Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

July 4th Cluster Mass Focuses On Peace And Freedom

Father Bernie Etienne, center, pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, offers the Eucharistic Prayer during the July 4 Cluster Mass held by Holy Rosary and Annunciation of the Lord parishes in Evansville. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

Holy Rosary Parish hosted the annual July 4th Cluster Mass for the greater Evansville community. Annunciation of the Lord Parish and Holy Rosary have been offering this Mass for several years.

Father Bernie Etienne, pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, concelebrated the Mass with Father Homero Rodriguez, Holy Rosary associate pastor, and Father Pascal Nduka, associate pastor of Annunciation Parish. Deacons Chris Borowiecki of Holy Rosary, John McMullen of Annunciation and Luke Hasler, who is serving through the summer at Holy Rosary.

Deacon Luke Hasler, who is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in 2019, offered the Mass’ homily. The Gospel, from John 14, in which Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

Deacon Hasler emphasized that Jesus calls us to peace that is not of this world but rather is centered in Christ. “Where there is peace in this world, there is freedom,” he said, referring to the July 4th celebration.

He added that true freedom is found in reaching out together in community – not in isolation. He noted that technology has made it possible for us to perceive a community that really does not exist.

Deacon Hasler urged those in attendance to engage in true dialogue rather than communication by text messages and Facebook posts. “It is easier to post a Facebook response than to truly meet someone and have a dialogue with them,” he said.

During the prayers of the faithful, Father Etienne noted that July 4th always helps us to remember all of the ways God has blessed us. “Help to be a people worth of such gentle care,” he prayed.