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Blessed John Paul II Parish to Celebrate Inaugural Events | News

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Blessed John Paul II Parish to Celebrate Inaugural Events
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Blessed John Paul II Parish to Celebrate Inaugural Events

            Blessed John Paul II Parish, which was officially formed by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, on Sept. 1, will celebrate a series of events to mark the establishment of the Lake View faith community.  The parish was formed by the merger of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Lake View, and St. Vincent de Paul Parish, North Evans.  The new parish will utilize the Lake View site for all parish activity.

            Wednesday, Sept. 14:  The parish will offer a unique evening prayer service, with the altar stone from St. Vincent’s Church processed into Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and placed in the altar.  The Eucharist, Easter Candle and significant symbolic and meaningful items will be put into place for use during parish celebrations.  Throughout the service, scripture readings will be proclaimed along with excerpts of the writings of Blessed John Paul II.  Father Peter J. Karalus, pastor of Blessed John Paul II Parish, will preach with a combined music ministry of all parish musicians providing music.

            Wednesday, Sept. 21:  Bishop Kmiec will celebrate the inaugural Mass of the new parish.  Father Karalus, along with the previous pastors and parochial vicars of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Vincent de Paul parishes, will concelebrate.

            During the introductory rites of the Mass, the congregation will be sprinkled with holy water that was blessed by Pope John Paul II during his pastoral visit to New York City in 1995.  The offertory procession will include a second class relic of Blessed John Paul II which will remain at the parish for veneration. 

            Bishop Kmiec will present a special Apostolic Blessing from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to all members of the new parish.  Along with the parishioners, the students of Southtowns Catholic Elementary School, which is based at the parish, will be in attendance.  The combined music ministry composed of the various parish music ministries will provide music during the liturgy.

            Since September 2010, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Vincent de Paul parishes have been linked with one pastor, sharing a worship schedule with blended ministries, organizations, and other parish groups.  For over two decades the two parishes have supported the Southtowns Catholic School. 

            The leadership committees of both parishes have met and worked together.  Through this collaboration, they conducted a self-study of each parish, hosted joint-parish meetings and prayer services as they investigated the best structure for parish life.  After study and consultations, the two parishes proposed to merge to form one parish community utilizing one site.  The proposal was presented to Bishop Kmiec for approval, which he announced in May 1, 2011, to coincide with the beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II held at the Vatican that same day.

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