HUNTINGTON — Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated Mass and welcomed the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to their home at the St. Felix Catholic Center in Huntington on Monday, Sept. 24.
Twenty postulants as well as six novices are in formation at St. Felix. The sisters arrived Sept. 13 to the fanfare of students from Bishop Luers and Bishop Dwenger high schools in Fort Wayne, the Tippmann family, which owns and maintains the Catholic Center, Capuchin Father Ron Rieder, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, and Father John Pfister, pastor of St. Mary Parish and several other diocesan well-wishers.
Bishop Rhoades was eager to greet the sisters, saying on Sept. 24, “I have been looking forward to celebrating this Mass today here at St. Felix Catholic Center to extend a very warm welcome to you, my sisters in Christ. I feel that our diocese and I are richly blessed by your presence here, by your prayers, and by your witness to Christ in your consecrated life or in your formation for the consecrated life. I hope and pray that you feel at home here and that here you will grow in your love for the Lord and His Church.”
Some of the order’s leadership, including Mother Mary Assumpta Long, superior, and Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz were present at St. Felix for the Mass and luncheon that followed. Sister Amata Veritas will be the superior of the sisters in Huntington.
The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, whose motherhouse is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has experienced a growth in vocations. This growth has filled the motherhouse to capacity and the sisters will offer postulant formation training in Huntington while the order’s missions expand in other regions of the country.
In his homily, Bishop Rhoades reflected upon the day’s Gospel where Jesus tells a parable about a lamp.
“Reflecting on this parable made me think of the holy task of the Church in our day: the mission of the New Evangelization, as well as the upcoming Year of Faith,” Bishop Rhoades said. “We are called to listen to the word of God, to embrace it, and to live it. Only then will our ministries and apostolates bear fruit. Only then will the New Evangelization come about. It begins in our own hearts.”
“I think of the new light that your congregation brings to the Church and to the world,” Bishop Rhoades said. “Or I should say that the Holy Spirit brings through your congregation. Your charism and your rule as Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist springs from the word of God and seeks to be an expression of it, as our Holy Father teaches.”
“We need your witness of life, your witness to the radicalism of the Gospel,” Bishop Rhaodes added. “The Church needs many lamps that are lit and not hidden, placed on lampstands, and not under the bed, so that the New Evangelization will bear fruit.”
He said, “All this begins, of course, in your own hearts, indeed in all of our hearts. It begins with listening to God’s word, believing it, embracing it and living it.”
Father Rieder and Deacon Jim Fitzpatrick assisted Bishop Rhoades at the Mass.
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