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June has many celebrations for us

This month of June boasts some significant liturgical feasts and diocesan celebrations.

Bishop Paul Sirba
Fiat Voluntas Tua

The weekend of June 2 celebrates the Ascension of the Lord. Jesus commissioned his disciples to baptize in his name. He ascended to the Father and sits at His right hand in glory. Traditionally, the weekdays beginning on Ascension Thursday (May 30, 40 days after Easter) leading to Pentecost Sunday, June 9, are days for us to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete — the original novena.

On the feast of Pentecost, the celebration is more than memory. We believe that the Old Testament Feast of Passover was fulfilled in the New Testament by the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus. We also believe that the Old Testament Feast of Pentecost, which was a celebration of the receiving of the law on Mt. Sinai, was fulfilled in the New Testament Feast of Pentecost, 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

I will have the privilege of confirming candidates from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Raphael, St. Rose, St. James, and others in what is a new Pentecost for them. God, the Holy Spirit, descended upon the first apostles to show that He was the new law, which sealed the new and eternal covenant and consecrated them to Himself. Instead of the law that was written on stone tablets, the Holy Spirit will write the law of love upon these new disciples’ hearts. He will give them a new heart and a new Spirit. He will invite them into an intimate relationship with Him.

All of us have been baptized into one and the same Spirit and live by that same Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is continually purifying and renewing His Church. The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will help our Diocese to heal and go forth to proclaim all that Jesus Christ said and did to renew the face of the earth.

On Pentecost Sunday, the Sequence, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus,” is said. The Easter candle is lit at all the Masses. We are dismissed with the double alleluia, and the Easter season ends with the conclusion of Evening Prayer.

Trinity Sunday follows on the weekend of June 16. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the weekend of June 25. Our Diocese will celebrate with the parishes of St. Andrew’s and St. Francis in Brainerd as they dedicate and bless their new additions. Improvements focusing on hospitality, evangelization, and sacred worship will greatly enhance the work of these vibrant parishes. A Eucharistic procession from St. Francis to St. Andrew’s will conclude the festivities — please come!

The month of June concludes with the great feasts of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests and the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 28 and 29 respectively.

Of course, included in the festivities of this month are graduations from our Catholic grade schools. Many thanks to our Catholic school principals, teachers, staffs, and parents for another exceptional year of learning! Weddings, anniversaries, including Father Eamonn Boland and Father Charlie Flynn’s 50th ordination anniversaries — ad multos annos! — and the beginning of summer are also in the mix.

Celebrate well!

Bishop Paul Sirba is the ninth bishop of Duluth.