On Friday, December 6, His Excellency John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, Long Island, celebrated the Mass for the 15th anniversary of Fernando Rielo’s entrance into eternal life. An estimated 1,500 people, including members of our Idente parishes in the Bronx and Long Island, traveled to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to remember the life of our Father Founder and to ask for his intercession. Among our missionary brothers and sisters, Fr. Fernando Real, the Procurator General of the men’s branch and the Superiors Provincial of the United States, Fr. Robert Badillo and Elaine Schenk, were present. All Idente priests from New York concelebrated the Mass, as well as two diocesan priests who collaborate in the parishes we administer.
The children’s choir from St. Luke’s Parish sang an Advent hymn before Mass began, helping the congregation to enter into a spirit of prayer and expectation.
In his homily, Bishop Barres spoke of the significance of the Nativity scene that every family has in its home, and gave special thanks to the Idente Missionaries for their apostolic work in his diocese at St. Luke’s Church in Brentwood and Our Lady of Loretto Church in Hempstead. He recalled the life of Fernando Rielo, whom he recognized as a great contributor to the Church.
Among those present were some 70 members of the Schools of Altar Servers from Our Lady of Solace-St. Dominic, Santa Maria, Our Lady of Loretto and St. Luke’s Parishes, who led the procession and were seated in a place of honor in this great landmark Cathedral.
Many members of Idente Youth also attended with their families. The Bishop acknowledged their presence with words of Pope Francis, encouraging them to respond to the call to holiness, with a special trust that they will answer.
Along with the gifts that were brought to the altar at the Offertory, a family carried a large basket containing the petitions which had been written by pilgrims on the buses coming from the Bronx and Long Island, all invoking the intercession of our Father Founder for their various needs.
At the conclusion of Mass, the Superiors Provincial of the United States expressed gratitude to Bishop Barres for his presence and for this celebration in honor of our Father Founder, whose intercession we continue to invoke for our filial holiness.