Assumption ‘shows what the Lord has in store for us’, priest says, faithful – Catholic Philly



Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, celebrated as a solemnity on August 15, shows “what the Lord has in store for us,” said a priest in northeast Philadelphia.

“We look forward to the day when we will be like the Blessed Mother, united with God forever in a new and glorified body,” said Father Robert Lucas, parochial vicar at St. Cecilia Parish in the Fox Chase section of the town.

Although the feast is not a holy day of obligation this year in the United States, the 8 a.m. mass celebrated by Father Lucas on the occasion of the Assumption drew some 150 faithful.

In his homily, the priest echoed the words of Pope Pius XII who, in 1950, proclaimed as divinely revealed dogma that “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, assumed body and soul into celestial glory” (Munificentissimus Deus44).

The official statement crowned centuries of belief and theological reflection on the Assumption, which St. Cecilia pastor Fr. Christopher Walsh described in his daily video message as “an incredible and astounding mystery.”

“(Mary) now fully shares the glory of heaven, body and soul,” he said.

In the process, she has become “a go-to” for prayer, said Mary Ciamaichelo, religious education co-ordinator at Presentation BVM parish in Cheltenham, which is home to a thriving weekly Rosary club.

Bob Schumann, a parishioner from St. John Cantius Parish in the Bridesburg section of town, turns to Mary throughout the day in prayer.

“I say two Rosaries a day, even before going to daily Mass,” he said.

Mike Cella, a member of St. Timothy’s parish in Philadelphia and local coordinator of the worldwide Fatima apostolate, said the assumption of Mary “testifies to the resurrection.”

After an Aug. 13 Fatima Holy Hour for Peace at St. William Parish in Philadelphia, Cela described Mary as “our chief intercessor” and “our true role model” for Christian discipleship.

“We look to her…because she can lead us to her Son,” he said.

In his homily for the August 15 noon Mass, St. William pastor Fr. Alfonso Concha said the Assumption emphasizes “the virtue of hope” amid global instability.

And “we live in this hope every day,” said Father Walsh, who urged the faithful to imitate Mary in cooperating with the divine plan.

“Be open to (grace) today,” he said. “Listen to the Lord saying to you: ‘Hail; you too are full of grace.’ Not in the same way and perhaps not to the same extent as the Blessed Mother. But the God who filled her with grace also fills us with grace. …and live as one not only filled with grace, but destined for glory.

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