National Catholic speaker Chris Padgett offers a reflection during Day 1 of Bishop Douglas J. Lucia’s three-day Lenten mission “Walking with Christ, from Our House to Yours.” The mission streams live from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 3 p.m. March 31, April 1, and April 2. (screenshot from



By Tom Maguire | Associate editor

As Bishop Douglas J. Lucia walks with Christ, he is keeping in mind “all on the front lines these days.”

Tuesday was Day 1 of the three-day Lenten mission “Walking with Christ, from Our House to Yours.” More than 650 people watched Day 1 live from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

The hour-long program featured comments by the bishop, Eucharistic Adoration, singing by musician Jeremy Bobak, and a reflection by national Catholic speaker Chris Padgett. [Watch recorded video of the mission below.]

“The Lord wants us to know today he walks with us,” said Bishop Lucia, who expressed his wish for people to persevere in faith.

In the Eucharistic presence, the bishop prayed for all on the front lines; those ill with coronavirus; doctors and nurses; those working in communities to keep food on the table; and those carrying that food to different parts of the country and in other parts of the world.

“All are close to our hearts today,” said the bishop, who prayed that the virus “will be driven from us.”

He expressed his faith that the Lord is inviting us ever to come to him and to trust him. “May we come back to the Lord through this time of prayer and know he is with us,” he said.

The bishop further asked almighty God to guide the work of the Church and to help it to proclaim his name. 

“God is walking with you now,” said national-speaker Padgett, who is married with nine children. He noted that on social media, some people are treating the lockdown “like a vacation.” But what about those who get laid off and have bills to pay, or those people who are sick and hurting?

“Where is God?” Padgett asked. His answer: “He is right with you in that struggle. … Some of you are pulling your hair out now. Our Church wants you to know you are going to make it.”

Padgett cited four things he sees in every saint: sacrifice, service, mediation, advocacy. He noted that the first letters of those words, if rearranged, spell out M-A-S-S.

“This is not a vacation,” Padgett said. “Go deep into the heart of the Lord.”

Toward the end of Day 1, the bishop offered prayers for Pope Francis, that he have health and strength to guide God’s holy people; for all bishops, priests, and deacons and others with a special ministry and all God’s people; for “all who seek truth with sincerity”; for those who do not believe in God or his son, Jesus, that the Holy Spirit “may help them follow all that is right” and show them the way to salvation; for those who serve in public office, that God guides their minds and hearts; for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic; and for the remaining days of Lent to be a time of preparation for the spiritual celebration of the Paschal Mystery.

The mission ended with the singing of “How Great Thou Art.”

Day 2, April 1, will be a Penitential Celebration with Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv., pastor of Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse, and musician Bobak.

Day 3, April 2, will be a Mass of Healing, with Father Christopher Celentano, pastor of St. Rose of Lima in North Syracuse, and musician Bobak.

Both days will stream live at 3 p.m. on the diocese’s YouTube channel. Video will be available to watch any time after the stream.

Watch Day 1 below, courtesy Syracuse Catholic Television:

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