Masses Remember Sacrifices
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 1, 2023
WINNEBAGO—On a sunny Memorial Day, May 29, Several Masses were held in Catholic cemeteries of the Diocese of Rockford including at Calvary Cemetery just outside Rockford.
 
Bishop David Malloy celebrated that Mass, assisted by Deacon Peter Addotta of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, calling the Mass “an exercise of gratitude” and “a sacred duty.”
 
“We pray for those who have died for us, for the best of the values of this world, (and) for our freedom,” Bishop Malloy said. “On these Memorial days, we always gather for the completion of the virtue of gratitude ... we carry out our gratitude here especially to all of those who have given their lives in the armed services for our country.”
 
The bishop reflected on being able to gather for the Mass, “not depending upon the permission or the good graces of our authorities. That is a privilege which is not everywhere.” 
 
“This celebration should stop and make us think of the freedoms and especially what as spiritual people we can contribute to the values in our country that are made available to us and in our history because of those sacrifices ... This day reminds us that our freedom that we so willingly take for granted sometimes has not come easily and it has not come cheaply. Since the Revolutionary War, men and women have offered their lives for freedom.”
 
He noted that Pope Francis recently said that to defend a homeland is an act of love. 
 
“It is right and just that we have a true, and a good and honest love for our fellow citizens, love for our families,” Bishop Malloy said. 
 
“We as Catholics gather at this Mass to return that love we have received by those who sacrificed ... it is the deeper love for the souls of those who died for us,” he said.
 
He noted also the extension of the suffering of such sacrifices to those who suffer a lifetime of injuries and the spouses and children “who suffered all of the damages.”
 
The recent Easter season, Bishop Malloy added, “has reminded us that God is life; God is healing; God is love. 
 
“We here are remembering exactly what Memorial Day is: it is to remember those who have sacrificed (and) to use our freedom in gratitude, to pray for their souls.”
 
 
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