Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Citation
18 November 2012
The source and summit of every parish activity is the Sunday celebration of the Mass. Without the Mass our efforts become burdensome and produce only superficial and passing fruit. In the Mass, the action of God transforms us and we become instruments of divine activity that always produces and abundant and eternal harvest. As I grew in my own appreciation of the Mass in my early years as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Victories, I found in Carey Haines one who was eager to discover more about the meaning and beauty of the Mass, and who wanted to help parishioners to participate more fully and consciously in the Sunday Mass. Carey travelled at his own expense to take part in two weeks of a formation programme in the United States. On his return we began to work together to ensure that the worthy celebration of Sunday Mass was the heart of parish life at Our Lady of Victories.
This was a challenge for the parish since it involved a more intensive focus on the Mass as the action of God given to us through the Church. Our task is to celebrate not to create the Mass.
Carey appreciated this fact, and worked with the priests and people of Our Lady of Victories toward a more dignified celebration of the Mass as the action of Jesus Christ in our midst.
I discovered, often by chance, that Carey was taking time to research not just what happened in the Mass, but the deeper meaning: why the Church leads us to celebrate each part of each rite in specific ways. Carey’s commitment to the liturgy is centred on his life of prayer. In the time of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament before each Mass, Carey spends time in silent prayer, himself aware that the Mass is primarily a divine relationship, not a human activity. Fr. Kevin Burns and myself are grateful for Carey’s support and leadership in the preparation of every detail of liturgies in the parish. Visiting priests always comment with gratitude for Carey’s dignified presence and sound guidance. Parishioners who take part in the ministries of the Mass find in Carey a reliable and generous mentor. All who worship at Our Lady of Victories discover a liturgy that encourages their full and active participation, and focuses clearly on the beauty and power of the action of God in our midst. While many people and priests have encouraged Carey in his role, we are especially grateful to Carey himself, who has accepted a call to service of God in the Liturgy, not simply as a job, but as an opportunity to grow in personal relationship with God. On behalf of the parishioners of Our Lady of Victories I nominated Carey for this award, and I am delighted that the Holy Father also accepts Carey Haines as a worthy recipient of this award, for the Church and for the Pope, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross.