May 21, 2014

Bishop McDonnell concelebrates shrine Mass with longtime JPII secretary



(Photo courtesy of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy)

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell concelebrated a Mass earlier today at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge with Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz (left foreground in above photo), archbishop of Kracow, Poland, and the longtime secretary to Pope John Paul II, who was canonized on April 27.

“The cardinal has had a long-standing invitation to visit the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy,” said Robin Parow, chief communications and publicity officer for the Association of Marian Helpers at the shrine.

“When (Marian) Father Kazimierz Chwalek interviewed him in Poland in April, for a series that was aired during the live EWTN broadcast on Divine Mercy Sunday, he reiterated this invitation,” Parow said in an email message. “The cardinal was planning a trip to the US for this month, and so included the shrine in his agenda. We are blessed that he did.”

Cardinal Dziwisz delivered the homily at today’s Mass, emphasizing St. John Paul II’s devotion to the message of Divine Mercy. “Among many titles that St. John Paul II received, one is especially very close to us. It is the title of the Pope of Divine Mercy,” he said.

The cardinal also noted the special role of the Stockbridge shrine. “The special mission of this shrine is to pass on the fire of mercy throughout this great land,” he said. “I’m very thankful to the Marian Fathers for their great commitment in promoting and inspiring people towards the truth about God who is rich in Mercy.”