Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tribute to Pope and Pastor: Church of the Holy Innocents

It is an undeniable fact that Pope Benedict XVI, in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum cura, restored something that was extremely needed in the life of the Church.  Pope Benedict realized that the use of the traditional books would bring much good and healing, and he felt encouraged that “young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction, and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist.”
This led him to encourage the leaders in the Church to “generously open [their] hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.” This call to have a generous heart was heard at the Church of the Holy Innocents in midtown Manhattan (NYC) by Fr. Thomas Kallumady 6 years ago when he opened the doors of the parish entrusted to him to a small traditional community, which has now grown tremendously in a very short time and in a very inspiring way.
Holy Innocents has become known as the only church in the entire Archdiocese of New York to have the daily celebration of the traditional Mass, as well as being the only parish to have solemn Vespers every Sunday of the year (in addition to being known for having a Shrine for the Unborn). The result of this generous openness has been an inspiring revival of the parochial life of this church. Attendance and collections have increased, lay participation and donations have been generous and committed, and popular pious devotions have become more common, all of which has brought about a very active, vibrant community of faith.
Generosity and dedication such as the one seen at this parish church, which answered the call of Pope Benedict with complete trust and faith in God, tends not to go unrecognized. In gratitude and tribute to Pope Benedict and Fr. Thomas Kallumady, Mr. Donald Reynolds and Mrs. Nancy Reynolds have overseen the sculpturing and casting of a medal to honor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Fr. Thomas Kallumady, previous Pastor of the Church of the Holy Innocents.
Attached is a copy of a flyer with a picture of the front and the back of the medals that were made.
The medals were sent to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for giving back the traditional Mass to the entire Church, to Father Thomas Kallumady for allowing the traditional community, and to his Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan as moderator of the Church’s liturgical life in the Archdiocese of New York. 
The sculptor and medalist was Mr. Andrew Pitynski, and the medal was cast by Mr. Johnson Atelier on August 4, 2014 (Feast of St. John Marie Vianney).
Two medals are being placed in important medal collections for research and study by medal scholars, art historians, and interested parties: The National Sculpture Society and the Token and Medal Society.
As an extension, it could be said that this medal is also, indirectly, a recognition of the hard work that many lay parishioners at Holy Innocents have done to make sure that the parochial life of the Church of the Holy Innocents may be fruitful, welcoming, and for the greater glory of God as expected by Pope Benedict.
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

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