Oct. 9, 2013
By Father William Muench
I talked with people from Watertown, from Clayton, from Massena, from Ogdensburg, from Plattsburgh, from Ticonderoga, from Lowville, from Saranac Lake, from Lake Placid – folks from all over the Diocese of Ogdensburg who were gathered in Lake Placid for a Mass.
As part of the Year of Faith, Bishop LaValley invited people from the diocese to join him at the Olympic Arena for a Mass. Also, in attendance at the Diocesan-wide Mass was the Apostolic Delegate to the United States – the Pope’s Ambassador to the United States – Archbishop Carlo Vigano.
It was quite a Mass – the Olympic Arena was turned into a Cathedral. A wonderful choir was formed from people of most every parish in the diocese – seated together, they covered one whole side of the arena.
In addition, Archbishop Vigano spoke – he mentioned that that morning he had been taken to see Whiteface Mountain. Then he used that as a way to remind us of Pope Francis’ call to people of faith that we take on the face of the Lord Jesus.
The day was all about a Mass – a rather special Mass – but a Mass. However, no Mass is just a Mass. Each Mass is a celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Each Eucharist is the heart of our Catholic Faith. Each Mass, whether there are five people there or three thousand, is the most important moment on this planet – wherever it may be celebrated. Each Eucharist – in each of the churches of this diocese – unites us together in such a miraculous unity. So, this special Diocesan Mass becomes a wonderful symbol of the unity and strength of the people of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.
One of the great parts of the experience of a Diocesan-wide Mass was the wonderful opportunity to meet up with many friends – people from the parishes I was once assigned to – meeting others for the first time.
After the Mass, I spent so much time just wandering around looking for someone else to talk with and renew a friendship and catch up with the news and families. I must add this – I met a few folks who approached to meet me because they read this column. I truly felt rather pleased and honored. I like to think of you, readers, as a part of my family – so on this day, I had the opportunity of meeting some of my family.
By the way, the day was almost perfect – the weather was excellent – a glorious Fall day. The trees were bursting with color – the Adirondacks were at peak. As many mentioned to me – it was like the Lord had smiled down on this gathering of the Diocese of Ogdensburg – for our very special Mass. It was the perfect place to bring everyone together.
To quote that car dealer – it was a huge day.