20th Anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed Mary Angela Celebration
On Sunday, April 28, 2013, at 2 p.m., a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed Mary Angela began in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel in Buffalo, NY. Sisters, Felician Associates and people from local parishes filled the chapel for the Eucharistic Celebration. Notably, a group of parishioners from Blessed Mary Angela Parish, Dunkirk, NY, chose to participate in this Mass. Lillian Halasinski, whose miraculous cure from neuropathy was attributed to Blessed Mary Angela, was a member of this parish.
Most Rev. Edward Grosz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, was the main celebrant at the Mass. Msgr. Thomas Crane, Msgr. Peter Popadick, Msgr. Daniel Myszka, Msgr. Robert Golombek, Rev. Thaddeus Bocianowski, Rev. Ronald Bagienski, Rev. Matt Nycz, Rev. Michael Parker and Msgr. Angelo Caligiuri, who also served as homilist, concelebrated. Bishop Grosz meaningfully connected this celebration with the one that occurred 20 years ago in Rome, honoring our beloved foundress. In his homily, Msgr. Caligiuri focused on the words of Jesus, “Love One Another.” He stressed that Blessed Mary Angela heard this message in her life and encouraged us to love one another in practical ways in our own lives.
After Communion, SM Raymond Kasprzak, who was Vicar General at the time of the Beatification, shared a reflection titled, “Who Do They Say She Was?” She informed us of some significant points connected with the Beatification. Citing examples of how others viewed her, she described Blessed Angela as a woman of love, of suffering, of faith. She also added that she was a woman of self-giving, a woman of wisdom and a woman immersed in doing God’s will. In closing, she posed the question for us today as, “Who do YOU say she is?” This was a good question for all of us to take with ourselves for further reflection.
Following the reflection, SM Rachel Mikolajczak, who ministers as pastoral associate and faith formation director at Blessed Mary Angela Parish in Dunkirk, led the Litany to Blessed Mary Angela. In planning this celebration, SM Renée Kurczaba, Regional Coordinator for the Cause of Blessed Mary Angela, tried to incorporate as many people as possible who were involved somehow with the Beatification Ceremony.
After the final blessing at which Bishop Grosz used the relic of Blessed Mary Angela, everyone was given the opportunity to venerate this relic. As they left the chapel, they received a memento with the picture of Blessed Angela on one side and a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary main altar in the chapel on the other. The liturgy was enhanced by the music provided by the Felician Sisters Choir accompanied by SM Angelette Helak at the organ and SM Anna Falbo on the flute.
About 140 sisters and guests enjoyed a delicious meal in the main dining room and Alumnae Hall after the Mass. This event was a great tribute to Blessed Mary Angela. Many participants expressed that they were uplifted by this experience.