Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Edward M. Egan. It is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the United States and has been recognized throughout its history as a center of Catholic life in this country.
- 9:00 a.m. - Arrival and welcome at main entrance of Cathedral. The Pope will be welcomed by Cardinal Edward M. Egan and Msgr. Robert Ritchie, Cathedral rector. Participating in the Mass will be 3,000 deacons, priests and religious men and women from throughout the United States. At least two representatives from each diocese in the country will be present.
... Gathered as we are in this historic cathedral, how can we not think of the countless men and women who have gone before us, who labored for the growth of the Church in the United States, and left us a lasting legacy of faith and good works? In today’s first reading we saw how, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles went forth from the Upper Room to proclaim God’s mighty works to people of every nation and tongue. In this country, the Church’s mission has always involved drawing people “from every nation under heaven” (cf. Acts 2:5) into spiritual unity, and enriching the Body of Christ by the variety of their gifts. As we give thanks for past blessings, and look to the challenges of the future, let us implore from God the grace of a new Pentecost for the Church in America. May tongues of fire, combining burning love of God and neighbor with zeal for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom, descend on all present!
In this morning’s second reading, Saint Paul reminds us that spiritual unity – the unity which reconciles and enriches diversity – has its origin and supreme model in the life of the triune God. As a communion of pure love and infinite freedom, the Blessed Trinity constantly brings forth new life in the work of creation and redemption. The Church, as “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4), is called to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life. Here in this cathedral, our thoughts turn naturally to the heroic witness to the Gospel of life borne by the late Cardinals Cooke and O’Connor. The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization. For true life – our salvation – can only be found in the reconciliation, freedom and love which are God’s gracious gift.
This is the message of hope we are called to proclaim and embody in a world where self-centeredness, greed, violence, and cynicism so often seem to choke the fragile growth of grace in people’s hearts. Saint Irenaeus, with great insight, understood that the command which Moses enjoined upon the people of Israel: “Choose life!” (Dt 30:19) was the ultimate reason for our obedience to all God’s commandments (cf. Adv. Haer. IV, 16, 2-5). Perhaps we have lost sight of this: in a society where the Church seems legalistic and “institutional” to many people, our most urgent challenge is to communicate the joy born of faith and the experience of God’s love.
“At this moment I can only thank you for your love of the Church and Our Lord, and for the love which you show to the poor Successor of Saint Peter. I will try to do all that is possible to be a worthy successor of the great Apostle, who also was a man with faults and sins, but remained in the end the rock for the Church. And so I too, with all my spiritual poverty, can be for this time, in virtue of the Lord’s grace, the Successor of Peter.
It is also your prayers and your love which give me the certainty that the Lord will help me in this my ministry. I am therefore deeply grateful for your love and for your prayers. My response now for all that you have given to me during this visit is my blessing, which I impart to you at the conclusion of this beautiful Celebration.”
- Ongoing coverage of the St. Patrick's Mass for religious and seminarians courtesy of The New Liturgical Movement. Jeffrey Tucker:
It brings joy to the heart to see the Pope during the recessional with a look of exuberant happiness, with glorious music, following an exceptionally well-done liturgy, that was mostly sung, with chant from the Graduale in which everyone participated, including the Communion proper and some wonderful presentations of many centuries of sacred music.
This was the sound of Catholicism, with majesty fitting for the Pope. Nothing on this earth is as powerful a witness to the faith.
- From The Recovering Choir Director the list of music for today’s Votive Mass for the Universal Church at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, "with links, audio, and scriptural sources for illustrative and educational purposes."
- Amy Welborn (New York Times "A Papal Discussion"): Speaking of vintage, the homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral today, to a congregation of priests and religious, was, indeed, classic Benedict.
Heaven Touches Earth: Papal Liturgy at Saint Patrick’s, by Deacon Keith Fournier. Catholic Online April 19, 2008:
In a profound homily, the Holy Father spoke of the essential role of the Holy Spirit. In his unique manner he presented deeply theological truths in an accessible manner.
The homily was a theological exposition of Ecclesiology, the theology of the Church, Soteriology, the theology of salvation and conversion and Pneumatology, the theology of the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet, it was not academic, it was both understandable and inspiring.
It is this ability of Pope Benedict XVI which has shone throughout all of his homilies during this apostolic visit to the United States. He is truly gifted with an ability to articulate deep theological truth in a manner which can be easily understood by the faithful. ...