A couple of years ago, I had an Epiphany at the Church of the Epiphany on the Feast of the Epiphany in Normal Illinois. So, it did not seem strange to me to go to the Mission of San Xavier del Bac, which is just a short distance off S. Mission Road outside Tucson, to attend a mission led by a missionary priest, Father Richard (Dick) Gielow C.M. C.M. means Congregation of the Mission, though we would more commonly call priests of his order Vincentians, after Saint Vincent de Paul, their founder. It seems to me that when God wants me to get a word, He repeats it for me S-L-O-W-L-Y and often.
So, as I indicated in an earlier post here, My Dear Wife and I made our way to San Xavier for Monday night's mission start.
We had an opportunity to speak to Father Gielow at the end of the reception after the Mass and mission that evening. He shared with us something that I believe is very important for a successful mission in the Catholic Church. Father Gielow has a deep love of the Eucharist, and so the one condition he and his twin brother Father Rober (Bob) Gielow C.M., who also preaches missions around the US, has for agreeing to do a mission somewhere is that the mission must be incorporated into the celebration of the Eucharist. He wants the focus to be on the message, not the messenger, and since he is preaching Christ crucified for our sins, there is no better way in the Catholic Church than around the table of the Lord, and the Eucharistic celebration.
Father Gielow will be preaching his first mission in Canada, in BC later this year. It came about because a snow bird from there, attended a mission he led in Phoenix recently, and then wrote to his pastor in Canada, asking him to invite Father Gielow to come and preach there.
After hearing Father preach at the Sunday mass, and then lead the first evening of the 3 evening mission, I suggest to any of my priest friends who might read this post, that bringing him to Canada to preach is likely to light a fire in your parish, or at least wake up a few to the beauty of the Eucharist and our Catholic faith in Jesus.