God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Day Never To Be Forgotten

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (center), the future Pope John XXIII.  Photo from 1901, via Wikipedia

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (center), the future Pope John XXIII. Photo from 1901, via Wikipedia

On June 22, 1959, fifty-seven short years ago, on the Feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul, I  attended the Solemn Feast Day Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by the then reigning Pontiff, Pope John XXIII.

With a good seat, I enjoyed a close view of this humble man, with the Cardinals as his altar boys, offering up the Body and Blood of Christ as a perfect Sacrifice of praise to God. In the splendor and beauty of the Basilica, the world’s largest place of worship, with the music of the Sistine Choir filling its interior, one could only experience a happiness close to that of Heaven.

In attending these ceremonies, I brought into my life an unforgettable experience of faith. No one could remain unaffected by the outpouring of the voices of the vast multitude and solemn actions at the Altar.  My personal impact was great – I was so happy and proud to be a Priest!

In my mind’s eye, I can still see the great Pope slowing genuflecting at the Altar, his deliberate motions of reverence, his emotion filled with voice pronouncing the words of the Consecration, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood.”

How well to think often of the precious possessions we have as active believers in God. If God is real, He deserves public worship from His people.  Gather with other believers on a regular basis to offer thanks and praise to His Greatness, not just half-heartedly, but truly, with joy and enthusiasm.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

A note to Fr. McKenna’s faithful readers – my apologies.  I did not realize until I was preparing the Blog for this weekend, that I had left this message in the “Draft” stage on the site.  I am sure you are now enjoying it – just a little late this time.   JGT

June 17, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,


  1. Father, I always enjoy your postings. Please continue! God Bless, Bart.

    Comment by Bartholomew Timm | June 17, 2016 | Reply

  2. Thank you for your wonderful stories, no matter when they show up.
    May God continue to bless you.

    Comment by Nancy | June 17, 2016 | Reply

  3. Always look forward to hearing from you, Father. You continue to encourage and inspire. NB

    Comment by Nan Brennan | June 17, 2016 | Reply

  4. Looking forward every week to your writing. You are a wonderful blessing from God for all of us. Love your books!!

    Comment by K | June 18, 2016 | Reply

  5. Hi dear friend!

    I’m still catching up on your posts here (writing this on July10th). Anyway, this story resonates with me for many reasons. First, June 22 is my birthday. Second, the parish where I was baptized and attended until middle school, was Sts. Peter and Paul in Chicago! Third, I have been to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It IS an enormous structure (the largest church in the world) and it is breathtakingly grand and glorious! I didn’t get to attend a mass there, but the day that we were in Rome (the ONLY day that trip), Pope Benedict XVI happened to be canonizing 6 saints that day and we saw him from a bit of a distance!

    But what resonates with me the most, is the discussion about attending mass with a deep sense of faith and being a part of the mystery of the mass! I attended mass robotically for many years, then did not attend at all for far too many years – and now, thanks to your guidance and encouragement, I have been attending most regularly since 2009.

    I love attending mass, I try to never miss (even in Europe, I found churches that I could attend, St. Columba – who I had never even heard of – in Oban, Scotland, and St. Mary Cathedral in Killarney, Ireland – both were huge, old and wonderful). But I don’t just attend, I am now so ‘IN TUNE’ with the mass, and with what is being said and going on… and remember reading, from the Diary of Saint Faustina, how she would have visions of the Infant Jesus, being next to the priest at the consecration of the bread and the wine. I now, more reverently, think about what is going on during mass, and how Jesus is really present and what He has done for us. And yes, of all our many ‘possessions’ the greatest one we have is the gift of faith and our active participation at mass.

    Thank you for always pointing out through one of your many rich stories, what we have and what we should do. As always, my dear friend, praying for you and thanking God for our friendship and for your guidance!


    Comment by nancywest22 | July 10, 2016 | Reply

  6. I enjoy your wonderful messages. I started sending them to people so they can get the same inspirations as do. We attend Mass as often as we can. After all the recent losses we have had we realize that life is very short.

    Comment by Mr. & Mrs. Giles | July 31, 2016 | Reply

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