On the Occasion of Our Diamond Jubilee
75 Years in Service to Rock Hill, SC May 26, 2009
We Oratorians are grateful that you are here today. Each one here stands as a symbol of the different ways we strive to love God and one another.
Bishop Thompson’s presence reminds us our bishops are successors to the Apostles, that our Church is an Apostolic Church.
Priests from three dioceses and religious communities remind us of the various charisms in the Church. Assisted by our deacons the ordained by virtue of office proclaim the gospel, administer the sacraments and build up the community of believers.
Our women and men religious have dedicated their lives to serving in such ministries as teachers, health care providers who carry great responsibilities. Their vows remind us of permanence in service.
Our lay men and women, since the Second Vatican Council, have been made aware more of the common priesthood of all believers and have stepped forward in leadership roles in parish ministry and in the marketplace where they model Christian living. The children whose joy filled voices in our songs of praise today have comforted us. Their youth coupled with their love of God insure the spread of the Kingdom of God in the future.
St. Philip Neri is smiling down on us from Heaven. Things important to him and the legacy he left are present here. We gathered here today to proclaim the Word mostly by our action. We administer the sacraments. We build up the communities we serve. We are guided by the Holy Spirit and have Mary as our model and mother. Striving to live as Philip did, we experience those graces, which made the “Apostle of Joy.” Our joy comes from loving God and neighbor by serving God’s people. The joy of being in union with God is felt right here, right now
– The Oratorians
We wish to express our appreciation to all who have honored us with their presence as we give thanks to God for seventy-five years of abundant blessings upon the Rock Hill Oratory.