'Come Holy Spirit over the archdiocese'
To hear the Archbishop's homily from Pentecost Vigil Mass at Holy Redeemer, click on the audio file below.
When Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrates the Pentecost Vigil Mass Saturday, June 7, at Holy Redeemer Church in Webster Groves, his request for a simple prayer three years ago at the vigil Mass comes to mind.
"Come Holy Spirit over the archdiocese."
Among the congregants three years ago sat Jane Guenther, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Renewal Center. Guenther took his words to heart.
"I just really latched onto that as something he was asking us to do," she said recently in her office at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. "I felt very called to up the ante, so to speak, and now I'm stepping it up."
The result is the "Holy Spirit Novena" in the nine days preceding the Pentecost Vigil Mass. The novena starts Thursday, May 29, with the evening sessions beginning at 6 p.m. in the St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Cardinal Rigali Center. The novena will last about 40 minutes each night.
Pope Francis also will consecrate the greater Church and the world to the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which dovetails nicely into the "Holy Spirit Novena."
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will celebrate the Pentecost Mass on
Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. At that Mass, the archbishop will follow the lead of Pope Francis and consecrate the archdiocese to the Holy Spirit.
"Part of me felt like we needed to help build that desire within our own diocese, to receive the blessing of what the Pope is going to do," Guenther said, noting that "the novena to the Holy Spirit is the first novena of the Church. It was to help people get ready for the reception of what Pentecost brings."
This isn't the archdiocese's first novena since Archbishop Carlson's simple prayer request three years ago, but it is the first archdiocesan Pentecost novena to be held at the Cardinal Rigali Center.
Written by Guenther, the novena consists of three segments, of three days apiece. On each night, a different facilitator will lead a reading of Scripture, a meditation and a prayer for the day.
"The novena really tries to get people to focus," said Guenther, in her eighth year as director of the center. "We need to express that we need the Holy Spirit; that's what the first three nights are for. Then, that we really desire the Spirit, and the last three nights are really to being open to receiving the Spirit."
Those are the basic elements of prayer, according to Guenther.
"We have to let the Lord know that we have a need, we have to desire that need and we have to be receptive," she said. "That's really where it came from, to get people ready to receive the grace of Pentecost."
Holy Spirit Novena
When: 6 p.m., May 29 to June 6
Where: St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive, Shrewsbury.
Pentecost Vigil Mass
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will celebrate the Pentecost Vigil Mass at 7:30 p.m. June 7, at Holy Redeemer Church, 17 Joy Ave. in Webster Groves.
Pentecost Mass and dedication
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will celebrate the Pentecost Mass on Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. At that Mass, the archbishop will follow the lead of Pope Francis and consecrate the archdiocese to the Holy Spirit.
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