Diocese of Metuchen to celebrate pope canonizations
Blessed John Paul II, diocese founder, and Blessed John XXIII
4 Apr 2014
PISCATAWAY – The Diocese of Metuchen has announced it will hold three celebratory events for the faithful – a concert, Mass and lecture – in honor of the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II April 27 in Rome.
Both pontiffs are to be canonized by Pope Francis during a 10 a.m. public Mass in St. Peter’s Square the last Sunday in April, which is the Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy). It will be the first time two popes will be canonized at the same time.
“The upcoming canonization celebrations of our diocese provide a way for our local Church to be a part of this historic, global event,” said Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski. “All are welcome.”
The occasion has special significance for the diocese, Bishop Bootkoski said, because Pope John Paul II, who was the leader of the Roman Catholic Church from October 1978 until his death in April 2005, established the Diocese of Metuchen on Nov. 19, 1981. Prior to that, the four counties of the diocese – Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren – were part of the Trenton Diocese.
Pope John XXIII, whose papacy began October 1958 and ended with his death in June 1963, convened the Second Vatican Council, commonly referred to as Vatican II. This historic meeting ushered in a new way of thinking for the Church – culturally, doctrinally and institutionally – and helped to shape the Church as we know it today, the bishop said.
Bishop Bootkoski noted the implications of the Second Vatican Council are so great for the Church as a whole that the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, features a regular column on Vatican II, written by Father John Hillier. It can be read at http://www.catholicspirit.com/columnists/fr-john-hillier/.
The diocese’s celebration of the popes’ canonization will begin with a concert April 27 at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Main Street and Elm Avenue, Metuchen. It will feature the Brass Ensemble from The Catholic University of America directed by Dr. Andrew N. Allphin joined by Cathedral organist Thomas A. DeLessio and the Cathedral Youth Choir.
Bishop Bootkoski will be the principal celebrant at a Mass in celebration of the newly elevated Saints John XXII and John Paul II at the Cathedral in Metuchen April 28 at 7 p.m. Priests of the diocese will concelebrate. There is open seating. A light reception will follow in the Cathedral Community Room.
For the diocese’s third event, Msgr. William Benwell, vicar general of the diocese, will speak on “Saints of Our Time: John XXIII and John Paul II.” May 1. Part of the diocese’s ongoing adult faith formation series, the talk will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center, 146 Metlars Lane, Piscataway. Advance registration is requested.
For more information, visit diometuchen.org/canonization-celebrations or contact the diocesan Office of Worship at email@example.com or 732-562-1990 ext. 1634.
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