Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, celebrated All Saints Day Mass at Saint Viator High School — before a jam-packed crowd. Not only was the entire student body in attendance, but some 180 grandparents who responded to the school’s Grandparents’ Day invitation.
Consequently, Fr. Lydon — whose students always review his sermons afterwards — had to negotiate between drawing in his young audience as well as the many adults who packed the Cahill Gymnasium.
To do so, he opened with a story about pop star, Selena Gomez, and her reliance on faith, as well as the story of Blessed Stanley Rother, a diocesan priest who was murdered in Guatemala and now has been beatified, on his way to sainthood.
But Fr. Lydon also wove in stories of holy people who worked at Saint Viator High School, including Mrs. JoAnn Calzaretta and Fr. Pat Cahill, CSV.
“For Viatorians and for our community here at Saint Viator, Fr. Cahill is a model of heroic faith, integrity, leadership and devotion,” Fr. Lydon said, adding that he would be using Fr. Cahill’s chalice during the Mass.
Both Mrs. Calzaretta — who brought a passion for the arts to the school — and Fr. Cahill, Fr. Lydon concluded, were examples of love.
“On All Saints Day, it is important to ask ourselves, ‘Who are the living saints in my life,’ ” he asked. “Who are the poor in spirit, those who put their complete trust in God? Who are those who ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness,’ who desire to be in the right relationship with God by being merciful, just and compassionate? Who are the examples of love in your own lives?”
In fact, Fr. Lydon added, many of those very examples of love and heroic faith were right there at Mass, the students’ grandparents.
“How blessed we are to have them here,” he said. “There probably are no better examples of love than your grandparents.”