Pastoral Associate & Director of Liturgy and RCIA
Sharing Significant Days
Sharing Significant Days
By Sr. Denise Herrmann, CSA
One of the beautiful things about the Catholic faith is all the special days to celebrate. As an universal Church, as a diocesan church, as a parish community, and as individuals there are many notable days. In paying attention to such days and celebrating them in some way, we would have significant days to chat about and share with our neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Such chatting in person or on social media could be an easy resource for us in our efforts of evangelization.
In our parish this summer, two significant days were the solemnity of the anniversary of the dedication of our church (June 27) and the solemnity of our parish patron saint, St. Maria Goretti (July 6). The dedication of a church signifies the consecration of the building as a holy place solely for the worship of God and the sanctification of the people who pray and worship there. It is set apart as that holy place in which the Real Presence of Jesus Christ dwells in the tabernacle, the Mass is celebrated, and the other sacraments are received. Celebrating the anniversary of the dedication highlights how important the building is to our parish and renews the parishioners in their faith and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
In recognition of the saint for which a parish is named, the parish celebrates the saint’s day as a solemnity. In our parish we extend the celebrating of St. Maria Goretti’s feast day to the weekend closest to the actual saint’s day so all can participate. As we join in prayer at the liturgies, we give thanks for St. Maria Goretti and her intercession for us. Celebrating our parish patron saint renews our efforts to be as forgiving and virtuous as she was in her young life.
Celebrating these two significant parish days can invite us to look at corresponding days in each of our own lives. Parish days can be a model for our individual celebrations. The correlation to an anniversary of the dedication of a parish church is the anniversary of one’s baptism. The correlation of a parish saint’s day is the patron saint of each of us, either through our baptismal name or the saint’s name we took at confirmation.
Just as dedicating a church building consecrates it for God, baptism consecrates each person for God. In the baptismal rite, there is a prayer asking God to make the person a temple of the Holy Spirit. Baptism sanctifies one’s life for Christ. Celebrating the anniversary of our own baptism is as significant as celebrating one’s birthday.
Honoring the day of one’s own patron saint is another day of significance. To acknowledge one’s saint and give thanks for his/her help gives praise to God and brings joy of heart to us. The annual celebration of our patron saint can be a source of inspiration and an increase of devotion within our faith life.
Both the anniversary date of one’s baptism and the feast day of one’s patron saint are significant days to have on our personal calendars and to celebrate in some way. Just as we talk about celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries, here are two more days to share and to chat about with relatives and neighbors, in our wider circle of acquaintances, coworkers, Facebook friends, on Twitter, etc. How evangelizing such chat could be and how simple to do!
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