St. Paul VI Parish in Riverside will Celebrate the Feast Day of St. Paul VI Starting with a Novena and Exposition of his Relics on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. and Concluding with a Special Mass on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m.
Chicago, (Sept. 16, 2021) – St. Paul VI Parish, the newly unified parish of St. Mary Church (Riverside), Mater Christi Church (North Riverside) and St. Hugh Church (Lyons) will host a novena leading into the feast day of its namesake starting on Friday, Sept. 17 from 7 - 8 p.m. at the Mater Christi Church worship site, 2401 S. 10th Ave., North Riverside. Rev. Tom May will be installed as the founding pastor of the parish at the 11 a.m. Mass on St. Paul VI’s Feast Day of Sept. 26 at the St. Mary Parish worship site, 97 Herrick Rd., Riverside.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for us to gather together, pray and learn about our new patron St. Paul VI,” said Rev. May.
The novena, which is a special Catholic prayer said for nine consecutive days for a specific intention, will feature Dr. Geraldine Rohling, archivist and curator of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Each night, she will share her expertise on Pope Paul VI and his historical impact on the Church and describe some of his relics and artifacts on display at the church.
On the eighth evening of the novena, Sept. 24, Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo, secretary general of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), will offer reflections virtually of Pope Paul VI and of the impact of his work with refugees and migrants. Pope Paul VI, Pope Pius XII and layman James J. Norris founded ICMC which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. ICMC supports Catholic organizations responding to the needs of displaced persons, refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of human trafficking and migrants — regardless of faith, race, ethnicity or nationality.
Concluding the celebrations, on Sept. 26, Rev. Tom May will be installed as the founding pastor of St. Paul VI Parish by Archdiocese of Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Kevin Birmingham.
Pope Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Montini on Sept. 26, 1897, in Concesio, Italy and died at Castel Gandolfo on Aug. 6, 1978. He served as Pope from 1963 – 1978, during an era of change in the Catholic Church including most of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) which he managed after the death of Pope John XXIII. His pontificate was confronted with the challenges and uncertainties of a Church facing a new role in the contemporary world. He had special care and concern for immigrants and the poor and is esteemed for his commitment to Catholic evangelization and his dialogue with other Christians and other religious faiths. He was declared a saint by Pope Francis on Oct. 14, 2018.