Patrick McPartland/Staff Photographer - Archbishop Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, asks the congregants to listen for the voice of God as he concelebrates Mass at Holy Cross Church in Buffalo.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Bishop Edward U. Kmiec helped celebrate a pair of anniversaries at Holy Cross Parish Sunday, Sept. 18, as a packed crowd gathered in the Buffalo church to honor its 97th year and pastor Msgr. David Gallivan’s 45th year as a priest.
The Mass was filled with celebration and music, including a special liturgical dance performance by parish teens set to Britt Nicole’s “Walk on the Water.” During his homily, Msgr. Gallivan quoted St. Paul when he told the audience to “live your lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”
Bishop Kmiec called the parish “awesome” and praised Msgr. Gallivan as “a man of many accomplishments.”
“Msgr. Dave is a true shepherd,” Bishop Kmiec said. “He said he is proud of all of you merging together. It’s very celebratory; very welcoming. This is where it’s all at for us.”
The bishop and cardinal met the night before the Mass and had breakfast that morning. Bishop Kmiec called Cardinal Rodriguez “a man of many talents” and a “renaissance man of the 21st century.”
Cardinal Rodriguez also offered brief remarks at the end of the Mass, including some delivered in Spanish.
“I am here as a sign of gratitude from all of Latin America,” he said. “Priesthood is the best gift a human person can receive after baptism. We need good shepherds like Msgr. David. Christians are radioactive, but not in a bad way. We have to radiate the love of Christ and be evangelizers in the new culture.”
During a brief interview following the Mass, Cardinal Rodriguez talked about his work with Caritas Internationalis, a worldwide social service agency of which he serves as president.
“The most important (key) is the participation of the people in the program spreading through the communities, especially for the poor,” he said. “Our goal for the next four years is zero poverty; one humanity. We need to develop this solidarity among the people. Nobody can be indifferent when another person suffers.”
The cardinal noted that poverty is spreading throughout the world, including first world nations like the United States and several in Europe.
“In the past, (people) identified the poor with the so-called Third World. Now we have poor everywhere, even in the United States,” he said. “In Caritas, (we) encourage all the Christians to work and diminish poverty.”
Cardinal Rodriguez is also helping administer a Latin American program designed to foster continental missionary work.
“We have to revive this missionary heart of our (faith),” the cardinal said. “Mission is not just going to other continents, but to revive the power and spirit in our communities. We cannot think evangelization is complete; we have to continue spreading the Good News to a new generation, and this is a big challenge for us.”
Cardinal Rodriguez was also a guest speaker at a special conference entitled “Holy Cross Parish: A Microcosm of the Church’s Mission and Ministry to People on the Move” at D’Youville College on Sept. 17.