Weekly Feature



2018-09-13 / Local News

Mass series to honor saints


St. John Gualbert Church and Diocesan Shrine is debuting a Mass series, honoring the saints whose relics, like those shown above, are among the 1,100 housed in the shrine. St. John Gualbert Church and Diocesan Shrine is debuting a Mass series, honoring the saints whose relics, like those shown above, are among the 1,100 housed in the shrine. St. John Gualbert Church and Diocesan Shrine is debuting a Mass series, honoring the saints whose relics are among the 1,100 housed in the shrine. The series kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at St. John Gualbert, 83 Gualbert Ave., Cheektowaga.

“The relic shrine at St. John Gualbert is a unique way to relate to the saints,” said the Rev. Michael H. Burzynski, pastor of the church.

These relics range in age from the first century to the 20th century, and most of them are first class, meaning they are physically part of the saint’s body or connected directly to Christ’s life, according to John Hazlet, director of public relations for St. John Gualbert Church and Diocesan Shrine.

Rev. Burzynski began collecting the relics when he was a student at Notre Dame University in 1977. Shortly after becoming the pastor at St. John Gualbert in 2011, he donated the collection to the parish, where it is now permanently displayed. In 2016, the collection was officially declared a diocesan shrine by Bishop Richard J. Malone.

The series will start with four Masses, each dedicated to a different saint.

The Mass on Oct. 24, dedicated to John Neumann, is followed by Masses for Kateri Tekakwitha Nov. 14, Elizabeth Ann Seton Dec. 5 and Katharine Drexel Jan. 15.

In the future, Rev. Burzynski plans to have a Mass for a new saint every month. This way visitors will have the chance to venerate the relics of other saints they hold dear.

“We invite everyone to take advantage of this opportunity in our midst,” he said.

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