The late Msgr. William O’Connell was a fan favorite and founding editor of the West River Catholic. (Archive photo)
By Kathy Cordes, Diocesan Archivist
One of my projects, is digitizing and preserving columns, articles, sermons, and other great works of our clergy. This helps to build a foundation of our archival history. Listen with your heart for an exciting message. These words from Msgr. William O’Connell still ring true today:
“For a moment, imagine … Every day when we get up there is a printed text beside our bed or we are only allowed to say “It will be okay.” These are the only words we can speak that day. What a boring day that would be! Why? Because words are meant to be heard. Spoken in love, in anger or confidence all are meant to be heard.
Msgr. Romano Guardini, a noted theologian, wrote in 1953 how important it was for us to hear the holy words of Scripture when we are in Mass. What Guardini wrote then still applies to this day. During Mass, the Liturgy of the Word is not merely read, it is proclaimed! That is, the priest, deacon or lector is giving us an important message from God, Our Father. An exciting message!
We are called upon to make our hearts and souls receptive to what we hear. Jesus is the sower and the Sunday readings are the good seed that he sows. We need to work so this seed does not fall on the hard soil of our heart. When listening to the reading, it stirs us while in church and hopefully we take it to the outside world. Our Lord hopes that our hearts and souls will be the good soil that produces a very virtuous life in each of us.
If we listen with our hearts, we will have a kernel of God’s truth, which allows it to become the living word in our lives.
As we move quickly towards Holy Week and Easter, let us pray that we indeed have ears to hear the message Our Lord has for us when we listen to the proclamation of Scripture at Mass.” Condensed article “Will God’s Word Land on Good Soil?” by Msgr. William O’Connell, West River Catholic, March 2012.
Update on diocesan Nicholas Black Elk Canonization process
I also serve with the Black Elk Working Group. We are responsible for the groundwork for the diocesan portion of the canonization process. Here are some updates from the group while we wait to hear from Rome on the next step to canonization:
Recently we have been investigating reports of alleged miracles from all over the globe to further the canonization of Nicholas Black Elk. Two miracles are required to be submitted to Rome for the cause of a saint awaiting veneration. Deacon Bill White leads the investigations of alleged miracles. For a miracle to be considered, each one is to be completely faith based — no surgical or human intervention can be attributed to the healing. Currently, the working group is looking at the events surrounding two separate alleged miracles — each one attributed to the intercession of Nicholas Black Elk by those who witnessed the alleged miracle. Deacon White reviews each alleged miracle as a potential addition to the cause.
“Walking the Good Red Road” by NewGroup Media has been widely received and is now showing in Canada.
We would like to welcome Germaine Little Bear to the working group. As the new diocesan Director of Native Concerns, she is a welcome addition.