A MESSAGE FROM THE ST. CATHARINES, ONT. - DIOCESAN HOLY NAME SOCIETY PRESIDENT - JIM MARINO

 I’M PLEASED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE ABOUT AN ORGANIZATIONTHAT HAS BEEN VERY DEAR TO MY HEART FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS AND HAS HAD A VERY STRONG INFLUENCE ON MY LIFE AS A CATHOLIC. THE HOLY NAME SOCIETY IS ONE OF THE LONGEST ESTABLISHED SOCIETIES IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND THE ONLY ONE DIRECTLY COMMISSIONED BY A POPE.  IT DATES BACK TO THE 13TH    CENTURY AFTER THE COUNCIL OF LYONS DECLARED THAT THERE SHOULD BE MORE REVERENCE PAID TO THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. AND SO POPE GREGORY X COMMISSIONED A DOMINCAN FRIAR, BLESSED JOHN OF VERCELLI TO PREACH DEVOTION TO THE HOLY NAME AS A MEANS OF STAMPING OUT BLASPHEMY WHICH WAS RAMPANT AT THE TIME.

THE SOCIETY WAS INTRODUCED IN CANADA IN 1903,WITH THE ST. CATHARINES NIAGARA REGION ALSO ORGANIZING IN THAT ERA.  I CAN RECALL AS A YOUNG BOY IN THE MID 1940’S, GOING WITH MY FATHER AND OUR FAMILY WHEN HOLY NAME MEMBERS WOULD PLAY A MAJOR ROLE WHEN SEVERAL GIGANTIC RELIGIOUS RALLIES WOULD FILL OUR LOCAL RACETRACKS AND ARENAS. THEY WOULD BE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS AS HUNDREDS OF MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN TOOK THE TIME TO OPENLY DEMONSTRATE THEIR FAITH WITH, LIVING ROSARIES, OUT DOOR MASSES, BENEDICTION AND OTHER RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES.

 THESE FAITH DEMONSTRATIONS WERE IMPORTANT TO NOURISHING OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES, AND WE WOULD RETURN HOME RENEWED AND REFRESHED WITH THE THUNDERING SOUNDS OF THE FINAL HYMN OF THE DAY, HOLY GOD WE PRAISE THY NAME STILL RESOUNDING IN OUR EARS. 

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THOSE DAYS OF FAMILY PRAYER AND DEVOTION?    TIMES HAVE CERTAINLY CHANGED, AND NOW HOLY NAME IS VERY SHORT IN NUMBERS, BUT WITH A LITTLE EFFORT, WE CAN DO SOMETHING TO REVERSE THAT TREND. WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO CHRIST TO DO SO.  AT ONE TIME, ALMOST EVERY PARISH IN THE NIAGARA REGION HAD A HOLY NAME SOCIETY. SADLY, TODAY, THERE ARE ONLY A HANDFUL OF PARISHES IN OUR DIOCESE WITH A HOLY NAME SOCIETY, AND MEMBERSHIP IS LOW AND AGING.


HOLY NAME IS A SPIRITUAL GROUP NOT A SOCIAL CLUB. MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN RETREATS, NIGHTS OF REFLECTION, COMMUNION BREAKFASTS, PROMOTING RECITATION OF THE ROSARY AND ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. OUR LORD CAUTIONED US NOT TO HIDE THE LIGHT OF OUR FAITH UNDER A BUSHEL BASKET, BUT RATHER SET IT UP HIGH SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT BE ATTRACTED TO THE LIGHT. THAT’S WHAT HOLY NAME MEN ATTEMPT TO DO.
 
THERE IS AS MUCH A NEED, OR EVEN MORE SO, FOR HOLY NAME TODAY, AS THERE WAS WHEN IT WAS ESTABLISHED BY BLESSED JOHN. WE LIVE IN A VERY PERMISSIVE SOCIETY WITH NOT TOO MUCH THAT IS WHOLESOME ANYMORE AND SOMEDAY WE WILL HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT WE HAVE OR HAVEN’T DONE ABOUT IT.
MARTIN LUTHER KING WROTE, “WE WILL HAVE TO REPENT IN THIS GENERATION NOT MERELY FOR HATEFUL WORDS AND ACTIONS OF THE BAD PEOPLE, BUT FOR THE SILENCE OF GOOD PEOPLE”.   



IN OUR LIVES TODAY, MAYBE WE CANNOT DO GREAT THINGS, BUT SINGULARILY AND COLLECTIVELY WE CAN DO GOOD THINGS. HOLY NAME CAN HELP US DO GOOD THINGS, AND AT THE SAME TIME, ASSIST US IN BUILDING UP OUR “SPIRITUAL BANK ACCOUNT.”

A PARISH HOLY NAME SOCIETY IS NOT DEMANDING OF OUR TIME. USUALLY, A ONCE A MONTH MEETING THAT SHOULD ALWAYS CONTAIN A SPIRITUAL ELEMENT.
HOLY NAME MEN ATTEMPT TO DIGEST THE WORDS OF ST. PAUL WHEN HE TELLS US THAT WE MUST DO ALL THAT WE DO IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
MEN OF THE PARISHES IN ST. CATHARINES DIOCESE ARE ENCOURAGED TO NOT SIT IDLY BY AND WATCH A GREAT SOCIETY FADE INTO OBLIVION BUT TO DO THEIR SHARE TO REVITALIZE IT AND BRING IT BACK TO ITS DAYS OF GLORY. CHRIST WILL BE PLEASED, AND WE CERTAINLY OWE HIM THAT MUCH.   

*** THOSE INTERESTED IN FORMING A HOLY NAME SOCIETY IN THEIR PARISH ARE INVITED TO EMAIL info@holynamesociety.ca  WE WILL BE PLEASED TO ASSIST YOU. ***

THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU AND BLESSED BE THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.
YOURS IN CHRIST,

JIM MARINO, PRESIDENT, ST. CATHARINES DIOCESE HOLY NAME SOCIETY.

 


Holy Name Society - Niagara
Representing the following St. Catharines, Ontario Diocese Parishes:
 Lady of The Scapular, St. Thomas More,  St. Vincent De Paul,  St. Alfreds, St Kevins, and Immaculée Conception.
We also greatly support our brothers in the Buffalo NY Diocese.
*** THIS NEW WEB SITE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS - UPDATED MARCH 21, 2020 ***