On the Second Sunday of Advent, Cardinal Dolan celebrated the third annual Mass with Latin American consuls general at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Dec. 6 liturgy was also attended by Latin American ambassadors.
“On this special morning, we extend our welcome to ambassadors and consuls general (and their spouses), to our neighbors from Latin America. We love you; we love your people. It brings us joy that you are here with us,” the cardinal said at the start of Mass.
“We respect and we appreciate your important diplomatic works. We wish you a blessed Advent and feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
The Mass was offered in English, with the cardinal’s welcoming comments to the diplomats in Spanish, as was the Communion hymn, “Ábranse los Cielos” (Open Wide the Heavens). About 25 consuls general and ambassadors were part of the congregation of 200.
Later in the homily, Cardinal Dolan spoke about the virtue of patience, the need for repentance, and the significance of eternal salvation, citing the Mass readings.
“Our patience with God is nothing compared to His infinite patience with us,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Listen again to St. Peter’s inspired words: the Lord does not delay His promise. He is patient with you; not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Thank You, Dear Lord, that You’re a lot more patient with us than we are with one another and with You (second reading, 2nd Letter of St. Peter).”
He noted that God “is infinitely patient, taking His time to return as our judge, and giving us the time to repent...Yes, we can always be assured of the Lord’s mercy. We cannot always be assured of tomorrow.”
At the end of a lector’s reading of the Prayer of the Faithful, the cardinal added, “We pray as well for our distinguished ambassadors and consuls general who are here for the people whom they represent, and for such important diplomatic work.”
And at the end of Mass, Cardinal Dolan, in extending blessings added, “And to our distinguished ambassadors and consuls general who are with us, who are siempre bienvenidos aquí (who are always welcomed here).”
Concelebrants included Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Vatican nuncio to the United Nations; Auxiliary Bishop Edmund Whalen, vicar for clergy in the archdiocese; Msgr. Robert Ritchie, cathedral rector; Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of archdiocesan Catholic Charities; and Father Lorenzo Ato, archdiocesan communications director for Hispanic Ministry.
Jorge Islas Lopez, consul general of Mexico in New York, later told Catholic New York, “This is a very important Mass celebration, because it demonstrates how St. Patrick’s Cathedral works and collaborates with the international community. It is a way to celebrate the faith and the Church; and we from Mexico have a long history of collaboration with the New York archdiocese.” That history, he noted, includes the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at the cathedral on Dec. 12.
Wanda Vasquez, director of archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry, told CNY that the annual Mass with Latin American Consuls General, “is to help solidify our collaboration and show our appreciation for their efforts for our Hispanic communities...This annual gathering of the consuls general of Latin America gives hope and comfort to our Hispanic faithful in the Archdiocese of New York.”