Provincial Council headed
south to Monterrey for the council meeting and visit. When we got there,
we heard the news that Mercedes Hernandez Garcia, Marin Hernandez'
grandmother had just died. We offered Marin our condolences and offered
Mass for her. Marin and Daniel Panchot went to Taman, San Luis
Potosi for the funeral..
We had a social after Mass and
before dinner at the Candidates' House. We visited and shared until late
into the evening. The next day, the provincial council met. At the
meeting, the council approved Fr. Barry Cabell's leaving St.
Ignatius as pastor and going to Newfoundland to work with a Holy Cross
bishop there. They have had some very serious problems there and
Barry will be able to work, not only as priest and pastor, but also as a
psychologist to help the priests there.
religious gathered in New
Orleans on May 1 to celebrate 150 years of Holy Cross in Louisiana. At
11:00 a.m. we gathered at Holy Angels for a prayer service. The
beginnings of Holy Cross in Louisiana were recounted. Archbishop Blenk
of New Orleans had asked Holy Cross to send religious who would take
care of Holy Angels Orphanage. Five brothers and three sisters
came on May 1, 1849. They found the orphanage in disrepair. They had so
few resources that Brother Vincent would go each day to beg for leftover
food from the restaurants. Typhoid and yellow fever came. Some of the
children and three Holy Cross religious died. It was a terrible blow for
the small Holy Cross community, but they persevered. Today Holy Cross
continues with Sacred Heart Parish, Holy Cross School, Our Lady of
Holy Cross College, and a variety of individual
ministries--including leadership within the Archdiocese. We can all be
proud of the perseverance and zeal of Holy Cross!
At 5:00 p.m. we gathered in Sacred
Heart Church to celebrate the Eucharist. The church was filled with Holy
Cross religious and friends of Holy Cross. Father Hugh Cleary,
the superior general, was the principal celebrant and homilist. He spoke
of Holy Cross' belief in the transforming power of the cross: "The
Cross, Our Only Hope." As religious we are certainly human. All
kinds of limitations and shortcomings add to the challenges we faced in
Louisiana 150 ago (and to the challenges we face today). But by our
embracing the cross--that is, persevering despite the difficulties and
our own shortcomings, the Lord transforms both our works and us.
At the end of Mass, the three
local provincials spoke: Sister Mary Kay Kinberger, Brother Richard
Critz, and Father John Korcsmar all spoke. At the very end, Archbishop
Schulte of New Orleans also spoke. He talked about the importance of
Holy Cross, not only in the past, but also as part of the Archdiocese
today. He also noted that it was an unusual liturgy with four homilies
and no collection!
After Mass, we gathered for a
social and dinner at Mardi Gras World. The place is not a
restaurant, but a very large building where they make and store floats
for the parades. We got to see where they make floats, and we gathered
in a very large room. The finest restaurants in New Orleans had tables
set up where they offered the best of their cuisine: red beans and rice,
turtle soup, roast beef, bananas foster, bread pudding, various kinds of
pasta, different gumbos, and many, many more dishes. A good time
was had by all!!