by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
This past Saturday, I was privileged to dedicate the new eucharistic adoration chapel for Holy Angels Parish in Basehor.
The chapel is dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Angels. It is one of the most beautiful adoration chapels in the archdiocese.
I am pleased that many of our parishes have adoration chapels and many other parishes provide generous opportunities for adoration in their churches. The Eucharist is the center of our Catholic spirituality. What a gift to have Jesus uniquely present in our chapels and churches. What a special blessing to be able to pray in the presence of our eucharistic Lord.
The Diocese of Orange (Orange County, California) has called for a year of prayerful preparation for the dedication of Christ Cathedral in July 2019.
Several years ago, the Diocese of Orange purchased the former Crystal Cathedral campus that was built by the Rev. Robert Schuller, the famous televangelist.
Reverend Schuller sold his treasured church and campus to the Diocese of Orange because he wanted it to continue to be a place of worship and because he admired the Catholic Church’s long tradition of employing great art and architecture to inspire love for God — the source of all beauty.
The principal motivation for the Catholic appreciation for excellence in architecture is our belief in Our Lord’s unique presence in the Eucharist.
While not every one of our churches is an example of magnificent architecture, Catholics historically have sought to build churches that are worthy homes for the divine presence.
Of course, it is impossible for mere humans to build anything remotely worthy of God. Nevertheless, we attempt to give God our very best as a tangible means of expressing our love for the Lord as well as our gratitude for the abundant blessings Jesus lavishes upon us.
On Sunday, I installed Father Kent O’Connor as the new pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Shawnee. The daily Mass chapel at Good Shepherd has been dedicated for many years to the memory of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the martyred bishop of El Salvador. The same day as Father O’Connor’s installation, Pope Francis canonized Archbishop Romero.
At the end of the Mass, we offered a special prayer and blessing for the chapel, expressing our gratitude for the heroic witness of St. Oscar Romero. We prayed that the eucharistic liturgies celebrated in the Romero Chapel will “continue to be a fountain of grace and truth for all who thirst after righteousness.”
Our churches and chapels are places where we worship, adore and encounter the living God. The beauty of these sacred spaces reminds us of our own dignity as living temples that carry the very life of God within us.
Our churches and chapels also speak to us of the dignity of every other human being — made in the divine image and for whom Jesus gave his life on Calvary.
These holy buildings are not just spiritual oases where we come to adore and listen to God, but they are also places where we find the inspiration and strength to labor for justice for the poor and the vulnerable.
Saint Oscar Romero was assassinated at an altar because of his courageous advocacy for the poor and oppressed.
Finally, I humbly ask your prayers for my mother. On Mon., Oct. 8, she moved from her independent living apartment to Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis.
Gratefully, Mom made this decision. She had fallen a couple of times in recent weeks. Though her mind and spirit remain strong, it has been increasingly difficult for her physically to do the basic tasks required for independent living.
Throughout her life, my mother has had to make difficult adjustments. The biggest one was occasioned by my father’s sudden and unanticipated death. Her faith has given her the strength to adapt to difficult circumstances and unwanted changes.
Please pray for her that she will be able once again to embrace this new change forced by the physical limitations of age.
Mother of Good Counsel is operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, some of whom serve here in the archdiocese at St. James Academy and Curé of Ars Parish.
Mother of Good Counsel Home has a beautiful chapel where Mass is celebrated daily for the residents and their families. This opportunity to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist each day is a great consolation for my mother.
The Eucharist is a priceless treasure. It provides nourishment and strength for our pilgrim journey in this world. It reminds us of our own dignity and inspires us to fight for justice that respects the God-given dignity of every human being.
May we never take for granted this amazing gift of God’s grace. May we take advantage both of the many opportunities to receive Our Lord in holy Communion as well as to pray and worship in his eucharistic presence!