BY BROOKSI HUDSON
GOOSE CREEK — Immaculate Conception Church held its annual parish mission March 6-10 with Benedictine Father Edmund McCaffrey as the keynote speaker.
The theme for the mission is a carry-over from the theme first introduced during the 2004 Advent season, “Walk in this Light.”
“The idea is for all liturgical outputs to carry this theme of the light for the entire year,” said Adorno Father Frank Palmieri, pastor. “And this year has been declared the year of the Eucharist by the Holy Father. The Eucharist is the light itself.”
Father McCaffrey is the former abbot of Belmont Abbey, a retired pastor of Holy Family Parish in Hilton Head, and co-founder of the Institute on Religious Life in Chicago.
“I spoke on adoration of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance, Mary the Mother of the Eucharist, and ended the week with angels in adoration,” he said.
The goal for the mission was that parishioners would grow in love for the Eucharist, adoration, and Mass, said the speaker.
“The little white host is the greatest love story of all times,” he said. “Eucharistic adoration in a parish causes wonderful things to happen.”
Father McCaffrey spoke about the “two poles” of the ministry, which include the altar and the confessional.
“Regular confession is like a microscope,” he said. “If I look at my hand with the naked eye it looks like nothing is on it, but if I place it under a microscope I will see lots of little things. Confession is like that — it helps to refine the soul and gives a sensitivity to sin. The more often you go the more little things you will begin to see.”
“As Mother Teresa said, the purpose of life is to become holy and go to heaven,” he said. “She always required her Missionaries of Charity to go to weekly confession. She wanted them to experience the joy of reconciliation and penance.”
To encourage parishioners who had been avoiding the confessional out of fear or anxiety, Father McCaffrey offered a penance of one Hail Mary and one Our Father.