The beauty of our Faith is that we always can look to powerful examples of others who have walked in the way of Our Lord.
For seventy years we have had so many examples to follow right here in our Diocese…examples of faithful servants of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate who have kept planting seeds of faith and cultivating families wherein Jesus was held up as King in their lives.
Though she did not do so formally, St. Margaret Mary Aloquoque began the Apostolate when she received the vision of the Sacred Heart so beautifully portrayed in the portrait we have on display. Jesus made sure that His Sacred Heart would be honored by calling St Margaret Mary to dedicate her life to the charism of His Heart he so lovingly offer the world making her the original Apostle of the Sacred Heart.
We are blessed to continue spreading devotion to the two hearts in our outreach on behalf of the Enthronement Guild. And we stand on the efforts of so many others who have dedicated their efforts to Enthronement since 1945 when the Diocesan Guild was established by Bishop Hafey at Marywood College with Sister Ethelbert Gilroy, IHM as the first Moderator.
Powerful examples of others, IHM Sisters who made Enthronement a reality in our Diocese and brought so many Families into the Apostolate of Enthronement.
It was another powerful example of Faith, a south American priest, Fr. Mateo who received a healing at Paray Le Monial, France where St. Margaret Mary received a revelation of Jesus…Fr Mateo was inspired to preach everywhere the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in connection with the promise of our Lord, “I will bless every place where the image of my Heart shall be exposed and honored.”
Pope Pius X, not only approved but commanded Fr Mateo (Edward Crawley-Boevey) to spread the Apostolate by bringing families together in His honor. Another powerful example.
Fr. Francis Larkin of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary succeeded Fr Mateo as National Director followed by the present one, Fr Columban Crotty who resides in Fairhaven, MA.
Our Diocesan powerful examples include Msgr John Esseff who served as Spiritual Moderator for 17 years and our own Fr Dan Toomey who has served as Spiritual Moderator for the past 11 years.
Sr Celesta Sinisi, IHM served as Moderator of the Guild for 20 years until last year when my wife Maria Pappa was appointed by the IHM Congregation and Bishop Bambera as Coordinator of the Guild.
Bishop Bambera renewed the Enthronement of the Sacred Hearts for the Diocese here at the IHM Center in 2011. We remain blessed and fortunate to have Our Board, consisting of 22 members, meets regularly to coordinate the activities that promote this worthy Apostolate. For 70 years we have been blessed and guided.
So the powerful examples of Holiness and faith will continue to drive us forward on our mission of bringing the Sacred Hearts into families one household at a time.