By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T
NORRISTOWN – The Apostle to the Gentiles would have been delighted. Norristown’s St. Paul Parish closed out the Year of St. Paul with a June 28 liturgy celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden before a congregation of women, men and children in a filled church festooned with banners honoring their patron saint.
“Just like the Blessed Mother who was asked by God to bring Jesus into the world, St. Paul was asked the same thing, ‘Would you make My Son known to those who have no knowledge of Him?'” Bishop McFadden said in his homily.
After Jesus was revealed to him, St. Paul didn’t go back to his own country, “He went to places that didn’t know about Jesus, because he wanted the people to know about Jesus,” Bishop McFadden reminded the congregation. “His message was very plain and kind and simple – what I bring to you is the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
It’s been a rich blessing for the parish as the whole Church celebrated the year dedicated to its patron, said Father Harry E. McCreedy, pastor of St. Paul’s. “Many people came to make visits all on their own all during the week but especially on Saturday,” he said.
Some may have come to gain the plenary indulgence granted by the Holy Father to those who visited churches such as his that are under the patronage of St. Paul, Father McCreedy noted.
In addition to special liturgies, the parish also held a symposium on St. Paul and focused its Bible study on his writings, the pastor said.
“We have a few more people than usual tonight,” Father McCreedy said. “I’m so pleased that so many came from other parishes too.”
But the bulk of the people were St. Paul parishioners, and one, Gloria Domino, noted, “The beginning Mass was beautiful, and the closing Mass was beautiful. The church was filled and that’s just fantastic. I think people spent more time studying scripture and more time with the Bible.”
“It’s just wonderful for the parish,” another parishioner, Bill Snively, enthused. “I was away from the Church for 30 years and I’m glad I’m in St. Paul’s. It’s a wonderful place to journey.”
Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.