Written by: Denise Serafini on Thursday, February 18, 2016
On Monday evening, February 15, we had the pleasure of presenting Relics of the Passion to the parishioners of Incarnate Word Church in Chesterfield. Ten minutes before the service began I looked out and saw only about 100 people in the pews. I was somewhat disappointed, quietly asking St. Joseph, “Why so few?” Well, while I was busy with helping to arrange the processional several hundred people arrived to fill the pews. I only recognized that as I took my place at the front of the church to cue the procession. What a surprise, but then again, how could I have been so astounded? St. Joseph always arranges for the attending faithful. I do hope he can forgive me for doubting.
We had 18 members of the Knights of Columbus Color Guard joining us for a truly significant and touching event. They are always magnificent in the level of ceremony that they lend to the presentation regardless of how many are involved, but their numbers were truly necessary to handle the extended time required for veneration. They automatically switched off 4 times during the event. I truly thank them for their support.
The congregation was amazing, literally. They sang Amazing Grace like I’ve never heard it before and they were fully engaged in the program and the music.
We had been invited to the home of one of the parishioners for a meal just before the event. Mabel and Bill Lombrano, their friend Mary and their daughter Gigi treated us to lunch with the absolute best of Catholic fellowship – true examples of a solid Catholic family, well rooted in their faith. Ted Juen of the Knights of Columbus and his son Kenny were waiting for us when we arrived at the church. As we saw with all of the people we meet in Missouri, they were tremendous helpers for setting up. Ted was also the main coordinator for all the events in Missouri. What a perfect example of great Catholic manhood in service to the Church.
We were approached by a woman that requested that we touch the Relic of the Holy Nail to a life size picture of the Divine Mercy. She is a coordinator of hundreds of billboards promoting pro-life across the greater St. Louis area. We were noticing the billboards as we traveled but never thought we might have the privilege to meet the people responsible for promoting those significant messages to champion for the culture of life. We did as she requested and a group of us gathered to pray that God bless her in all of her work and that the message of His Mercy reaches everyone that comes in contact with the picture.
I am sad that the tour of Missouri has come to an end, however we are waiting for word from the Archbishop’s office for a return visit to the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis in June for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It will be our pleasure and privilege to stop for a second visit on our return from our Nevada, Utah, Colorado tour in June. Until then, we want to extend our most heartfelt thanks to all in Missouri. As Mabel noted in a personal email to me, "7 churches in 5 days was quite an undertaking but it was successful and beautiful!"
We’re on to New Jersey for Thursday.