Holy Name Society Mass proclaims the Power, Love and Joy of Jesus and His Holy Name
The National Association of Holy Name Societies, an organization which inspires people to begin or grow their personal relationship with Jesus through awareness, reverence, and devotion to the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus, held its 48th annual convention in San Antonio Sept. 27-29, attracting attendees from coast to coast.
The three-day gathering in the Alamo City consisted of committee meetings, workshops, and business sessions, as well as all-day bus tour of the San Antonio Missions.
The event concluded with Mass celebrated at St. Mary’s Church downtown Sept. 29, with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, as presider, and Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., Holy Name national episcopal moderator and liaison to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In his homily, Archbishop Gustavo began by telling listeners that, when facing difficulties and crises, it is important to remember that the kingdom of God is already among us even though it is clearly not yet fully and finally here. He said that we look for signs of the kingdom — wherever we find people striving for justice and peace, wherever we discover harmony and unity, whenever we encounter mercy, compassion, healing, and reconciliation, fidelity to the Gospel.
The archbishop told of recently witnessing many wonderful signs of the kingdom of God at the V Hispanic Encuentro in Grapevine, when more than 3,000 people and 150 bishops intensely committed to strengthening the church and building up the kingdom of God with their many gifts, continuing the mission and ministry of the risen Lord Jesus, proclaiming the Gospel with confidence and boldness. “The light of Christ was shining brightly at the Encuentro!” Archbishop Gustavo exclaimed.
In the Gospel reading from Mark at the Holy Name liturgy the apostle John objects to Jesus because two people who did not belong to the Twelve Apostles were healing in Jesus’ name. Jesus corrects him. And, in the first reading, Moses explains to Joshua that God gives the Spirit to whomever God wishes.
“Rather than judging others, we are to look at our own lives and the extent to which we bring the light of Christ into the darkness of our world,” said the San Antonio prelate. “Jesus points out that some within the community of faith may lead children astray — increasing the darkness and suffering!” Sadly, he lamented, we have experienced this within the church.
When the apostles were arguing about who was the greatest, Jesus said that the greatest are those who serve the most vulnerable, the poor, the needy, the forgotten, the neglected.
“When we find ourselves turned in on ourselves — when we think only about ourselves — we need to get rid of whatever within us keeps us from following Jesus completely, holding nothing back,” emphasized the Missionary of the Holy Spirit.
The second reading from James 5:1-6 reminded attendees that the rich who do not share their wealth with the poor and commit injustices against them will find no place in heaven.
“The word of God is challenging us. God calls us to take a good look at our lives and to undergo necessary conversion, reform, renewal,” concluded the archbishop. “Through baptism and confirmation we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are empowered to proclaim the truth about the risen Lord Jesus and the Gospel through our daily actions.”
Archbishop Gustavo stressed that Our Lady of Guadalupe is with us always, as she promised. “Dearest Lady, help us to be your Son’s authentic disciples!” he prayed.
At the conclusion of the liturgy the faithful recited the Holy Name Pledge and venerated a relic of Blessed John of Vercelli, a piece of his walking stick from the mid-13th century. Mass-goers also received prayer cards in English and Spanish promoting both devotion to Jesus and his Holy Name as well as prayers for the canonization of Blessed John.
The Mass was followed by the NAHNS awards banquet at the El Tropicana Hotel. The national organization partnered with the Archdiocesan Union of Holy Name Societies (AUHNS) for the event, at which local outstanding service awards, as well as country-wide honors, were bestowed.
Recognition was given to Sylvester Lopez of Christ the King Church, Deacon JD Jorgensen of Blessed Sacrament Church, Charles (Chuck) Brayden of St. Gregory the Great Church, Gabriel V. Sanchez of St. Gabriel Church, and Daniel Hernandez of Our Lady of the Angels Church.
Taking part in the program were NAHNS President Jerry (Gerard) Devine, AUHNS First Vice President Jose Sanchez, AUHNS President Margie Petri, and Bishop Rozanski, who presented the keynote address. Emcee for the evening was Delizia Gallivan of St. Mark the Evangelist Church.
For more information on the Holy Name Society, visit www.nahns.com.