St. Emeric Feast Day in Cleveland, Ohio.
St. Emeric Parish celebrated the feast day of its patron saint, Prince St. Emeric, on November 5 when the principal celebrant of Mass and homilist was Fr. Csaba Böjte OFM. The curch was filled to capacity with some even standing. Actually, it was a day for two celebrations: the feast day as well as the fifth anniversary of the reopening of the church. St. Emeric Church, with 50 other churches in the Diocese, was ordered to be closed on June 30, 2010 by then Bishop Richard G. Lennon in the name of rational downsizing. Of the churches closed 36 were ethnic parishes. The members of St. Emeric Parish did not wish to lose their church, so a procurator was elected from the parishioners who then prepared and submitted the appeal to remain open to the appropriate Vatican Office, the Congregation for the Clergy, with 10 other parishes. After a long wait, all 11 were ordered to be reopened. The reopening of St. Emeric Church, November 4, 2012, was celebrated with the Feast Day Mass celebration.
For the parishioners every Feast Day is now occasion for two celebrations, as we also remember the joyous reopening of our church.
This year it was a special honor for us to hear Faher Csaba Böjte, who traveled the long distance to proclaim the gospel for us through his multitude of life experiences.
The liturgical music was a harmonious combination of the curch choir and organist with the Youth group choir. The celebration of the Feast Day Mass, which was broadcast live on Facebook by the Bocskai Radio, was visited on Facebook by more than 35,000 viewers. The Hungarian America Scouts and members of the Scout Folk Ensemble dressed in traditional costume also participated in the Mass, and during the dinner they performed traditional folk dances from the region of Kazar in Hungary.
Father Csaba’s homily was based upon 3 pillars: courage, prayer, and living without sin. Jesus had courage to come among us and not give up. Courage was practiced at St. Emeric when the parishioners dared to appeal the bishop’s decision. One reason why Father Csaba accepted the invitation to travel the long distance to us is that he respects those who dare to be courageous, who dare to stand up for what they believe. For two and a half years, while the church was closed, a group of parishioners gathered in front of the church every Sunday morning at the time that the Mass used to be to pray, while many parishioners also celebrated Sunday Mass as a group twice a month to pray in Hugarian at a neighboring church. The power of prayer had its result: today St. Emeric church is filled with happy people, young and old alike.
Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer, all night in prayer very often, because He loved the Heavenly Father. The person who loves God is a saint. At St. Emeric this love of God was present, so may this love remain in all of us.
The greatest enemy of leading a life without sin is the evil spirit. Life many times brings with itself problems, worries, no matter where we may be, even at the Böjte Foundation among the children, which we can conquer only with love and prayer. He illustrated the victory of love with many beautiful examples. Another person’s sin does not give me the right to leave the path of love. Prince St. Emeric led a sinless life, and we, today, in Cleveland, respect him. Father Csabe encouraged the parishioners to learn to also live without sin like St. Emeric did, no matter where we are, and to learn a lot from the child Jesus.
Following the Mass celebration, we had a banquet in the church hall, which also was filled to capacity. At this time a collection was taken up for the Böjte Foundation to help the needy children at the orphanages. The people’s faces radiated with joy, a joy which they would like to preserve, to live, and to pass on to others.
Prince St. Emeric, pray for us!
Fr. András Mezei, Parish administrator
On the Feast of St. Emeric, November 5, 2017,
This post is also available in: Hungarian