By RENEE WEBB
Have you ever wondered what it was like in the moments leading up to Christ’s crucifixion?
Call from the Crucified Heart, a narrative program that includes veneration of eight relics of the Passion of Christ, will immerse attendees in Christ’s walk to Calvary. Sponsored by Trinity Heights, it will be presented on July 12 at Holy Cross Parish, St. Michael Church in Sioux City.
According to Connie Funk, chair of the spiritual committee at Trinity Heights, the event will begin with a holy hour including exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 6 p.m., a narrative program at 7 p.m., followed by veneration of the relics.
“I think this narration and the relics will touch our hearts in such a way that when we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, those will be the images that come to mind to inspire us to immerse ourselves more closely in the Passion of Christ and in Mary’s heart as she experienced the Passion herself,” Funk said. “It will allow us to enter into more closely the suffering that Christ and his mother went through.”
Call from the Crucified Heart will be offered as the final session of Trinity Heights’ 2017 Summer Series that is focused on the holy rosary, selected in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary at Fatima.
Centered on the Passion and death of Christ, Funk said, it will help bring to life the Sorrowful Mysteries. Each of the summer sessions that were presented at Trinity Heights this year focused on a different set of mysteries of the rosary.
Call from the Crucified Heart is offered by The Apostolate for Holy Relics, based in Connecticut, and is presented by Denise Serafini.
“People will get to experience a sense for the true love of the father that is evident in the Passion of his son. They get to walk to Calvary with Jesus and Mary by his side. They can feel the walk,” she said. “Many people tell me they feel like they were there as an objective observer, although we want them to be an engaged observer.”
Serafini created the narrative from excerpts of the Gospels of St. John and Luke, the writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and meditations of the passion by the Passionist Missionaries. Call from the Crucified Heart features meditations and scenes of the Passion and highlights a perspective on Mary as she accompanied Jesus on the path to Calvary.
“It’s multi-sensory. It’s what you hear in the music, it’s what you feel because of the narration, it’s what you see in the visuals that are presented – the backdrops that show a unique perspective of Jesus in his suffering,” said the event coordinator, who also spoke of the sense of touch as they venerate the relics.
There is a musical interlude tied to each of the meditations and intercessory prayers try to correlate the meaning of each scene in Christ’s passion to current life.
Following the narrative program, eight relics of the Passion of Christ will be available for veneration.
“Each of the individuals who attends gets to have an encounter with each of the relics,” Serafini said. “I encourage them to approach the relics with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to enlighten them as to what they should be talking to Jesus about.”
The Apostolate for Holy Relics, noted Serafini, has about 1,200 relics in its care. Rather than bringing out large groups of relics at a time, she explained they are taken out in small collections, usually relating to particular message.
Relics of the Passion, she added, have gone as far as Guam and the Philippines where they were viewed by more than a million people.
The presenter said it provides a unique experience that is not readily accessible.
“You get to see a rare set of relics that are brought together so you can commemorate the actual events that relate to the collection, which is something you will never have even if you were to go to Italy, France and the Holy Land,” said Serafini, who said you could see them separately but not together in one collection coupled with a presentation to understand the story of Christ’s passion.
Potentially, Funk said, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is the first time Call from the Crucified Heart will be offered in Iowa and it’s possible this will be the only offering.
A free-will offering will be taken for the Apostolate for Holy Relics.
RELICS OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST
- Relic of the True Cross
- Piece of stone from the table or room where the Last Supper was held
- Piece of column of Flagellation, where Jesus was scourged
- Reed from the crown of thorns
- Image of the Veil of St. Veronica that was directly touched to the original veil – second-class relic
- Filings taken from the true nails that are impeded in a replica of the holy nail
- Piece of bone from St. Longinus, the centurion that pierced the side of Jesus
- A thread from the cloth used as the wrapping for the burial shroud