SEATTLE – More than 140 saints important to multicultural communities in the archdiocese were honored at the third annual Celebration of Our Saints Mass November 7 at St. James Cathedral.
“While it’s not quite the celebration as previous years because of the COVID restrictions, it was still nice to see a procession of some of those saints that are near and dear to our local communities,” Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said in his welcoming remarks.
Those attending represented Chinese, Filipino, Irish, Korean, Lebanese, Polish, Samoan, Vietnamese, Paraguayan and African American cultural communities, said Deacon Carl Chilo, director of multicultural ministries for the Archdiocese of Seattle.
“We celebrate our saints … because they lived lives of holiness and modeled a life in Christ,” Deacon Chilo said. “And that’s what we do today, we follow in their footsteps to model this life of Christ.”
An image of St. Peter Chanel was brought to the Celebration of Our Saints Mass by the Samoan ministry at Holy Cross Parish in Tacoma. Photo: Stephen Brashear
The saints are great models, Archbishop Etienne said in his homily, because they come from every walk of life, culture and time in the church’s tradition. Their example shows the average person that, “though we may not fully understand, though we stumble around, we too not only can be saints, but we too are called to be holy,” the archbishop said.
The saints “gave such marvelous witness to their belief in the resurrection of Jesus,” he said. They were willing to live simple, humble lives and endure hardships, knowing they were living for something beyond this world.
For many of us, though, the archbishop said, it’s a struggle to let go of the things of this world, “not letting them hold us back from living fully for the risen Jesus … not letting them hold us back from living fully for the kingdom,” he said.
“Because as beautiful as all of this world is, it still pales in comparison to the richness that is ours in the risen Jesus.”
In his Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul said that whether times were abundant or sparse, “the secret was that he could do all things through Christ, who was his strength,” Archbishop Etienne said.
“My friends, that’s true for all of us who claim to be disciples, who claim to be following Jesus. We too can do all things by the power of the risen Jesus. The apostles learned that, the saints learned that, and I pray that every member of this local church is learning that lesson.”