Welcome Him Home

June 24-July 7, 04
Welcome Him Home
By Kristen Fox / SUN  Staff Writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
St. Daniel Church Celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Heart

On Friday, June 18, a special Mass was held at St. Daniel Church in Syracuse to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Over 200 people from across the diocese came to show their devotion to Jesus. “Today is a very special day. It is a feast day of celebration in Christ’s love,” said Gloria Anson, diocesan director of the Sacred Heart Apostolate in Syracuse and the northeast regional director of the Sacred Heart Apostolate. “Each year we have hundreds of people who come from all over to participate.”

The feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began at a diocesan level in 1991 at the request of Bishop Joseph O’Keefe, noted Anson. In previous years the Mass has been celebrated at parishes including Most Holy Rosary Church in Syracuse and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Liverpool. Anson said she was especially excited to bring the service to St. Daniel Church. “With each Mass we go to new places and get new exposure. St. Daniel’s is unique because there are so many children,” said Anson, who has worked for the Sacred Heart Apostolate in Syracuse for the past 30 years. “Because there is a school [St. Daniel School] here, we can earmark the kids to do things along with the children in the congregation.” Children participated in various parts of the Mass, including the procession and the Ceremony of the 12 Promises. Msgr. Eugene Yennock, pastor of St. Daniel Church, celebrated the Mass, which was sponsored by the Sacred Heart Apostolate. He was joined by Knights of Columbus Council 191, Sacred Heart Council 6282 and North Syracuse Council 3717.

“We are happy, blessed and privileged to have this special Mass here,” Msgr. Yennock told those gathered for the service. “The great love that God has for us is symbolized by the Sacred Heart. It is a needed and wonderful expression of faith.” The homilist was Father William Gaffney, C.S.s.R., a member of the National Team on the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart represents Christ’s love, said Father Gaffney. “In the Sacred Heart, Jesus shows us the heart that led Him to say, ‘This is my blood. This is my body,’” he said. “Imagining looking at that Sacred Heart every day, reminding you that no matter how many times a day you fail, that He still loves you. He wants to share this with you.” Father Gaffney discussed the need for devotion to the Sacred Heart, especially among families and children.

“There is something missing from families today: love. There is so much stress, tension, yelling, just going through the motions and apathy towards each other and God,” he explained. “The Sacred Heart has a great meaning for you and your family. When Jesus is invited into a home, there is more love and joy.” He touched on the importance of families enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their homes. Enthronement of an image of the Sacred Heart is a proclamation that Jesus is the center of that family, explained Father Gaffney. “When we enthrone the Sacred Heart, we are showing Jesus that we have made room for Him,” said Father Gaffney. “He is what’s most important in your family.” Anson and Pat Leo, also of the Sacred Heart Apostolate in Syracuse, go into homes to promote the enthronement of the Sacred Heart. The enthronement entails prayerful preparation for a period of 9 days. On the tenth day, an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is formally enthroned in the home.

“On the tenth day, the family makes a covenant of love with the Sacred Heart,” said Leo, who added that there are 5,000 families in the U.S. who have formally enthroned the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “It is a public proclamation that Jesus is the head of that family.” Anson said that welcoming Jesus in homes makes families stronger and more faith-filled. She has traveled the country promoting the enthronement of the Sacred Heart and said that there is a change after families enthrone the Sacred Heart. “When Jesus is invited into a home, the atmosphere changes,” Anson said. “There is more love. There is more compassion. This is what a family who is centered around Jesus should be like.”

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