Feast of the Assumption extra special day for Charlotte parish
Pope says Mary is with God, listening to prayers
CHARLOTTE — Wednesday's Feast of the Assumption was an extra special holy day for Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte.
The Feast of the Assumption commemorates the day when Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Wednesday also marks the founding of Our Lady of the Assumption Church 64 years ago, on Aug. 15, 1948, as the third Catholic parish in the city.
The parish is celebrating its patroness today with two Masses, offered by Father Philip Scarcella, pastor, as well as an ice cream social this evening sponsored by the OLA Ladies Guild.
In his homily at Wednesday morning's Mass, Deacon Peter J. Duca encouraged the faithful to seek Jesus through His Mother and to follow her example of faith.
Mary was always more concerned about the needs of others than her own needs, said Deacon Duca, even going to visit her pregnant cousin Elizabeth while she was pregnant herself – described in the day's Gospel reading. Understandably, Mary could have stayed at home to take care of her own concerns, Deacon Duca said, but she chose instead to help another woman in need.
Said Deacon Duca, "Mary is blessed because she is the Mother of Jesus. But she is even more blessed because she heard the Word of God – and believed." And, he added, "Mary is blessed not just because she believed, but because she acted upon it.
And In her actions she demonstrated her unwavering faith, even though that faith didn't make life any easier for her. Mary's faith is an example for us all, he said.
"Faith helps us to keep going, helps us to persevere. A person of faith never gives up! Mary never gave up. That's why the Church holds her up as a model for us to follow, and why we honor her today."
"Mary was really and truly Jesus' first and most faithful disciple," he said, and as such she shared in His risen glory by being assumed into heaven rather than dying. His death and Resurrection is there for all of us to share in, he noted, and Mary was the first to show us the way to eternal life with her Son.
"It gives us hope and encouragement – because after all Mary was just like all of us, and what she obtained, all of us are meant to obtain," he said.
"In Mary, we have an example of what God has in mind for all of us," he said. "As our spiritual mother she wants nothing less for us."
Now, from heaven, she intercedes for us.
"Go to her in prayer, share with her your joys and your sorrows, your good times and bad times, your happiness and your pain. Ask her, as a mother, to help you and to be with you. She understands what we go through in our lives. Our Blessed Mother will intercede for us, and she will help us to hear God's Word and to do it – as she did," he said.
"More than anybody else, she's the one that can help us to come to Jesus, she's the one that can help us to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus, her Son.
"All we have to do is ask her."
Our Lady of the Assumption Church celebrated a second Mass Wednesday evening at 7, followed by an ice cream social.
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy