The Salvatorian spirit was evident at Saint Mary’s Cathedral on Wednesday, 8 September, as the community joined the Order, to rejoice and celebrate to renew their gratitude to God for the gift of their founder Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan who was beatified on 15 May 2021.
The Thanksgiving Mass coincided with the birth of the Virgin Mary.
This year also marked 140 years since the foundation of the Salvatorians and 60years since the Salvatorian Fathers started their pastoral work in Australia.
The official beatification ceremony took place on 15 May 2021, at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, presided by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of His Holiness, Pope Francis.
However, the event was missed by the Salvatorians in Australia, due to travel restrictions relating to COVID-19.
Joining Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB in celebrating the Mass were Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Geraldton Bishop Michael Morrissey, Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan, Perth Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey, Geraldton Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini,
Salvatorian Fathers Regional Superior Rev George Kolodziej SDS, Greenmount Parish Priest Fr Leonard Macionczyk SDS, Balcatta Assistant Parish Priest Fr Adam Babinski SDS and Fr Peter Bianchini as MC.
The Mass was also attended by a host of Salvatorian Fathers and Archdiocesan Religious, Seminarians and Archdiocesan staff.
At the start of Mass, several symbolic items relating to the life of Blessed Francis Jordan were offered by lay members of the faith.
A first-class Blessed Francis Jordan relic was laid on the altar, providing the congregation with an opportunity to draw closer to Blessed Jordan, and consider the example of the holiness he shared.
Other items included a Bible, representing the Good News that Blessed Francis Jordan proclaimed and a globe symbolising his desire to share the message of the Good News to people everywhere, as Salvatorian missionaries have been sent all over the world. A cross was also brought forward to the altar, recounting the words of Blessed Francis Jordan who once said, “Become lovers of the cross. You know that our dear Saviour saved the world through His cross. Why would we then choose another way?”
In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe dedicated some time to recounting the life of Mother Mary, and the deep faith she had in God.
“This woman whose birthday we honour today has been celebrated throughout history because of her extraordinary faith, her extraordinary humility, and her extraordinary courage and fidelity. And, as the words of the angel’s prayer make clear, the outcome of Mary’s great faith and fidelity was world-shattering: The Word became flesh and lived among us,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“This evening, we also celebrate the birthday into eternity of Blessed Francis Jordan, the founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour, better known to us here in Australia as the Salvatorians. Francis Jordan died on 8 September 1918, 103 years ago today. We gather tonight not long after the solemn beatification of Father Jordan earlier this year to rejoice and celebrate with the Salvatorian family as they renew their gratitude to God for the gift of their founder and the gift of the Gospel path which he has laid out for them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“The beatification of Father Jordan is, of course, a solemn judgement by the Church that this Gospel path should be offered more widely to the universal Church and that it can be offered with great confidence as a true gift of the Holy Spirit to the whole Church. We all have much to learn from him and from his religious family,” Archbishop Costelloe added.
Offering words of gratitude to the Order and their good works in the church, Archbishop Costelloe said his hope for those present is that their encounters with Salvatorians, will “remind us that this is the call of every Christian and may we all be inspired by their fidelity to their vocation to reflect deeply on the ways in which each of us in our particular circumstances are also called by God to a life of humility and of self-sacrificing love, ready to give our lives away each day for the good of others.”
Fr Kolodziej addressed those present, thanking all present for their support and attendance at the Mass.
“Although none of us were able to attend the beatification in May, so tonight we have been blessed to pray and give thanks to God for our founder, for his vision to the mission of the church, and for the Salvatorians.”
Watch the Salvatorian thanksgiving mass below