November 9, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The invitation went out: “Be here… November 8 and 9,” and you are here! Thank you!
Today is the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica, Cathedral of Rome. Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but that isn’t accurate. St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides. It is the highest of the four highest-ranking Roman Catholic churches, with St. Peter’s Basilica second, the Basilica of St. Paul third, and the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major fourth, with which we have been united through a spiritual bond by Pope Benedict. This bond, along with the associated privileges, makes us the sought-after pilgrim site we are today.
When announcing this spiritual bond on February 5, 2009, Bishop Kevin Rhodes said, “St. Mary’s Church in Lancaster is one of the most historic and beautiful churches of our diocese. This parish, and indeed our whole diocese, is honored by the wonderful privilege bestowed upon St. Mary’s.” Being the fourth oldest Catholic church in the colonies, no doubt, we have an incredible past. But we also have a unique and vibrant role in the present, as well as an obligation to future generations. So blessed, we’re entrusted to pass on the blessings, the treasure we have received.
The amazing thing about St. John Lateran is that this fourth century basilica, built on land donated by Constantine, has suffered two fires, earthquakes and the ravages of war. At one point, it was leveled to the ground, but the Lateran remains. Our comparatively short 273 year history parallels the Lateran’s. We’ve also endured tremors and two fires. We’ve been leveled to the ground and lived through countless wars, domestic and foreign, and yet we too remain vibrant, alive and open to God’s call. Like the faithful of the Lateran Basilica, we too look to the future.
This weekend I share with you the fruit of five years of prayerful and collaborative labor, Our Legacy Project. Committee members will be available after Mass this weekend and next to answer questions and give you a closer look at the current plans. Thank you! Thank you for your incredible input through past surveys, interviews with ministry heads, at town hall meetings, and through other communications. A huge thanks to our Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Development and Preservation Committee and Legacy Committee. May God complete the good work He has begun in us.
Catechism Question of the Week: Which of the following is the very prayer which Christ Himself addresses to His Father? A) The Lord’s Prayer, B) The Te Deum, C) The Liturgy of the Hours, or D) The Anima Christi (see CCC 1174)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: What fears do I have about investing all the talents that I have received, and what can help me to overcome these fears?
In Christ’s Peace,