Throughout the next school year, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are hoping to pray and be present at Catholic School Masses as members of the congregation whenever we can arrange it. We are choosing to put into action a quote attributed to our beloved St. Francis’: Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words. Our first experience was at St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Howard, Wisconsin.
The first person we met in the gathering space was a kind gentleman who helped us know where to sit. The rosary was being recited so we joined our voices asking our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist to pray for us and all in this parish. Soon, students and teachers arrived reverently taking their places in front of us. One beautiful practice that we noticed was that families were able to sit together if parents were present for Mass. It certainly allows younger brothers and sisters to joyfully experience prayer with those dearest to them and anticipate the day, they, too, will be among the school body.
Music was upbeat and uplifting, perfect for a children’s liturgy. Cantors and readers sometimes climbed on a stool to reach microphones, but were all heard with clarity and passion.
Fr. Jim Lucas, pastor, was very welcoming to the children and all present, but especially to Fr. Raja Selvam. This was Fr. Raja’s first Mass at St. John the Baptist Parish. It was no coincidence that the homily penned by Fr. Raja had the quote of St. Francis about ‘preaching without words’ embedded in the text. The Holy Spirit was among us!
Would you believe our postulant, Katie Logan, who is from Holy Apostles Parish, Colorado Springs, was able to meet up with friends who now call this parish home? Yes, it is a small world. The Holy Spirit is the master mind behind all these warm relationships and supportive encounters.
Another strikingly beautiful remembrance of this Eucharist were the stained glass depictions of the Lord’s life throughout the church. Whether looking high or low, Jesus’ Gospel message was absorbed through light and bright colors and left a memorable impression.