During the first week of the Baltimore Provincial Chapter, on the Feast of our brother, Clement Hofbauer, Lucy Burich-McNamara was professed as a Lay Missionary of the Most Holy Redeemer! See the photos that tell the story of that happy evening!
Lucy has been serving the Province as co-coordinator with Francis Gargani for several years. After the Redemptorists handed over the reins of her parish of St. Martin of Tours in Bethpage, Long Island, to the Rockville Centre Diocese, with Pat Woods serving as its final Redemptorist pastor, Lucy orchestrated a Partners in Mission [PIM] group to keep the Redemptorist Charism alive among many of the parish community. It continues to thrive!
St. Clement Hofbauer was rejoicing with the Province and our entire Redemptorist Family, for sure, that special evening, since in his own ministry, Clement enthusiastically promoted lay leadership in our mission.
It was lovely that Lucy’s parents and children were present and joined in the festive dinner that followed the Eucharist.
Festive indeed, because not only did the toastmaster par excellence, John McGowan, orchestrate a wonderful after-dinner “cabaret,” but there was surprise after surprise. Our Vietnamese confreres sang a special song for Lucy, while Phil Dabney composed a rap for her that was truly delightful!
At that 4:30 p.m. Eucharist, Francis invited both our retiring Superior General, Michael Brehl, and pastor of Annapolis, former Provincial, Pat Woods, to join him in sharing the Homily. Michael gave a wonderful historical sketch of Clement, highlighting his promotion of the laity in mission, and Pat shared how Lucy took up the banner of the Redemptorists, after we moved on from Bethpage, and helped birth our first PIM in a former ministry site. Our new Vicar of the Province, John Olenick, presided at the Mass, and our new Provincial, John Collins, presented Lucy with her certificate and offered gracious, affirming words of Lucy’s commitment.
PIM Redemptorist facilitators then had a small “after-party,” presenting Lucy with a small token of congratulations, and toasted her with champagne and lots of mirth and storytelling! As they say, a lovely time was had by all!
Lucy continues to coordinate our Province efforts to share both our rich Redemptorist spirituality and invitation to shared ministry, with Francis. With several confreres, she and Francis meet monthly to promote and support our PIM groups. Special focus has begun to expand PIM to our Spanish parishioners in several of our parishes. More will be shared in future editions of the Beacon. Lucy also meets monthly with Francis for the PIM Commission of our North American Conference, and recently participated in both the North American Conference Assembly and Phase III of the General Chapter.
As we have been doing, we hope to keep all our Beacon readers aware of our various PIM Groups, and our on-going promotion and formation and mission of our PIM members.
We are proud of Lucy and all she represents for us, as we are proud of all our PIM members!
Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R.
The article was published in the May issue of The Baltimore Beacon.