"We glimpse his face among the cloud of witnesses that surround us and urge us on."
As the Letter to the Hebrews says by way of encouragement, those who persevere in the pilgrimage toward the heavenly homeland will possess it forever.
In reflecting on holiness, Pope Francis “dares to name some of those witnesses: Abraham, Sarah, Moses and others. Today, in the name of the Church, Pope Francis recognizes one more face among those witnesses: the serene, youthful countenance of Fr. Michael Joseph McGivney.”
With this reflection, Cardinal Joseph Tobin began his homily at the October 31 beatification Mass of the newest blessed from the United States, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Fr. McGivney.
List of Saints from the United States of America
Before a sparse congregation due to Covid, in the Hartford, Connecticut, cathedral, Cardinal Tobin noted how all of us — each in his own state of life — are called to follow in the footsteps of a life of holiness. In this regard, he especially encouraged parish priests to find encouragement in the testimony of Fr. McGivney.
“He loved his parishioners,” Cardinal Tobin said, and noted how he gave his life for them in daily sacrifices and, eventually, in dying in a pandemic of his own day.
“How good God is to give the Church Blessed Michael Joseph McGivney at this moment of our common pilgrimage. In a time of suffering and division, we glimpse his face among the cloud of witnesses that surround us and urge us on. In Blessed Michael we are reminded that life is not transactional but a gift to be shared.”
Watch the live-stream of the Mass here. And enjoy these images from the celebration.