“We come together as family,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said as he opened a Mass for deceased priests in the main chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, Nov. 7.
The annual Mass, held around Feast of All Souls, is an opportunity for priests of the diocese to gather as a family to remember their bishops and brother priests who have passed into eternal life, particularly in the past year, but also to celebrate being part of the communion of saints.
“We remember all the bishops and priests that have returned to God,” the bishop said.
“This is a time when we realize our mortality, and even though that can be a scary thought, we realize that through God, and through one another, we have strength, community and should not be scared.”
A Time to Look Back and Ahead
Coming together to commemorate the faithful departed, the bishop said, “gives us time to look back and reflect, but also to look ahead and make sure we are making the right steps in our own lives.”
Concelebrating the Mass were Auxiliary Bishops Neil Tiedemann, Raymond Chappetto, Paul Sanchez and Witold Mroziewski. Many priests from all over the diocese were present. Young seminarians served on the altar.
Members of the deceased priests’ families were also present as they were invited to be part of the observance.
Bishop Tiedemann was happy to come together with his brothers in the Lord to remember “our fellow priests and friends that are no longer with us.”
“Being able to celebrate with my fellow priests is always a time to think of community and the love that we share for one another.”