Everyone is invited to regional Masses celebrated by Archbishop Aquila
By Roxanne King
Archbishop Samuel Aquila
Archbishop Samuel Aquila wants to meet you. So, this month and next he will be traveling across the archdiocese to celebrate Masses for his flock on the Eastern Plains, on the Western Slope, in the Fort Collins area and in metro-Denver.
“These regional Masses aren’t just for the parish communities where they’re held, but for all the people of archdiocese,” said J.D. Flynn, archdiocesan chancellor.
The half-dozen Masses were the idea of Denver’s newly installed archbishop who wants to meet and reconnect with as many of his flock as possible, Flynn said.
“Not everyone can be at (Archbishop Aquila’s July 18) installation Mass,” Flynn explained.
“That’s unfortunate—it would be beautiful if every Catholic could be—but these regional Masses are an opportunity for the people to be unified with the archbishop in the most important way there is, and that is unified together in the Eucharist.”
Masses for the People
A special ministry of the archbishop, Flynn said, is to celebrate what’s called the Missa pro Populo—the “Mass for the People.”
“That’s a time when the archbishop dedicates his celebration of the eucharistic sacrifice for the needs and for the salvation of the people. These Masses are an opportunity for Archbishop Aquila to celebrate the ‘Mass for the People’ among the people,” Flynn said. “In a concrete way he’s celebrating these Masses to help the Catholics of the archdiocese become more holy and to help them to know Jesus Christ more clearly.”
The Masses are set for:
• 6 p.m. July 21 at St. Joseph Church in Fort Collins;
• 6:30 p.m. July 22 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver;
• 5:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at St. Helena Church in Fort Morgan;
• 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at Holy Name Church in Steamboat Springs;
• 10:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at St. Claire of Assisi in Edwards;
• 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.
Cathedral Basilica, Denver
Hispanic Catholics are encouraged to attend the Aug. 18 Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, said Luis Soto, director of Hispanic Ministry.
“Everyone is invited to this Mass, but we encourage Hispanics in particular to attend as a community and welcome Archbishop Aquila,” he said.
After the Mass, a reception will be held at Centro San Juan Diego, 2830 Lawrence St. in Denver, home to the Hispanic Ministry offices. (Call 303-295-9470 for details.)
Two of the Masses are being held at the Cathedral Basilica because it’s the “Mother Church” of the archdiocese and as such is the archbishop’s “home base,” said the rector, Msgr. Thomas Fryar.
The Masses are open to all
6 p.m. July 21, St. Joseph Church, 300 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins
6:30 p.m. July 22, Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 1530 Logan St., Denver
5:30 p.m. Aug. 4, St. Helena Church, 917 W. Seventh Ave., Fort Morgan
5:30 p.m. Aug. 11, Holy Name Church, 524 Oak St., Steamboat Springs
10:30 a.m. Aug. 12, St. Claire of Assisi, 31622 U.S Highway 6, Edwards
6:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 1530 Logan St., Denver
“The word ‘cathedral’ comes from the Greek word for ‘chair’—cathedra—which signifies the presence and teaching role of the archbishop,” Msgr. Fryar explained.
Those attending the July 22 Mass at the Cathedral Basilica may want to consider coming early, he said.
“There is a regularly scheduled Vespers Service at 5:45 p.m. prior to the Mass. If people have never joined in the liturgical prayer of the Church, they might find this a spiritually uplifting opportunity.”
The Masses will have the flavor of the places where they’re celebrated, Flynn said.
“They will be very representative of who the people of God of northern Colorado are,” he added.
The host churches are excited about welcoming the archbishop and the faithful to their respective parishes.
“I highly encourage folks from around the Archdiocese of Denver to come to one of the two Masses Archbishop Aquila will be celebrating at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception,” Msgr. Fryar said. “You will see the archbishop in his church and will join in prayer in a setting that this year is celebrating the centennial of its operation as the Mother Church of the archdiocese.
“Joining your prayers to 100 years of prayer and sacramental experiences has to be a source of true blessings for those who come and for the new archbishop as he meets his flock.”
St. Joseph Church, Fort Collins
Father Steven Voss, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Fort Collins, said he hopes many faithful from across Fort Collins will attend his church’s July 21 Mass to welcome the archbishop.
The parish choir, which normally takes a break in the summer, is reconvening for the Mass and has invited choir members from neighboring Catholic churches to join them to create a “regional choir.”
“We feel truly blessed to be hosting Archbishop Aquila and we are working with great enthusiasm to ensure it will be a wonderful celebration in his honor,” Father Voss said. “Having been a seminarian when Archbishop Aquila was the founding rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, it is a personal joy to host him now as one of his priests.
It is also a unique honor in the life of the parish, he said.
“The evening will be made even more special in that we expect to have the Benedictine nuns from the Abbey of St. Walburga join us for the Mass as well as the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who recently moved to Fort Collins from Philadelphia to come teach in our parish school.
“I think we will truly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as the thriving Catholic community in our deanery gathers with our new shepherd.”