Society Gathers for Annual Celebration of Faith
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 19, 2019
LOVES PARK—This year’s Perpetual Light Mass and dinner was held on Thursday, Sept. 12, at St. Bridget Parish.
 
Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass with Msgr. Stephen Knox, with Deacon Greg Urban assisting. 
 
As he began the Mass, the bishop called perpetual light “the call, the gift of heaven itself, Christ Himself ... . It’s the very heart, soul and essence of what it is we work for in the Church, what we contribute for, what we pray for.”
 
The Boylan Central  Catholic High School Chamber Singers provided music for the Mass, and The Missalette group of mostly grade school Catholic students entertained after dinner.
 
At the dinner, Ron Bykowski was honored for 15 years of service on the board of The Catholic Foundation for the People of the Diocese of Rockford. As a specialist in real estate, Bykowski said he had enjoyed learning about stocks and bonds at the meetings.
 
Dan O’Malley, executive director of the foundation shared a few of the facts about the society, including that it is the 11th largest Catholic foundation in the country.
 
The Perpetual Light Society was established to thank and celebrate with parishioners who remember the Church in their will, estate or other planned gift. 
 
“By doing so, we proclaim that our faith was a priority in our lifetime,” said the invitation to members, adding their foresight also ensures “that those who come after us will have similar opportunities to grow in their faith and thus, furthering the mission of the Church.”
 
Drawing from the day’s readings in his homily, Bishop Malloy focused on St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians that said, “Do everything in the name of the Lord.”
 
“That’s how encompassing this faith is, should be,” he said. “And that’s why I’m so grateful for this group, the Perpetual Light Society, because what we are contributing to is the continuance of that faith. 
 
“It is the outreach of Christ’s hands through us in ways that many of us cannot do, minute to minute, hour to hour, because Christ has entrusted to us other things to do.
 
“And so we can do what we can — and we can help the Church to do more for the poor, the sick, for those who have fallen into sin and need to be forgiven, for our young people who need to have the encouragement of the Catholic community to grow up in ... so many good things that are so worth our prayers, our efforts, our contributions.  
 
“I’m very, very grateful to the Perpetual Light Society and to each one of you.”