St Anthony’s Parish in Greenmount was privileged to have the relics of three saints – its patron saint, St Anthony of Padua; St John Paul II and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – installed in its church by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB on 7 November 2015.
More than 500 faithful attended the important celebration, which was concelebrated by parish priest, Fr Bronek Pietrusewicz SDS; chaplain of Chisholm College, Fr Ryszard Sadowski SDS; chaplain of La Salle College, Fr Leonard Macionczyk SDS; parish priest of Balcatta, Fr Irek Czech SDS; and assistant priest of Carnarvon parish, Fr Chris Gasperowicz SDS, as well as the Regional Superior of Salvatorians in Australia, Fr Karol Kulczycki SDS.
In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe explained that, despite their different origins and missions, Saints Anthony, John Paul II and Mary MacKillop had in some way come together in St Anthony’s Parish as a source of inspiration, hope and support for all the parishioners.
Posing the question of what drew such different saints together to a parish in the Archdiocese of Perth, Archbishop Costelloe made reference to the evening’s Gospel, which portrayed Jesus observing wealthy people giving what money they could spare as a temple offering and a poor widow giving all she had.
“The widow, in the ways that really count, gave much more than the wealthy because she gave everything she possessed. She held nothing back,” the Archbishop said.
“As we think about St Anthony, or St Mary MacKillop, or St John Paul II, I don’t think any of us would have any doubt about which group they would have been in had they been among the people making an offering in the temple.
“Indeed, we might say that, in talking about the widow, Jesus gives a perfect description of what a saint is: a saint is someone who gives everything he or she has, who holds nothing back, who makes of his or her life a gift, an offering to God,” he added.
The Archbishop went on to extend the call to sainthood to all those present and to the Christian community at large.
“We may never become canonised saints but, as Christians, we are called to be saints in the sense that we are called to make our lives a gift to God and to God’s people.
“Even though the three saints we are reflecting on this evening were all priests or nuns, it might help us to remember that, just a few weeks ago, Pope Francis canonised a married couple who had had nine children, including the famous St Therese of Lisieux. Sanctity, holiness, is not just for priests and nuns: it is for everyone,” the Archbishop said.
Reflecting on the installation of the relics at St Anthony’s, parish priest Fr Bronek described the event as extremely positive for both his parish and for the Archdiocese of Perth.
“Having the relics installed and blessed was of particular significance for the parish because, during the month of November, we celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. It is also significant because next month, on 8 December, we start the year of Mercy in the Church.“This year, the Church celebrates the Year of Consecrated Life. So, for us Salvatorians, as a religious order, it is a significant time to ask the saints to intercede for us and for those who need help in strengthening their relationship with God.”
Fr Bronek also referred to the relics in his parish as another “spiritual instrument” that the Church offers for those who want to come closer to God.
“Everyone has different ways of deepening their faith. Some like to study the scriptures,
some do scriptural meditation, some have particular devotions and pray to the saints. The Church has so much to offer and caters for the diversity of everyone. I hope this parish can continue to offer as many avenues as possible for those walking on their spiritual journey,” he said.
Prior to the installation of the relics at St Anthony’s, spiritual preparation took place, led by Geraldton Bishop Justin Bianchini, who played a role in obtaining the relic of St Mary MacKillop.
Bishop Bianchini celebrated Masses on the weekend of 24 October as well as evening Masses during the week on 26, 27 and 28 October, each dedicated to one of the three saints.
Each Mass featured a sermon by Bishop Bianchini on the lives of St Anthony, St John Paul II and St Mary MacKillop and was followed by a video on the life of each saint.
Relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord. They are usually broken down into three classes. First-class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone or flesh. Second-class relics are something that a saint personally owned, such as a shirt or book (or fragments of those items). Third-class relics are those items that a saint touched or that have been touched to a first-, second-, or another third-class relic of a saint.
Article taken from: The Record