Holy Name Society Humble Beginnings & History:
On Nov 02, 1274 – The Holy Name Society was founded by Blessed John of Vercelli, who is considered as the world wide patron and founder of the Holy Name Society. Born in 1205 John Garbella was born in Vercelli, in a small town of northern Italy called Mosso Santa Maria, which is approximately 350 miles north of Rome.
Officially ordained as a priest at the age of twenty five, throughout his life of 78 years, Blessed John of Vercelli, worked faithfully under nine popes, and held many high positions such as General of the Dominican Order, Prior of Vercelli, Vicar General of Hungary, Prior of San Nocolo, and even Archbishop. John also had a remarkable gift of peace-making and because he succeeded so well, that for the rest of his life, the various Popes made use of his sanctity, prudence and diplomacy to establish peace between warring rulers and various states.
On September 7, 1903 John Garbella was beatified, and several attempts have been made so far to have Blessed John of Vercelli canonized starting in the 1950’s. In 1564 Digeo of Victoria, a Dominican Friar, wrote the first constitution of the Holy Name Society, and Pope Pius IV raised the society to the canonical status of a confraternity, endowing it with privileges and indulgences. The Holy Name Society is probably the most indulgenced body in the Church.
“Blessed John of Vercelli...Pray For Us”
See our local "Mission Statement" and "Functions Listing" below !!!
Holy Name Society Mission Statement:
To promote the honour and glory of our divine GOD and the personal sanctification of its members by acts of love and devotion to the most holy name of Jesus. The spirited life of its members is a perpetual act of reverence and love with strong emphasis on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
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. The Holy Name Society is a spiritual group and a tremendous asset to parish religious life.
Our dedicated members participate in the various parish ministries, organize and attend retreats, attend nights of reflection by a local priest, hold annual conventions, create and perform spiritual presentations, organize pilgrimages, hold Holy Name Society communion breakfasts, promote recitation of the rosary, adoration of the blessed sacrament, sponsor scholarships at St. Paul High School and support development and peace, and also support St. Vincent de Paul Society and the youth ministry. Some members also hold various positions on the St. Catharine’s Diocese. The Holy Name Society maintains close relationships with the Bishop, local Priests, and other clergy and maintains close relationships with local other Holy Name Societies (including our American members across the borders) and provides assistance and or support whenever needed.
Our local Holy Name Society organizes two very successful annual events, specifically Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper (February) and summer Parish Barbecue (July).
Holy Name Society - Functions, Ministries, Meetings, Conventions, Retreats, etc.
The following is a list of functions, ministries, meetings, and other events that our members are involved with:
1. Annual Parish Barbecue - July - (hamburgers and hotdogs) approx 300 - 350 served
2. Shrove Tuesday - February - (pancakes and sausages) approx 500 served
3. Holy Name Society Meetings - 3rd Sunday of every month (except July, and August) following 8:00am mass
4. HNS members create and or provide spiritual presentations to the HNS members
5. HNS members help to support other local HNS ministries either with start-up and or support
6. HNS members attend other local HNS ministry meetings
7. HNS members provide financial support to St. Vincent De Paul, Development & Peace, Youth Ministry and other charitable causes.
8. HNS members communicate through various meetings, email, in person, church bulletins
9. HNS Members provide Church Assistance / Other Ministries - all year round - we have various HNS member’s who help to serve, perform readings, belong to the choir, and assist in other church ministries.
10. HNS members attend funeral services for members who have gone to be with the Lord, and with special permission from the family, the group performs a special HNS prayer over a lost member.
11. Some HNS members are also members of the St. Catharine's Diocese, and hold executive positions
10. St. Paul High School Annual Award - June - provide a financial scholarship award with letter from HNS on selected student by the parish priest.
11. Annual St. Catharine's Diocese Convention - HNS ministries either hold the convention at their parish, and or assist the other parish holding the convention
12. Annual Buffalo Diocese Convention - Local HNS ministries attend their convention, in fact the HNS Member’s support each other’s groups (Buffalo/ St Cath.)
13. Local Niagara HNS ministries maintain close relationships and contact with Buffalo HNS ministries
14. Annual Retreat (3 days) - September - Men from both Niagara Area/Buffalo HNS ministries attend this event, approximately (50) men attend, attendance is usually spilt between the two countries
15. Annual HNS International Communion breakfast – Alternates between St. Catharine’s & Buffalo Dioceses. HNS ministers the breakfast at a specific designated restaurant or church location were the families are invited to attend. Again Buffalo / Niagara HNS support and attend each other’s breakfast.
16. Some HNS members are involved in charitable organizations such as "Development & Peace", "St. Vincent De Paul" and "Youth Ministry", etc.
17. HNS members attend "Nights of Reflection" usually at the Mount Carmel Center (4 times/ year), spiritual presentations by priests at Mount Carmel, sponsored by Holy Name but open to all men of the diocese. No cost.
18. HNS members lead in recitation of the Holy Rosary 1/2hr before Sunday 8:00 am mass in May and October. Some participate in daily recitation.
19. HNS members promote membership with the various parishes, all interested are welcomed.
20. HNS members provide annual Christmas gifts to Our Lady of The Scapular Priests and Administrative Staff as a thank you for their efforts and support of the HNS.
21. HNS members work closely with other ministries such as CWL who work together and put on joint functions such as priest’s retirement and or priest's new assignment.
22. HNS members maintain close relationships with local Priests, other clergy and Bishop Bergie.