Rev. Michael Cronogue, SSE, left, and Superior General Stephen Hornat, SSE, in front of the Archangel Michael statue on campus holding their tickets to Wednesday's Papal Mass in Washington
Three members of the Society of Saint Edmund, founding order of Saint Michael’s College, will be attending Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception with Pope Francis on Wednesday, Sept. 23, the day after his arrival.
They include Superior General Very Rev. Stephen Hornat, SSE '72; Rev. Michael Cronogue, SSE; and Brother Michael Carter '11, who is in his third year of theology studies at Boston College in preparation for ordination to priesthood with the Edmundites.
Father Hornat, a Connecticut native and 1972 Saint Michael’s graduate, has permission to concelebrate Mass with the pope, along with superiors of other different North American religious communities. He says he and the others underwent an extensive security-check process to get tickets to be present in the Basilica for the Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at 4:15 p.m. that day.
This is not Fr. Hornat’s first time meeting or concelebrating with a pope: “I met John Paul II in Philadelphia in 1979 when he was newly installed as pope; I was vocation director then and he wanted to invite seminarians and vocation directors to be with him at an auditorium in Philadelphia, and that too was a ticket-only event,” he said. “And I concelebrated with Benedict on two occasions in Rome when I was on sabbatical at the North American college in 2008 and they needed priests to give out communion to all the pilgrims who were coming -- so this will be my third pope!” Father Hornat spent many years serving the Edmundites’ Missions in historic Selma, AL, as a pastor and founder of a mission corps program for college students and so has a special interest in what the pope might say on issues of racial justice.
Connecticut native Father Cronogue, longtime director of the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice at Saint Michael’s, will have a special interest in the pope’s message on issues with that focus, including his recent environmental encyclical, Laudato Si. The college hosted a symposium on that encyclical on Sept. 8.
The Edmundite group were to fly out of Boston Wednesday morning and return later that same evening after participating in the Mass. Brother Carter will stay in Boston upon return from the trip to continue his studies, while Fathers Hornat and Cronogue will head back to Vermont promptly.
Also, the upcoming World Family Mass held by His Holiness Pope Francis will be shown on a large screen for public viewing on campus at the Cheray Science Hall 101 on Sunday, September 27, 2015. Mass starts promptly at 4 p.m. Seating may be limited, so please arrive early.