One of our candidates, Greg Evers, wrote recently in the C.PP.S. Cincinnati Newsletter about his experiences on the C.PP.S. pilgrimage to Rome this summer. Greg said that the place that touched him the most was the Church of St. Maria in Trivio in Rome, which holds the tomb of our founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo. There, Greg says, he had to pause and marvel: “If it were not for this man and the commitment he made to God and helping the poor and spreading the message of the Blood of Christ, none of us would be here now.”
It is amazing to think that all that we have accomplished as a Community in the past 200 years started with one man who had the passion, the vision and the commitment to hold on tight to his dream. St. Gaspar faced adversity from outside the Community, and from inside his own body, which often failed him. But his burning intensity never faltered. And the rest of us, in one way or another, all caught that spark.
Our secretary general, Fr. Jeff Kirch, C.PP.S., estimates that since the beginning of the Congregation 200 years ago, there have been nearly 2,000 Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Many have gone on to their reward. Many are still working on to build God’s kingdom here on Earth. Along with our Companions, Amici and supporters, we’re all a part of a golden chain that stretches all the way to the throne of God. Each of us is connected to all the others. We all walk under the same banner, trust in the same Spirit, and believe in the same Blood, which redeems us all.
Along with the Church around the world, we celebrate St. Gaspar today, his grit and gumption, and the indomitable spirit that was given to him by God. We thank God also for the gifts that he has given to each of us, gifts that we are to share freely with all those who need us. The world would be a poorer place if it was not for St. Gaspar, who gave everything he had for the cause he loved. We would be poorer. The Church would be poorer. And so we thank God for the gift of St. Gaspar, who inspires us still.
St. Gaspar, pray for us!
Fraternally in the Precious Blood,
V. Rev. Larry J. Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S.