Father Christopher Celentano, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse, delivers his homily as Bishop Douglas J. Lucia listens during Day 3 of the bishop’s three-day Lenten mission “Walking with Christ, from Our House to Yours.” The mission streamed live from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception March 31, April 1, and April 2. (screenshot from youtube.com/syrdio)


By Tom Maguire | Associate editor

Prayers for the afflicted and their caregivers, along with Bible stories about Jesus’ healing power, were broadcast live on YouTube on April 2 from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

More than 600 viewers tuned in live for a Mass of the Sick offered on the third and final day of “Walking with Christ, From our House to Yours,” a Lenten mission presented by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. [Watch recorded video of the mission below.]

The Day 3 homilist, Father Christopher Celentano, said of the coronavirus pandemic, “I don’t know about you, but it still feels like a storm to me.”

Even in this time of silence, with self-isolation, he advised the viewers to “invite the Lord to be there with you.”

Father Celentano, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse, cited Luke 8:40-56: “Jairus’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage.”

Luke’s Gospel says Jairus was an official of the synagogue whose young daughter died. Luke says Jesus “took her by the hand and called to her, ‘Child, arise!’ / Her breath returned and she immediately arose.”

The same Gospel speaks of a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for 12 years. Luke says the woman came up behind Jesus and “touched the tassel on his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped.”

That woman showed a beautiful response to Jesus’ presence, Father Celentano said: “She knew she would be cured.”

He added: “Our God makes us clean when he allows us to touch him and he touches us.”

He cited the Sacrament of Penance as one way of approaching God. People feel unworthy to ask for forgiveness, he said, but “accusatory tones are not the voice of the Lord.”

Bishop Lucia praised Father Celentano’s homily, and he expressed his own concern for all the caregivers who are “on the front lines these days,” and for people ill with coronavirus and other diseases that affect the human family.

“We come to the Lord knowing it is from him that healing power goes forth,” the bishop said.

He prayed for those who have died as result of the pandemic, that they may enjoy happiness and peace of heaven and that their loved ones be consoled.

The bishop sought the intercession of the Blessed Mother for the human family, seeking an end to the pandemic and also asking for strength, comfort, and trust in the “tender compassion of our God.”

Bishop Lucia invited the audience to join him via livestream for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. [The bishop’s Mass schedule can be found here.]

Day 1 of the mission featured Eucharistic Adoration and a reflection by national Catholic speaker Chris Padgett. The second day was a penitential service offered by Father Rick Riccioli, a Franciscan friar and the pastor of the Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse. Jeremy Bobak provided music each day.

Watch Day 3 below, courtesy Syracuse Catholic Television:

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