Loading
Visitation of saint's relics draws Catholics in NJ
By Lois Rogers

.- It has been more than 150 years since St. John Neumann – then the 4th bishop of Philadelphia – crossed the Delaware River by launch for a pastoral visit to St. Peter Parish in Riverside, N.J.

On Oct. 30, appropriately enough, just two days before the Feast of All Saints, an ornate wooden reliquary housing vestments and objects St. John Neumann used in his life, and a first-class relic – a piece of the saint’s vertebra – crossed the river once more and was borne to St. Peter Church, a worship site of Jesus, the Good Shepherd Parish, Riverside.

There, a solemn, seven-hour diocesan visitation among the faithful unfolded. The day opened with the weekly Spanish Mass and included a presentation on the life and spirituality of St. John Neumann and a prayer service during which participants had the opportunity to venerate the relics.

 The closing Mass was celebrated by Trenton's Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. who, in his homily, encouraged the faithful to follow St. John Neumann’s example of honoring God by sharing the faith at every opportunity.

The visitation of the reliquary to the church, said to be the only one in the diocese established and visited by the saint, was but one stop on a year-long “Neumann year” tour of the relics by his religious order, the Redemptorists, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.

And though, as Redemptorist Father James Gilmour who spoke throughout the day, phrased it, St. John Neumann was not there among the faithful as he had been on that first visitation, “to hear Confession or give Holy Communion,” still, his strong, sacred and saintly presence sanctified the day and heartened those who came from around the area, Pennsylvania and coastal counties of the diocese.

The day began with Spanish Mass as an homage to the saint’s abiding mission to immigrants, said Father Gilmour who noted that he, himself wasn’t “here today because I speak English. I’m here because I speak Spanish.”

In his Spanish homily, Father Gilmour, who served in the mission fields of Latin America, encouraged the Latino community to “walk in the way” and the light of St. John Neumann.

Father Gilmour spoke of how the saint made his own “Camino” as he discerned how to be a mission priest in America and carried the word of God on horseback and by carriage.  After the Mass, Father Gilmour said he considered this “another pastoral visit” which presented the faithful with the opportunity to experience the saint who had reached out to the struggling immigrant Catholics of his day in a manner that resonates well today.”

And resonate well it did with faithful such as Rose Thomas of Jesus, the Good Shepherd Parish and her mother, Rose Baker, of Resurrection Parish, Delran, who came not only to venerate his relics, but to pray for his intercession on behalf of Catholic education.

Noting that St. John Neumann had laid a firm foundation for Catholic education in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Rose Thomas said, “He founded this parish and I went to school here and my sons went to Holy Cross (high school in Delran).

“I’m a firm believer in Catholic education and I came here to pray that Catholic schools find new strength.”

Jean and Edward Klements of St. Peter Parish, Point Pleasant Beach, who have a long devotion to St. John Neumann, said they had come because he is “so special in our family. We have prayed to him in times of sickness. There have been many miracles. We have visited the shrine many times and we thought we would like to be here today.

“It was very special to be here with the relics. We had never seen the reliquary before. It was a very beautiful day.”

Father Edward Blanchett, pastor of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, said the visitation was “just so appropriate the weekend before All Saints Day. It was a wonderful way to tie the past and the present together. He had visited us in the past and now he has visited us again.”

Printed with permission from the Trenton Monitor, newspaper for the Diocese of Trenton, N.J.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: