The Magnificat magazine and publishing house celebrated its silver jubilee Oct. 6 at the world-renowned Kings Theater in Flatbush. Faithful came from around the country to honor the publication, to worship in communion and to listen to some of the big-name Catholic speakers invited.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio welcomed Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States; Cardinal Sean O’Malley, O.F.M., Cap, of the Archdiocese of Boston, Mass.; and Dr. Scott Hahn, among others.
Magnify The Lord
“It’s truly a day where we magnify the Lord,” said Bishop DiMarzio referring to the Magnificat prayer. He offered the welcome address at Kings Theater, which was nearly sold-out.
“We don’t evangelize unless we’re really solid in our faith,” said the Bishop of Brooklyn. “We are inspired by the words of other people.”
Carrie Hall came to the event from Virginia. She said The Magnificat publication is part of her daily prayer life and has a strong impact on her formation as a Catholic. Therefore, when she read about the jubilee celebration, she was eager to attend. She said the day embodied the beauty the Magnificat brings to her life by engaging all her senses.
Aside from the keynote speakers, there was an orchestra, a performance illustrating humility before God, lunch, drinks and as with many Church celebrations, incense. There was also an opportunity to venerate the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin.
Having a daughter who is in formation to be a religious sister, Hall said she felt heartened throughout the day.
“For me its encouraging to see people still supporting vocations, supporting our Church, supporting our priests and religious,” she said.
Roots in History, Tradition, Culture
“I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this anniversary [than] right here in the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said Father Anthony Sansone, pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, Ridgewood, who said he has been part of the Magnificat family from the very beginning. “Right here, where all the people meet from every race, every tongue, every background, every culture.”
He said the celebratory day and The Magnificat itself give people a rooting in history, tradition and culture so that they may feel as one before God.
“That gives us the encouragement to day-by-day serve the Lord in all the aspect of our responsibilities and obligations in all the aspect of our lives,” he said.
During his address, Cardinal O’Malley said, “We learn to be a people of faith, the way we learn a language: by being part of a community that speaks that language.”
The cardinal said The Magnificat serves the Church by promoting liturgical spirituality and helping people glimpse at the beauty of God.
“I just love the Magnificat,” said Joanne O’Leary, who came to the conference from the Bronx.
“I just love the message it promotes and I thought it would be a great way to spend a Saturday. I thinks its what we need right now, especially in our country. It was for me very, very spiritual and I loved every minute for me.”
“Its important particularly right now that people be encouraged in the practice of their faith and in loving the Church and being inspired by the richness of the faith,” said Father Sebastian White, the new editor-in-chief of The Magnificat. “And so, today’s celebration, I believe, communicates in a powerful faith – the Catholic faith is working; it’s effective in the world; its inspiring to people.”
The Magnificat publishes a monthly spiritual guide for adults and for children, along with spiritual books, which range from books geared at toddlers to those well scripted in Church teachings. They also offer online and app-versions of their publications. For more information visit: us.magnificat.net.
Simple Trusting Relationship
Archbishop Pierre was the main celebrant at the Mass of thanksgiving in St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, Prospect Heights, immediately preceding the celebration at the Kings Theater.
He spoke of the importance of having a simple trusting relationship with God, just as Mary teaches through The Magnificat prayer.
“God did not reveal Himself to the wise and the learned but to the child-like,” he said. “Like Job, the Church today is suffering terribly. But like Job we must persevere, trusting that God will hear our prayers according to His plan, not our plan.
“Amid darkness we must realize that God has not abandoned us. In fact, God is close to us in and through His Beloved Son, Whom we know in Word and Sacrament.
“Yes, the Church is being tested but rather than boasting in our own abilities and accomplishment we must be humble, renewing our commitment to spiritual childhood, recognizing our dependence on the Father.
“In His Beloved Son Jesus, He reveals the face of Mercy. God can do all things. And no purpose of His can be hindered. In Jesus, in His Holy Name, we find deliverance. This is cause for rejoicing. He is near. And if He is near, so to is the joy of His Kingdom. Be faithful to Him and rejoice.”