Bishop Donald Kettler will preside at two special Masses in September — the first for the feast of St. Cloud and the second to pray for world peace.
The feast of St. Cloud will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. Parish groups and individuals are invited to make a pilgrimage to the church for the event. Although the feast day is no longer on the General Roman calendar, it is celebrated as a solemnity in the city of St. Cloud.
Following Mass, the community is invited to venerate relics of the saint and share in an ice cream social.
Bishop Kettler said he looks forward each year to the feast as “a great opportunity for the diocese to come together around our patron.”
St. Cloud lived in France in the sixth century. He was born into a royal family but renounced his royal heritage and became a hermit and priest. He was known for his gifts of healing, counseling, preaching and devotion to the Eucharist. He died Sept. 7, 560.
“Weather permitting, Bishop Kettler is encouraging parishes to use this an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to our cathedral,” said Timothy Johnston, director of the diocesan Office of Worship. “The faithful will have time to pass through the Holy Door of Mercy, obtain the plenary indulgence and venerate the relics of St. Cloud.”
“The church has a long history of making pilgrimage to sacred places,” Johnston said. “We make a pilgrimage as a sign of our willingness for conversion and openness to God’s blessings; it is an opportunity to step away from our day-to-day activity and reflect on our spiritual health.”
To assist schools, Johnston and Linda Kaiser, director of Catholic Education Ministries, are preparing a novena and an optional prayer service for schools. The novena to St. Cloud, Johnston said, will be available online. The short prayer service is another way to remember the patron of the diocese.
A listing of optional Lectionary readings for the day and the novena to St. Cloud will be made available to parishes, according to Johnston. Visit stcdio.org/feast-of-st-cloud for more information.
Mass for Peace and Justice
The Mass for Peace and Justice will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver, at St. Augustine Church in St. Cloud.
In light of violence across the world, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking every diocese to observe a Day of Prayer for Peace. Bishop Kettler will mark this day with the Mass for Peace and Justice.
“I believe that prayer is effective,” Bishop Kettler said. “If we have the greatest form of prayer — the Mass — for a special [need], I believe it will have influence on those issues. Since I’ve been here, I try every few months to have a special Mass … to bring the diocese into prayer on really important issues.”
Peace in our communities is recognized “by the bishops as one of those important areas,” he added. “We can see the need just by looking at the news. I believe that prayer will help.”
The Office of Worship is also preparing resource materials for parishes to use throughout the year.