In an effort to bring the Guanellian Cooperators together spiritually, a Holy Hour was planned for January 26th. To help deepen each Cooperator in the Guanellian charism, the hope is that each month a Holy Hour will be offered.
The first Holy Hour was held as pilgrims were headed to Washington DC for the 2017 March for Life, the Guanellian Cooperators gathered in the St. Louis Center Chapel to pray for their safety, a successful March and for an end to the evil of abortion. Fr. David Stawasz, SdC, offered Adoration and Benediction for the occasion. Jerome, an SLC resident, played hymns on the organ and Cooperators read scripture that reminded us of the importance of choosing life. Deuteronomy (30, 15-20) tells us that God always gives us the opportunity to choose Him and implores us that by doing so we will be abundantly blessed. The second reading from Romans (12, 1-2, 9-18) urges us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice not to be conformed to this age but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. We are to give ourselves fully for the good of others and to live in peace with all.
The Gospel of John (15, 9-17) about loving your neighbor as yourself was the backdrop for Fr. David’s homily. He wanted to convey how much the Church values life from conception to natural death. Though most everyone understands the Churches views on abortion, he taught that in cases of persons with terminal or debilitating illness the Church does not require any extraordinary means to sustain life, but what is basic for the dignity of a human person.
Judy Koenn gave her personal testimony as a mother, wife and Christian. Because of her personal trials and hardships she wants everyone to understand that, “God is the restorer of all things. There is nothing that God won’t forgive us of. The only thing that can separate us from God are the sins of our past.” She encouraged everyone to seek His forgiveness; to turn and follow Him. She even spoke of the experience of sitting on a bench in Grand Rapids with a full size statue of Jesus reclined there. She said that you can nestle in close and feel His embrace in a moving way. She encouraged us to imagine ourselves, especially in our darkest moments, to be in the arms of Jesus. She used the gift of her beautiful singing voice to enliven her message.
The Holy Hour, which attracted 25 participants, was very moving and a great kick-off for more spiritually enriching activities sponsored by the Guanellian Cooperators. Special thanks to Sr. Andrea Curran, DSMP; Fr. Amal, SdC; and Fr. Franklin, SdC for their assistance in preparing the Holy Hour.