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Archives Father Ted Crosby delivers keynote address for Fall Event of ERCLMA
Lay ministers are treated to a day about Mary

Dec. 6, 2017

By Patricia Marie
Contributing writer

West Chazy - The Eastern Region Commissioned Lay Ministers’ Association (ERCLMA) hosted its Fall Event Oct. 28. Father Ted Crosby,pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, was the keynote speaker.

Father Crosby celebrated an opening Mass, assisted by Deacon Jack Lukasiewicz and newly ordained Deacon James Crowley, diocesan chancellor and delegate for pastor ministers.

In the morning session, Father Crosby focused on the Church’s absolute and full support of Mary’s role in the Catholic Church.  He explained that it’s found in Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium from the Vatican II documents. The chapter is dedicated to Mary and is rich in Marian theology which is scripturally based. He suggested that even non-Catholics who read it would have a better understanding of Catholics devotion to Mary and her importance in the Church.

Father Crosby explained that Mary remains a centerpiece of the Catholic faith. In fact, the Church fathers debated if there should be a separate document about Mary - or to include her the official Vatican II document. Ultimately, the decision was made to include her because she isn’t separate from the Church, she is part of the church, Father Crosby explained.

He called Mary the ultimate lay minister, “sometimes quiet and unnoticed.”

The afternoon session was focused on four Marian Dogmas: Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, Mary’s Divine Motherhood and her Assumption.

Father Crosby’s teaching combined references to  Church documents, Church tradition and biblically centered instruction.

The priest also shared stories that help his listeners understand his point with great clarity.

One such story is about St. Bonaventure who said of Mary …”God could have made a better world, but He could not have made a better Mother.”

To reinforce his point that Mary and Jesus are inseparable as she constantly leads people to her son, Father Crosby told  another story about 12th century, Dominican priest. St. Hyacinth was known for his evangelical work throughout Poland and southern Russia. One day while he was in Kiev, the city was under siege but he was not aware of it until after he had finished Mass. He had to suddenly flee the church.

He immediately took the Blessed Sacrament with him and as he was leaving, he passed by a statue of Mary. He had a great devotion to her and  he heard her say to him, “My son, would thou leave me behind and alone without my Son”? 

As St. Hyacinth explained to her, the statue was too big and heavy for him to carry along with the Blessed Sacrament. However, when he attempted to pick up Mary’s statue, he found that it was as light as a feather so St. Hyacinth was able to save both Mother and Son.   

(Editor’s note: Father Crosby’s talk is available on the diocesan website on YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/B1dVM739L24.) 

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