When necessary, use words!
Last night, I had a very beautiful experience in Stop & Shop. I had been in the church preparing everything for the weekend Masses – changed altar cloths, hung festive antipendium, tabernacle veil & ambo hanging, set the Lectionary & Roman Missal, but something was missing. I needed flowers for the Feast of Christ the King. I decided to make a run to Stop & Shop.
As usual, I was wearing my cassock and didn’t intend to run into the rectory and change before going. To me, that always made the cassock feel like a Halloween costume, put it on when it’s “right” and take it off when it’s not. But that’s a whole other post.
I am no longer self conscious of wearing my cassock, so I just jumped into my care with my cassock and cape and off I went. When I got to the store, a number of people looked, some nodded or greeted me. But what moved me most was when I was looking through the fresh flowers and plants. A woman came running over with her young child saying, “Please don’t go Father, I have to see you.” She grabbed my hands and said: “Father, please bless me.” I went on to give her and the young daughter a short blessing. As she went away, she thanked me, placed her hand on her heart as she looked up and said: “Father, you just made my day. Thank you!” As she put her hand to her heart and looked up, it was moving, beyond words. It was kind of like a look of ecstasy.
This woman was so happy to see a priest. It made her day and it made mine. Thank you Father for calling me to be Your priest. The cassock is a powerful witness, one that speaks much louder than words. In the words of St. Francis: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.”
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Fr. Finelli, O’ Father, you see that even that one soul was hungry for Jesus’ Love and Blessings thru you! When people see a Priest or a Nun in their cassock or habit, they are drawn with an internal awareness of Jesus’ spiritual presence. What a wonderful way to evangelize our faith to the community. It is a privilege to receive Jesus’ Precious Body and Precious Blood from our Priest. Every day I give thanks to God for our priests, for giving us His Son and thanking our Heavenly Mother Mary for Her fiat. After mass when the opportunity presents itself, I thank that priest for bringing Jesus to us. “I thank you, Fr. Jay Finelli for bringing Jesus to us and for serving us with great sacrifice! Praying for you in Jesus thru the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May God bless you and wish you the fullness of holy grace!
Thanks for sharing. That is beautiful.
Love to read stories such as these…gives us a little hope that all isn’t always so wrong with the world. Thanks Father.
A priest in his cassock is an immediate indication of orthodoxy. I breath a sigh of relief as soon as I see one, knowing that he will “say the black/do the red” – i.e., celebrate Holy Mass reverently and give sound spiritual guidance in Confession.
I reverently curtsey to and thank all priests who wear this sacred sign! (please wear your Birettas, too!!)