Centennial Mass at Cathedral Was ‘Gift From God’ for Parish Visitors

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Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption and to recognize the centennial celebration of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Aug. 15.

“It was wonderful,” Mother Maria Catherine Iannotti, P.V.M.I., told CNY. “It was heavenly to be there. To close our year celebration there was a real gift from God.

“The cardinal was so gracious and kind, like a real father to us. His homily and the way he spoke of our ladies’ vocation and compared it to Our Lady was magnificent.”

Cardinal Dolan closed his homily by recalling the mission of the sisters, saying the sisters are charitable in helping other people and visiting them in their homes.

“They go out to tell people about Jesus and His Church,” Cardinal Dolan said in explaining the mission of the sisters at the Mass.

“They’re also very humble. They don’t like bragging about themselves. This is tough for them to do, to show up in the front pew and celebrate a centennial.

“And finally like our Blessed Mother, you sisters put God first. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus and His Church.”

The Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, founded by Servant of God Mother Mary Teresa Tallon, started their service in Manhattan in 1920 with the blessing of Cardinal Patrick Hayes, who was then the archbishop of New York. The sisters visited homes to offer people, who may have fallen away from their practice of faith, an invitation to come home to the Church.

The Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate now have 58 sisters serving from Marycrest motherhouse in Monroe, and from convents in the Bronx, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Cardinal Dolan kicked off the centennial celebration with a Mass at the motherhouse Aug. 15, 2020. The Mass, which was originally scheduled to take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was moved to the motherhouse due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled to this year at the cathedral.

Cardinal Dolan opened the cathedral Mass by asking everyone present to remember the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and the violence in Afghanistan before turning his attention to the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate.

“We’re particularly grateful for the beautiful presence of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate,” he said. “Oh my Lord, what a gift they are to the Church and particularly this archdiocese.”

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