Diocese begins golden anniversary celebration with 40 hours of Adoration

North Texas Catholic
(Mar 7, 2019) Local

FORT WORTH — The Eucharist makes us the Church. This truth is timeless and universal, but it’s been selected as the theme for a specific and local occasion — the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Fort Worth.

The celebration will begin with Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ — also known as the Feast of Corpus Christi — on Sunday, June 23 at 5 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. The feast day, which was instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264, celebrates the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

After the Mass, the Keller church will remain open for 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration, closing with a benediction on Tuesday, June 25.

Three other 40-hour Eucharistic Adorations are planned during the diocese’s anniversary year. Bishop Michael Olson specifically requests prayers for priestly vocations during the Adorations because priests are necessary for the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Blessed Sacrament.


The diocese begins

In 1847, the Diocese of Galveston was founded, which included all of the great state of Texas (and our hometown favorite, the 23,947 square miles that form the current Diocese of Fort Worth).

As the population grew in North Texas, the Diocese of Dallas was formed in 1890. It contained seven parishes currently in the Diocese of Fort Worth — St. Patrick in Fort Worth, St. Joseph in Cleburne, St. Mary in Gainesville, St. Mary in Henrietta, Our Lady of Mercy in Hillsboro, Sacred Heart in Muenster, and St. Stephen in Weatherford. In 1953, with a new designation as the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth, Fort Worth’s significance was acknowledged.

Pope Paul VI divided the diocese into two, and the Diocese of Fort Worth was announced on August 27, 1969. Bishop John Cassata was chosen to lead the 28-county diocese, which had 66 parishes and 75,000 Catholics at the time.

Currently, the Diocese of Fort Worth is home to an estimated 1.1 million Catholics in 90 parishes.


The celebration continues

To mark the anniversary of the diocese’s creation, all faithful in the diocese are invited to a Mass at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Wednesday, August 21 at 7 p.m. A reception will follow.

Although special guests are not confirmed at this early date, dozens of bishops from across the country and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S., are expected to attend.

Notre Dame Cathedral in France is one of the various sites pilgrims from the Diocese of Fort Worth will visit during the 2020 anniversary pilgrimage. (Unsplash/Hannah Reding)

Near the conclusion of the diocese’s 50th year, Bishop Michael Olson will accompany other pilgrims on a nine-day tour of the Marian shrines of France beginning June 2, 2020. “Those who join Bishop Olson will experience the Church in a very special way on this 50th anniversary pilgrimage,” said Jason Spoolstra, director of youth, young adult, campus, and singles ministries.  

The group will visit sites with deep roots in Marian spirituality and a strong tradition of vocations. Highlights will include daily Mass, the grotto of Lourdes, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. Pilgrims will walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette, St. Jean-Marie Vianney, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. Therese of Lisieux, among others.

In addition to single individuals and married couples, the pilgrimage is open to families. “It promises to be fruitful for anyone attending, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a pilgrimage as a family,” explained Spoolstra. “A family pilgrimage strengthens the family’s love between the spouses and their children and re-centers the family in Christ.”

More information can be found at fwdioc.org/young-adult-ministry-pilgrimage.

The year-long celebration of the anniversary is scheduled to conclude as it began, with the celebration of Mass followed by 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration. St. Peter Parish in Lindsay will host the Mass and prayer on June 14, 2020.

As the anniversary events are finalized, details can be found at fwdioc.org and in subsequent issues of the North Texas Catholic, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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