Written by: Denise Serafini on Sunday, May 28, 2017
The Knights of Columbus is widely know for its stand in support of life and activities that strengthen Catholic families in their prayer lives. On Saturday, May 20 at St. Ambrose Church in Salt Lake City, we joined in solidarity with the Knights of Columbus by dedicating our presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart” to honor life and family. This group of Catholic gentlemen is so supportive of our program it was a true gift for us to have the opportunity to share in a combined effort to promote two core messages for our respective apostolic initiatives.
The relics were processed into the church by the Knights of Columbus Color Guard along with the icon which symbolizes their most current marian program supporting family and the culture of life.
We were joined by Father Andrzej Skrzypiec (although he prefers to be called Father Andrew), the pastor of St. Ambrose Church. I was particularly touched by his reading of Jesus’ words from the cross. Although Father had a somewhat thick accent attesting to his Polish heritage, he had a melodic voice that seemed captivating in his readings.
We happened to be scheduled for this event just 2 days before a major renovation so our timing was simply perfect to assure we wouldn’t be trying to present between major scaffolding.
Until this event, I wasn’t particularly familiar with St. Ambrose. What I since learned is that St. Ambose is well known for his prayer in praise of the Trinity and praise of Christ, the Te Deum. The final words in the section in Praise of Christ are: We therefore pray thee, help thy servants: whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood. Make them to be numbered with thy Saints, in glory everlasting. How appropriate for our program.
The faithful seemed to stream in as the program was in progress and we had a large crowd of families joining for the event. I found this somewhat surprising since the event was being held on a Saturday afternoon at 2:00, a time that most families generally commit to running errands and such. Our presentation was immediately followed by the weekly Vigil Mass, so there were also numerous people that came in for veneration.
After the final meditation, we usually talk to the congregation about what they should be thinking as they approach the relics for veneration. We provide examples of thoughts that the Holy Spirit might put on their heart as they move forward to venerate any one relic. For this event we emphasized the concepts of life and family in support of our intentions for this presentation.
Confessions were being held just as veneration began and there was quite a line of individuals that moved directly from completing veneration to the confession line. I watched as families as well as individuals took advantage of the opportunity to come closer to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation after taking the time to walk with Him in His Passion; a true tribute to the love and mercy extended to us in the mystery of salvation.