By Michael Byrne ‘23 and Louis DeSano ‘23
Prayer is an essential part of all of our lives, something that we can bring along with us through the ups and downs of life. No matter the circumstances, our connection to God is a constant. Throughout our lives, He is always there to reply to what we have to say. Prayer, for Catholics, is always crucial and efficacious. As such, a congregation joined in prayer is but a force for change. When we all pray for a common purpose, the true power of prayer can be felt. That is exactly what happens each and every time we attend Mass and pray as a community. Chaminade’s Gold Star Mass is no exception.
During this offering to God we all pray for the men who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to God. The Gold Star Mass is one of the most powerful celebrations of faith for Chaminade students, as it conveys such a vital message. The Mass acts as a tribute to the 56 brave Chaminade alumni who fought for our country and for freedom at the cost of their own lives.
This year, however, seemed to be different than any Gold Star Mass in recent history, as it was a return to normalcy in our devotion to God as a community. The Gold Star Mass was a light at the end of a lengthy and dark tunnel in our country’s and our Church’s history. It was truly a force for change and a return to the most moving tradition we have as members of the Chaminade Family.
This year the Mass was celebrated by the Most Reverend Richard Garth Henning of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, a graduate of the Chaminade class of 1982. He gave very powerful remarks about those 56 alumni who gave their lives to defend freedom. He also spoke on the importance of God and the Eucharist in daily life. Those in attendance were reminded of the Catholic motif of bringing everything in our lives to God for assistance.
Bishop Henning showed us that the most powerful and important thing that we have as Catholics is the miracle that occurs in the form of the Eucharist’s transubstantiation. Another point he touched upon in his homily is the need to pray for those who are currently in harm’s way and to pray that through God they will come out the other side, stronger than before. It is in the death of Jesus that we see the light we are supposed to reach in this world, and which serves as our inspiration for what we should strive for in the next.
This service is motivational to all that attend it. It shows us the importance of the sacrifice that these young men gave for their country and instructs us how we can serve God and others, just as they did. While not everyone is called to serve our country in the armed forces, we are all called to serve in different ways, and through these acts of service we can be a light to the world, following in the example of Jesus and the Gold Star Alumni.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:23