Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mater Ecclesiae’s Assumption Mass

As many of you know the 14th annual Assumption Mass was celebrated this year at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Even though Mater Ecclesiae is in the Diocese of Camden, across the Delaware river in New Jersey, we were privileged and honored to be given permission to bring this grand celebration to the historic Cathedral Basilica begun by Saint John Neumann. Special thanks are given to His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Chaput for giving permission and to Fr Dennis Gill, Rector of the Cathedral, for his support, kindness and wonderful hospitality.

This celebration has become an anticipated spiritual event for the whole Delaware Valley and beyond. Parish groups came from the Dioceses of Trenton, NJ, Allentown, PA, Wilmington, DE, Harrisburg, PA, Camden, NJ, and the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The Cathedral was full. The procession was filled with Knights of Columbus, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, members of the Sovereign Order of Malta, members of the TFP, the Blessed Imelda Society, the Maidens of the Miraculous Medal, the Catholic Scouts known as the Federation of North American Explorers, altar servers from across the region, and seminarians and priests. The choir under the direction of Dr Timothy McDonnell, music department chair at Ave Maria University, and the schola cantorum, under the direction of Mr Nicholas Beck, music director at Mater Ecclesiae, prayed the music of the Mass flawlessly. A seventy-two page booklet filled with descriptions, explanations, lists of donors and ads of patrons, prepared by Miss Barbara Rodio, was given out to the participants. Msgr Andrew Wadsworth, celebrant of the Mass, delivered a beautiful sermon on our Blessed Lady. It was a devout and grand celebration of Our Lady’s Assumption and a magnificent participation in the greatness of Catholic culture.

There are still many daunting challenges for those who love the traditional rites of the Church, but we have come such a long way and we must never stop moving forward. Love for the traditional Mass and rites is a youth movement. Those involved are on fire with the Catholic Faith. One thousand people spent two hours and fifteen minutes in church, on a beautiful Friday evening in August. They could have gone to a sea shore resort, to a baseball game, to a night club or to any diversion; instead they immersed themselves in prayer, relished in the Sacred Liturgy, honored Our Lady, and praised God; and they went out into the world filled with grace and joy. What a blessed event!


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