same peace and forgiveness that we are called as missionaries to bring to the world. Hear part of Bishop Hermann's thought-provoking homily to the right.
Below, see various images from that morning Mass.
Gift bearers at the Closing Liturgy were Dr. Mike Gable (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Kim Ann Zardet (Allentown, Pennsylvania). At Tuesday's Mass, Sister Loretto Emenogu, DM (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Erica Johnson (National Office) were gift bearers, as were Gina Sergio (Columbus, Ohio) and Sandy Bertini (Arlington, Virginia) on Wednesday.
Vicki Compton (Springfield, Illinois) was lector at Thursday's Mass; Sister Judy Gomila (New Orleans, Louisiana) filled this role on Wednesday; Maureen Heil (Boston, Massachusetts), on Tuesday.