On behalf of St. Elizabeth Parish, I would like to express my gratitude to all those, not only entrusted officials but also parishioners, who, over the last 125 years, helped our parish to reach this milestone through their sacrifices, volunteer work, and generous donations. First of all, we think of the pastors and their associates, who for decades, sometimes under difficult circumstances, remained steadfast and faithful in following in the footsteps of Christ and in leading and defending the flock entrusted to them.
We fondly remember the religious sisters, the Ursulines and the Daughters of the Divine Redeemer, who taught at the parish school for just over 70 years. We are grateful to those who, during the changes to the Buckeye neighborhood, continued to remain faithful to the parish. We would not be able to celebrate today without their perseverance, generous support, and work. I am especially thankful to those who, for almost 30 years, stood by me as their pastor and helped me in every way they could to make our parish become viable again. Last but not least, I am thankful to the individuals who helped me to prepare for this milestone celebration. It was not an easy task, but thanks are to God, we made it.
Brothers and Sisters: Most of the mentioned leaders and parishioners have now passed on. Today, we deeply honor their sacrifices and support, and we ask our Lord to be merciful and to grant them eternal life. And for those celebrating with us today, we ask our Lord to grant them mercy and love and to reward them abundantly with spiritual peace for their work and sacrifices.
We are thankful to our Diocesan Bishop, Nelson Perez, for celebrating the Jubilee Mass; to our emeritus Auxiliary Bishop, Roger Gries for his homily; to Abbot Gary Hoover for joining us; to the Hungarian Bishop’s delegate, Fr. Barnabas Kiss, for his Hungarian homily; to Fr. Richard Bona, for his role as Master of Ceremonies, and to Fr. Andras Mezei.
We are very happy that representatives from the Hungarian Government, Deputy Secretary of State, Dr. Szilágyi Péter, Consul General, Dr. Bencsik Zita Ilona, and their assistants, were able to join us today. They presented us a proclamation from the Hungarian Government, recognizing our designation as the first Hungarian Roman Catholic church in America. Thank you very much!
Today, on this jubilee celebration, as we reflect on the past 125 years, we first and foremost thank our Heavenly Father for his blessings. We give thanks to him for having kept our parish in the shelter of his care. As we look toward the future, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, so we cannot make any predictions. However, with prayerful spirit, we entrust our church community to the protection of our loving God.