Archbishop Alan Vigneron dedicated a special Mass on Wednesday evening, March 20, 2013 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit for the newly inaugurated Pope Francis. A cadre of 20 priests and 5 bishops con-celebrated the Mass with over 150 lay persons, seminarians, and religious sisters in attendance. Said Archbishop Vigneron, “We are here in the name of all the people in the Detroit Archdiocese to praise and glorify God, to thank Him and celebrate the gift of our new Holy Father, and to ask God for the strength he needs to fulfill the work given him.”
In his homily, the Archbishop referred to the Gospel reading, John 21:15-17, in which Jesus asked Peter, “feed my lambs” and “feed my sheep’. “The essential parts of the papal office and ministry are outlined in this Gospel,” he said.
“By protecting the integrity of the Gospel message, Catholics throughout the world are assured it is true nourishment for the soul as are the Sacraments of Eucharist and Penance, ritual that finds it’s power from the Spirit poured out on the disciples from the beginning. We are fed by the Word and Sacrament…whose saving grace is Mercy,” said the Archbishop.
Archbishop Vigneron continued to express gratitude that Pope Francis would ‘love God enough to leave his homeland in Argentina to care for all the 1 billion, 200 million Catholics’ around the world.
In closing, the Archbishop called on the assembly to renew their own commitment and embrace again the food of God’s Mercy as at the start of Lent, to share their own apostolate, bear witness and invite others to testify to the mercy of God, “which is the thing,” he said, “that makes life worth living!”