Plans are rapidly shaping up for our weekend of prayer celebrating the beatification of Ven. Father McGivney. The beatification Mass itself will take place at the cathedral in Hartford, but there will be a whole weekend of events here at St. Mary’s as well, which we are calling the “McGivney Festival.” While the entire schedule of events is not finalized, the major pieces seem to be falling into place, and I would like to share some of those pieces now. Everything at St. Mary’s will begin on Friday evening (Oct. 30) with a two hour gathering for priests only; while obviously I cannot invite any of you to that, it will be televised live on EWTN. After that concludes and all the priests leave, we will have Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the church will be open for the faithful to come and pray, including spending time praying at the tomb of Fr. McGivney. This vigil of prayer will last all night and into the Saturday morning. The 11:00 AM beatification Mass will be shown on several large screens, both outside and inside St. Mary’s, with a festive ringing of the church bells at the very moment the Decree of Beatification is being proclaimed in Hartford. Saturday afternoon is still a “work in progress” but may include some Masses of thanksgiving, other times of prayer, and possibly a presentation on Fr. McGivney’s life. We hope to do a candlelight procession on Saturday evening (pending city approval) and we are arranging to have the family whose little boy was healed in utero (which was the official Vatican approved miracle) at St. Mary’s later on that evening to share their incredible story. Then in the late hours of Saturday night we plan to have several hours of praise & worship with Adoration specifically for young adults, and then wrap up Saturday night with a late night (11:00 PM or later) All Saints Mass. Sunday will be a mix of some of our regular parish Masses earlier in the morning with the Noon Mass being the official “Mass of Thanksgiving” for the beatification. It will be an amazing, incredible three days of prayer and celebration.
IMPACT ON OUR PARISH SCHEDULE AND ON OUR PARISHIONERS
Because of the magnitude of the infrastructure needed for this, there will be some inconveniences to our parishioners. Thursday afternoon Eucharistic Adoration will be canceled on Thursday Oct. 29. The 11:15 AM confessions and 12:00 Noon Mass will be canceled on Saturday, Oct. 31. The 12:00 Noon Mass on Sunday, November 1 will be by invitation only. There may be some slots reserved for parishioners, but those who are “regulars” at the Sunday Noon Mass should plan on attending a different Mass that weekend. Finally, from 5:00 PM Friday until the end of the day on Sunday, entrance into St. Mary Church will be restricted. Whether coming for a Mass or just to pray in the church, advance registration will be required in order to comply with COVID protocols. Those simply “showing up” will not be allowed into the church unless we are below safe capacity and the individuals register onsite at the registration table/tent that will be set up. We are working hard to finalize everything and get info out to everyone as quickly as possible. It is hard to believe we are two weeks away from this incredible moment in history!
Fr. John Paul