Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bishop Cary Visits Our Lady of the Valley in La Grande

Bishop Liam Cary presided at Sunday morning Mass in La Grande, Oregon, at Our Lady of the Valley today (June 10, Feast of Corpus Christi). He administered the sacrament of Confirmation to a large group of young people, and a similarly large number of children received their first Holy Communion. This was his first visit to the parish.

The music, sung by the main choir joined by some of the outlying mission musicians, included a Gregorian chant ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei). There were a couple of traditional hymns which sounded nice, although if the piano could be transformed into an organ, it would’ve been much better!

Our Lady of the Valley does not have a deacon, but there is an ordained permanent deacon at one of the missions, and he served today. OLV’s instituted acolyte – a very capable and reverent server – was on hand as well, joined by one of the diocese’s seminarians who lives in La Grande.

Bishop Cary had a wonderful episcopal presence! His homily was geared somewhat to the young confirmands and first communicants, but it was certainly not juvenile. He was gracious and pastoral throughout.

And Bishop Cary can sing the Mass! How amazing, in Eastern Oregon, to have a correctly and beautifully chanted Preface followed by a fitting Sanctus!

The First Communicants were all given First Holy Communion on the tongue (and by intinction as well). The Confirmands were given the choice as to how to receive, and I only noticed one young person receiving on the tongue.

After Mass, Bishop Cary stood on the steps of the church and greeted every single person who presented himself to be greeted. He did that with patience and attention, without seeming hurried or tired or overwhelmed. He exuded grace, confidence, gentleness, and interest in each person.

Here are some photos (mostly by a wonderful photographer from La Grande):

The church was packed.

Really, it is NOT required that we have banners!!!

Bishop Cary prays over the Confirmands.

A number of children and adults asked the bishop to bless an item.

Fr. Christopher with Bishop Cary

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