St. Patrick celebrates mass on St. John Paul II’s feast day

On Thursday, October 22, the St. Patrick Catholic High School student body gathered for weekly school mass from 9:40am to 10:40am.  Father Steve Benden, the parish priest for Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos and Our Mother of Sorrows parishes in Biloxi.  The school celebrated the second feast day of St. John Paul II.

During mass, a second degree relic of St. John Paul II was in front of the altar.  The relic is an article of his clothing.  St. John Paul II was installed as pope in 1978 at the age 58 and died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84.  He was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years as he was born in Krakow, Poland.  St. John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis.  He is the patron saint of World Youth Day which he instituted on December 20, 1985.  Father Benden blessed the student body at the end of mass with the St. John Paul II relic.

Father Benden is a Redemptorist priest.  The Redemptorists are members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.  The congregation was founded by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori near Amalfi, Italy on November 9, 1732.  The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer is a society of missionary priests and religious brothers that take a vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  A Redemptorist also takes a vow to remain in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer until his death.

Father Benden tied the fact that it was St. John Paul II’s second feast day into his homily about the day’s readings.  The first reading was Romans 6:19-23.  The responsorial psalm was Psalms 1: 1-4, 6.  The Gospel was Luke 12:49-53.  The readings were done by the senior class.

The next school mass will be on Thursday, October 29, in the school cafeteria from 9:40am to 10:40am.  Father Charles Nutter from St. James parish will be the presiding priest.  Family and alumni are always welcome to attend mass.

Story by: Desirée Goodfellow