Missionaries of the Precious Blood with milestone anniversaries this year were honored during a liturgy on June 30, the vigil of the Feast of the Precious Blood, celebrated in Assumption Chapel at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio. Family, friends and Community members filled the chapel to honor the jubilarians and praise God for their lives of service.
Fr. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S., provincial director of the Kansas City Province, presided at the liturgy and preached the homily. In the homily, he said that fidelity, joy and hope are three virtues to be celebrated in the lives of the jubilarians. “Too often joy can drain out of our system when we hit a rough spot on the road,” he said. “We begin to leak oil—the oil of gladness. But when we remember what George Bernard Shaw wrote that the true joy in life is ‘being used for a purpose recognized . . . as a mighty one,’ we find the fuel and energy we need to live more fully because we are living for a higher purpose. And we do so for no other reason than this: God has called us.
“Our lives are filled with missed opportunities, misconceptions, and mistakes. But the bottom line is that God has called us into a new covenant of relationship in the blood of Jesus. These jubilarians spend their lives giving witness to this reality. In their ministry of preaching, teaching, leading, serving, praying, proclaiming, making music, healing and tending to the needs of others, they have drawn many near to God’s heart. I pray they have found great joy in serving this mighty purpose of drawing people near in the blood of Christ.”
Also during the liturgy, Fr. Nassal offered a blessing over the jubilarians: “God of Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, Ruth and Ester, Gaspar and María, and of all other holy people whom you have called to special tasks in your service, bless our brothers in Christ. . . . We, who are fellow pilgrims on their journey to your divine heart, rejoice today in their dedication to lives of holiness and service.”
As the members of the congregation held out their hands in a blessing, Fr. Nassal continued, saying to the jubilarians, “May you find that your pilgrimage in life has special meaning because of the life you share with us. May our separate but parallel pathways to God give you insight into your unique calling.
“May happiness be yours; may your sorrows be brief and always a part of your growth in Christ. . . . Enkindle again that holy passion to be possessed by the Divine Presence and to allow the fullness of God to shine forth from within you.
“We prayerfully ask this day that God would fulfill in you, in part, that divine promise of a hundredfold harvest given to those who would dedicate themselves, body, soul and spirit, to the work of the reign of God. We bless you with affection and encouragement, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
2017 Jubilarian Celebration
40 Years: Brs. Terrence Nufer and Joe Fisher, and Fr. Jim Seibert