It was the last time that Matthew Kuna would remove the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle and insert it into the monstrance as a Deacon. The next time he will do so, it will be with the hands of a priest.
Deacon Kuna was preparing the altar for the Holy Hour on June 3, the eve of his Ordination to the Priesthood. Bishop Alfred Schlert presided over the Holy Hour, at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown.
The Holy Hour included an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which the Church dedicates the month of June. Honoring both Christ’s humanity and divinity, devotion to the Sacred Heart dates back to the early days of the Church. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost, and will fall this year on June 24.
“What a joy it is for us to be here, on this eve of an Ordination to the Priesthood,” said Father Adam Sedar, diocesan Vicar for Clergy, serving as homilist for the Holy Hour.
Addressing Deacon Kuna, he continued, “But the Church throughout the whole world also rejoices, because very soon, oh priest-to-be, you will be standing at the altar offering the only sacrifice that brings salvation to the whole world.”
Noting that it isn’t only the living faithful who benefit from the priest’s offering at Mass, Father Sedar stated that “the Church Suffering also rejoices. Those poor souls are longing more than we can know for another priest to be representing to the Father the sacrifice of His Son,” thereby receiving “immense comfort and the grace to be purified.”
Deacon Kuna assisted the Bishop with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. After the Benediction hymn, Bishop Schlert recited a short prayer invoking the saint of the day, St. Charles Lwanga and his companions. A young catechist and a convert from paganism, he was martyred along with 21 of his companions in 1886 by order of the pagan king of Uganda.
The Holy Hour took place as the jubilee Year of the Real Presence draws to a close. The Bishop has invited the faithful to express their gratitude for the Jubilee Year by participating in a Novena leading up to the June 24 solemnity.
The Novena will begin Thursday, June 16 and may be prayed in union with the members of the Diocese via video shared on Facebook, YouTube, and the diocesan website.
A video of the June 3 Holy Hour on the Eve of Ordination may be viewed on the Diocese of Allentown Facebook and YouTube pages.