3 Evenings at the Cathedral Basilica during the Protests 6.3.20

HOMILY AND REFLECTION

Father Ron Cattany, Pastor and Rector

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Denver

Yesterday was Pentecost. Today is the celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church.

The Holy Spirit brought about the Birth of Christ through Our Blessed Mother. From the Cross, Jesus gave his Mother to us to be our Mother until the end of our time. 

At the same time, he also said from the Cross, ‘I thirst,’ meaning that he thirsts for Souls to give to his Heavenly Father. That includes you and me, the hundreds or maybe even thousands of people who have passed the Cathedral Basilica in the last three days, and those who have vandalized the Cathedral Basilica. 

I would like to share with you the brief log that I have kept about Friday Night, Saturday Night, and Last Night.

 Friday Night:

It was a long night…tear gas, burning dumpster behind office and trash can next to the JPII statue, smoke canisters, flash bangs, tear gas,  gunshots, people milling everywhere, windows broken in our rental restaurant building, SWAT team on 16th and Pennsylvania,  two firetrucks and riot police across from the Mary Garden…until 3:30am…

Some tear gas seepage in Rectory.

Photo from my office Friday Night — fire in CEA Parking Lot.

 Saturday Night:

Crowds on Colfax so thick Phil could not Cross the street…so, no music at 4:30 pm Mass. Logan flooded with people southbound at 4pm heading to protest.

After Mass, mostly scattered activity including car burning on 16th and Sherman, the Logan windows of the Knights of Columbus Hall broken, the Cathedral likely tagged between 10:30-11:30 pm (because of tear gas we could not go outside), SWAT Team of 40 officers across from Cathedral at 11:30 on Logan removing people and vehicles. 

Flash bangs, smoke canisters, and fireworks that protesters used to signal others where they were moving from 11pm to midnight.

Turned off ventilation in the Rectory…still much tear gas in building at 1:15am.

Tags on the shed in Mary parking lot, front brass doors, two on west side of Cathedral, one on Rectory, and the lighted Cathedral sign…against priests, the police, and GOD.

We collected three bags of rocks probably thrown at window…tthey appear to be OK.

I am asking Lawrence to begin paint removal early Sunday morning before paint bakes on.

Father Andreas and I visited at 1am. We will get small fire extinguishers for the priest rooms in case of projectiles. All extinguishers in complex were replaced three weeks ago.

Other photos 10:30pm Saturday until 2am Sunday Morning include tagging at Rectory and Church Front Door, and Lighted Sign.

Police in riot gear at Colfax and Logan still at 2am…

No 6:30pm Mass because of the Curfew.

 Sunday at 5pm:

Still coughing Tear Gas, but a Holy Spirit day…

The graffiti power washed off surfaces, Front Cathedral Doors permanently damaged, the sidewalk entrances fenced on Logan…

Two sets of Creatio Pilgrimages for blessing and Holy Communion and prayer in the Mary Garden. 

 Cardinal Stafford came by…a GREAT JOY!

Father Dollins Vicar General came by to offer support and encouragement…a GREAT BLESSING!

The Archbishop’s Mass was beautiful…a GREAT GIFT!

Several Confessions…anointed a young man from Idaho who will have respiratory tests at National Jewish tomorrow.

The 12:30pm Mass was grace-filled.

 Sunday Night:

9:40 pm… Tear gas at McDonald’s…coming down driveway…

10:02pm… Tear Gas, SWAT Team and fireworks in front of Cathedral…people scattering up Logan, up the Alley, between Rectory and Apartment Building…

Some Tear Gas seepage into Sacristy and Rectory…burning eyes and throat…

Lisa and Deb are in the Mary Garden…with bullet vests…some damage to fences due to those climbing for safety…

The Cathedral has more tagging…about the Church, the Police, the President…and about God…

 One of the highlights of Sunday was two pilgrimage of 40+ Young Catholic Adults organized by Creatio. It had been planned several weeks ago so that the Young Adults could make a Pilgrimage on Pentecost from their home churches to the Cathedral Basilica. 

This Profession of Faith could not have been better timed.

Chris Lanciotti asked me to summarize my little Reflection for an article he is writing for the Catholic News Agency. 

I included that in an email I sent in response to some of the media coverage last night…let me share it with you…

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Thank you for your thoughtful note…

Yes, it is a very uncertain time in the Center of the City.

But, I am very grateful to the Denver Media for their friendship to the Cathedral Basilica through the years. Some I knew in my professional career…some I served on The Salvation Army Board.

And they recognize the Spiritual, Historical, Cultural, and Architectural role of the Cathedral Basilica in Downtown Denver. 

 Thanks to St Pope John Paul II, the iconic windows from the Franz-Meyer studio in Bavaria that was destroyed in World War II, are protected. Yes, there were three bags of rocks in the Mary Garden Parking Lot this morning.

Let me share with you a piece I wrote for CREATIO, a Young Catholic Adult Pilgrimage Organization with whom we are an affiliate, after their Pilgrimage this afternoon of over 40 Young Catholic Adults…

They arrived safely and were greeted by Cathedral Rector Fr. Ron Cattany who offered them a Pilgrim’s Blessing, Holy Communion, Confessions, and Encouraging Words. 

He related to them that at 1am someone had spray-painted the words, “There is No God,” on the Cathedral’s Main Door. Walking through the darkened Cathedral at 2am, with 40 SWAT officers and Tear Gas outside the Church, he looked at the Tabernacle framed by two red candles. From WITHIN the barricaded Church in the Center of a City in pain, he knew, “There was a God”…who would give Rest to the Soul of George Floyd, Comfort to his Grieving Family, Justice for a Senseless Murder, and Peace to Those Affected in Minneapolis,  Denver,  and Other Cities around the  Country and the World.

 The presence of a large group of committed Young Adult Catholics on Pilgrimage from their Church to the Mother Church, on Pentecost, was a Profession of Faith that “There is a God,” active within each one of us, through the Inspiration and Renewal of the Holy Spirit.

He asked Our Pilgrims to pray for the Conversion of the one who wrote those words, that he or she, too, may receive the PEACE that Jesus gave His Apostles…

This is our Hope…

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And it is…

Jesus Thirsts for the souls who do good, and the souls who do bad…He Thirsts for the souls of the persecuted and the just…and HE DOES SO WITH LOVE…

Our Blessed Mother is our Mother throughout our life…and she protects us with her Motherly Love…24/7, in good times and in bad…showering down graces for you and me…making miracles happen even in the darkest of times…

Truly, as the Mother of OUR CHURCH…

+May God Bless You and Keep You+

 

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