Symbolism in the Church #20

The Millennial Cross is located in the foyer area above the enclosed bulletin board to the right as you enter the building. This cross was made in commemoration of the new millennium (the year 2000). Pope John Paul II saw it as a new era of holiness that we are all called to bring God’s goodness to all the world. Jesus and His triumph over sin and death, hence the cross, was the symbol he chose as the symbol of His mercy and the new era of reign. It is to be a reign of mercy, reconciliation and peace. It is to be all a part of the new evangelization and the Church’s role and contribution to society. It involves all Catholics in whatever state in life they are in. All Catholics are called to take part. Jesus is calling even you today. Have you stopped to hear His voice?

But to fulfill our calling, we need God’s blessing. “Only but by God’s grace go I,” as the saying goes. On the wall behind the staircase is a framed certificate of blessing by Pope Benedict VIX. It is what we call an Apostolic Blessing. The reason for this name is that this blessing is from a Pope who is in direct lineage of our first Pope, Peter the Apostle. So the blessing comes not just from some particular guy who is the visible head of the Catholic Church. Jesus came to die on the cross for us and rise, but He also came to establish a Church with a position of office to be exercised in His very name. This office of the Supreme Pontiff has not lost any of its power in blessing. It is the seat of the office that gives its dignity and authority of this blessing. This blessing was for the 150-year anniversary of St Joseph’s community. With this blessing, we can think of all the blessings we have had in the past. Father Kavelage, Father Berg and Father Daleiden, and St Francis Hospital and the sisters there that helped many people come into this world. We can think of the orphanage that many grew up in so they could have a safe environment to mature and grow. We can think of the blessings of Aquin High School and the friendships we gained and the education we had. We can think of all the sodalities and clubs we have had to serve the people of God. I can’t imagine how many dedicated people there had to have been to sustain all the ministries there were.
But we can also have joyful expectation for what God has in store for us. The possibilities are great when we open our eyes and hearts to the grace that Jesus has won for us. But we can also have joyful expectation for what God has in store for us. The possibilities are great when we open our eyes and hearts to the grace that Jesus has won for us. Founded in that German optimism and productivity, mingled with the wisdom and charity found in our faith, this grace can bring us to places we never thought possible. Trusting in Our Lord Jesus and stepping out in faith, we look forward to bringing the grace Jesus has given us to this community of Freeport. “Lobe die vergangenheit, Traue der zukunft,” “Praise for our past, Faith in our future.”
Any Catholic Church should have a picture of the Pope, the Bishop and the pastor of that parish. Here is the picture of the Pope. We still have to hang a picture of Bishop Malloy and Yours Truly. This is one of the major tale-tell signs if it is a Catholic Church. We are Roman Catholic because the Pope is in Rome. If they do not have a Pope, that church is not Catholic. For Catholics, it is a sign that we are home, no matter where we are in the world. All Catholics have dual citizenship. We are citizens here on earth in our particular countries, where we should always strive to better our earthly countries to form more closely to the citizenship of the heavenly kingdom, that needs no change. By living out our heavenly citizenship, we make our earthly land more heavenly.