Updated: Oct 8
I suspect nearly everyone reading this is aware that on October 31st of this year, Ven. Father Michael J. McGivney will be beatified by the Church. He will then join the (relatively small) rank of Americans who have been named “Blesseds,” and the even smaller cohort of American priests who have been so named. Those who have experience with such events relate that the days surrounding a beatification are almost always filled with many extraordinary graces for those who share (even if “remotely”) in the events, activities, and devotion of that event. During these last weeks leading up to his beatification, we have every reason to believe that Father McGivney will be an even more powerful intercessor in the lives of those who request his aid. So I want to encourage all of you to come to him with your needs. He was a “shepherd of souls” here at St. Mary’s for years and was universally beloved by his people; you who are parishioners today are equally “his people” and equally beloved, so do not hesitate at all to turn to this holy priest and beg from him whatever graces or blessings you most need in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. While the actual beatification Mass will take place at the Cathedral in Hartford, there are going to be a whole series of events here at St. Mary’s throughout beatification weekend. I would urge everyone, to the degree possible, to block off your calendars for the whole weekend. Plans are very much in the formulation process right now, so we don’t have a lot of specifics to relate quite yet, but the idea is to have so much going on here that, at least behind the scenes, those of us working on it are tentatively calling it amongst ourselves:
We intend to keep the church opened for extended hours (if not all night long at least one night) and
there will no doubt be multiple Masses happening over the course of the weekend celebrating Father
McGivney’s life and holiness. We are looking at options for certain things to happen outdoors to allow for social distancing and greater numbers of people to attend, creating a mechanism for those passing by the church to learn more about the incredible life of Fr. McGivney. In addition we are considering one event that may appeal especially to children and our parish’s love of processions…there is a LOT in flux currently but we wish to provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to share, in some way, in the grace of the beatification. If you have a passion in your heart to help others grow in their knowledge of, and devotion to, Fr. McGivney, then consider volunteering to help in some way with the events of that weekend. We’ll need people to assist with some of the planning elements in advance, as well as a phalanx of volunteers who can commit to blocks of time assisting during the actual weekend. If you feel called to assist in some way, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “McGivneyFest” in the subject line, and be sure to include the best ways to get in touch with you, and we will be in touch.
I am SO looking forward to the end of this month, and the torrent of graces that will be poured out
upon us. Please keep your eyes and ears open, as more information will be coming very soon.
Fr. John Paul