This is our 60th Anniversary kick off weekend! We are entering into the celebration-phase of the 60 years of our existence as the Catholic Community of St. Matthias: 1962 – 2022. We are very privileged to have Msgr. Joseph Celano, a St. Matthias alumnus, as our Presider for the 5 pm Kick-off Mass. A special thanks to the St. Martin de Porres Society which is organizing and taking care of the reception after each Mass this weekend. Our Anniversary Celebration Committee, co-chaired by Anne Marie Francis and Jeff Hentz, has already announced many activities that will take place in the coming months. Responding to the Committee’s invitation to come up with an Anniversary Logo, Carolyn Merrill designed a beautiful logo that you can see from now on. Thank you to Carolyn who, with her husband Dave and two adult children, is a long time parishioner of St. Matthias. Being an experienced Graphic Designer, she has helped with our GIFT program brochures and also created the GIFT logo some years ago.
While appreciating the importance of visible celebrations, it is equally or even more important that our anniversary should help us grow more spiritually. We have prepared a special anniversary prayer card to pray together in the church. You can take a card and use it for your family as well as for individual prayer. The Committee is also looking into arranging a Parish Mission/Retreat later this year.
Kicking off the celebration on the feast of our patron saint has special significance. The name ‘Matthias,’ similar to Matthew, means “gift of God.” The Acts of the Apostles describes the process of choosing Matthias to replace Judas: “it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22) Since there were two candidates fitting these conditions, the Apostles “cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:26)
It is believed that Matthias was also one of the 72 disciples that the Lord Jesus sent out to preach the good news (Luke 10:1). The Apostles were convinced of the credibility of choosing Matthias to join them. He remained with Jesus until His Ascension. According to various traditions, Matthias preached in Cappadocia, Jerusalem, the shores of the Caspian Sea (in modern day Turkey) and Ethiopia. He is said to have met his death by crucifixion in Colchis or by stoning in Jerusalem. There is evidence cited in some of the early Church fathers that there was a “Gospel according to Matthias” in circulation, but it has since been lost, and was declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius.
As we celebrate the feast of our patron saint, we honor him as someone who knew Jesus personally, and was a witness to the resurrection – that Jesus wasn’t dead, but is very much alive. This is where we can imitate him. May all our celebrations help us to increase our intimacy of friendship with Jesus. May we give witness to his risen life by our joyful attitude and the invitation we can give others about our experience here at St. Matthias Community in worship as well as service.
Happy Feast of St. Matthias!
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal