Nearly 200 members of two Auburn parishes recently came together to celebrate that very thing — their coming together.
Parishioners from St. Francis of Assisi and St. Hyacinth parishes have been working and worshipping together for more than five years, a fact they celebrated Sept. 25 with an outdoor Unity Mass. The two parishes had shared a catechetical leader and a number of religious traditions for many years before they joined together to form a cluster in June 2006. Deacon Gary DiLallo, pastoral administrator, has been leading the cluster since June 2009.
Father Michael Brown served as the main celebrant and homilist for the Unity Mass, with Father Michael Conboy and Father Richard Murphy concelebrating. All three priests are sacramental ministers for the parish cluster, and they were assisted at the Mass by Deacon Gary DiLallo, the parish cluster’s pastoral administrator.
Sunday-morning Masses at St. Hyacinth and St. Francis were cancelled that day so as many people as possible would be able to attend the Unity Mass, during which many parishioners served as lectors, altar servers, ushers and members of the choir. The Mass was held at a picnic shelter on the grounds of the Owasco Fire Department, and the parishioners and clergy shared a picnic lunch at the shelter after the Mass had concluded.
Cluster leaders said they hope to Unity Mass will become an annual tradition.