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March 18, 2004

Entrance for the Holy Mission

It was a nice discovery to come upon letter 900. This being Lent, I am preaching 3 missions. I am really looking forward to the one in Ohio where the first Precious Blood Mission was preached in 1854.

I am sure the entrance to the mission will be much quieter. The sound of my voice will not be heard until Sunday in the Church. Saturday is a Day of Reflection that I will lead for parishionmers who are working on the parish mission team.

Take a look at letter 900 here and se how St. Gaspar describes the mission:

No date
Entrance for the Holy Mission

There is no one who does not know that a Mission is one of those extraordinary means of God's providence whereby our most loving Father seeks to call people back to repentance and to a sincere renewal. Such a period of time is referred to as the acceptable time during which the Divine Lord, in a special and most abundant way, pours out upon souls his heavenly blessings. And oh! happy are those people who, animated by these principles, become fully cognizant of its value!

The devil, the ever present enemy of good, does not cease, however, depicting that holy ministry as something exceedingly terrible and repulsive. From the reports given at Missions, one sees how great his efforts are. So, to escape the diabolical lies, one must prepare that first entry for the Mission in such a way that the people should realize that they are always to have their hearts filled with joy, for the merciful acts of the great God will be made manifest. How is it possible not to externalize in the most glorious and, at the same time, most moving way, that internal joy which is the fruit of religion and faith?
For that reason, at the gates of the city, and at the designated time which is set beforehand, the bishop, or his representative, should be there along with the clergy and the various confraternities in their uniforms. Perhaps, too, the Magistrate should participate in the function so that he can further encourage the people to learn just what a Mission means.

With the solemn ringing of the bells at that time, the gospel preachers will meet the people. They will immediately prostrate themselves before the bishop, or his representative, to receive the consignment of souls as the Director of the Mission accepts the Crucifix. after the Missionaries have then asked for a blessing at that moment, the Psalm Laudate pueri Dorninum is intoned and the people are to repeat after each verse: May the name of Jesus and Mary be ever praised, and the procession to the church selected for the Mission will begin. There, after a short adoration of the most Blessed Sacrament and a short prayer, the assistance of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the Veni Creator is sung. The Director of the Mission, having recited the prayer: Deus qui corda Fidelium etc., will then pay a short visit to the relic of the most holy Madonna which has at that time been placed on exposition, so as to entrust to the maternal heart of the most holy Mother, this apostolic ministry. After all this has been done, they proceed to the platform. The Director of the Mission will, in person, announce what will follow after the entrance.

Praised be Jesus, praised be Mary!

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at March 18, 2004 9:32 AM

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