Dunkirk Parish Celebrates Blessed Mary Angela
Following the merger of St.Hyacinth and St. Hedwig churches, the name Blessed Mary Angela was selected for the name of the parish in honor of the miracle which occurred in Lillian Halasinski (now deceased) through Blessed Mary Angela’s intercession. Both parishes have always had Felician Sister connections, and St. Hyacinth’s Convent still houses three sisters.
The parish could think of no better way to celebrate their parish patroness on the 20th Anniversary of her Beatification than to celebrate a triduum of events in her honor. Pictures from the Beatification were on display at the entrance of the church, along with a picture of Blessed Mary Angela enhanced by fresh flowers. The shrine of Blessed Mary Angela at St. Hyacinth’s with its statue of her was decorated with vases of red roses and two seven-day vigil candles. SM Rachel Mikolajczyk said the parish was especially happy to welcome SM Raymond Kasprzak for the Eucharistic Adoration Service with devotions to Blessed Mary Angela on Thursday, April 18.
During her talk entitled, “Who Do They Say She Was?,” Sister Raymond shared her experiences of being present 20 years ago in the piazza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica for the Beatification. On a beautiful sunny and 90 degree plus day, the large banner–15 feet high by 12 feet wide–of Blessed Mary Angela stirred great joy in the hearts of the Felician Sisters present while now revealing her to the entire Church.
Sister Raymond quoted Pope John Paul II speaking in a special audience, saying, “Blessed Angela’s life was marked by love. Love made her care for those who were in need of bread, of a home, of the truth of the Gospel. Her life was marked by the Cross. Her life was marked by faith.”
Completing her talk, Sister Raymond said, “Perhaps the question no longer is, ‘Who do they say she was?’ Perhaps the question for us today is, ‘Who do YOU say she is?’ Who is she in YOUR life? Who is she in MY life? May we daily continue to discover the answer to that question as we honor her today and pray for her to be soon named a saint of the Church. In our hearts, we believe that she already is so; may the Church soon publicly declare her thus. May her spiritual motherhood embrace us all.”
Sister Rachel said, “Sister’s questions are excellent thoughts for us to ponder on as we are still considered a newly merged parish. As our parish names have changed into one, others in the area ask, ‘Who was Blessed Mary Angela?’ and we are here as sisters and as a parish to educate and witness to who she was and is.
Following her talk, Sister Raymond answered questions from those in attendance. The veneration of the Relic of Blessed Mary Angela took place at the conclusion of the service. A reception took place in the parish lyceum following the service.