Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Ireland
This weekend 50 parishioners from St Joseph’s will celebrate Sunday Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock. This will be an act of worship to God offering thanks for 150 grace-filled years of this Paris Passionist Church.
Besides looking back with thanks, we will look forward in hope. Two World Wars, other civil and religious threats were worked through with faith and in a spirit of love and care for all people.
In France a state of emergency for two years of the past four existed, now replaced by strong legislation. St Joseph’ saw civil unrest came close but never once caused the closure of our church. We remained open to all without exception who found Christ’s arms open in welcome. Passionists and Parishioners continue with a door wide open as in the past 150 years.
In recent years the Body of Christ has been wounded from within, leaving us sad and bewildered. Christ being betrayed from within challenges us to find a path to healing for all. “Healing comes through an awareness of our sickness and of our personal and communal decision to be cured by patiently and perseveringly accepting the remedy.” [Pope Francis to Roman Curia, 2014] The remedy is Christ, found in prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
A welcome “problem” now facing Saint Joseph’s in this our 150th year – the increase in numbers. This is not a problem but a great blessing. By God’s grace through the goodness of St Joseph’s parishioners, our welcoming community draws more people to meet Jesus in the Sacraments, along with a record number in CCD each Sunday.
The time has come, I believe, for an extra Sunday Mass to welcome all who wish to prayerfully worship in an atmosphere of peace and in safety. If God so wills, we will continue to invite more people to Mass in which God’s love for His people is shown.
A Passionist community is made up of 3 religious sharing life and ministry with laity. St Joseph’s even without these, is blessed by the service and generous commitment of its laity. Laity stand together with Passionists in a very powerful witness to Gospel values.
What will St Joseph’s be like in 5 years’ time? Only God knows. But we can help make His dream for us come true. After another 150 years who knows what God may have in store. My hope is that we lay foundations to ensure that prayer and worship will continue at avenue Hoche for as long as God wills.
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us
St Charles of Mount Argus, pray for us