Father Rossi installed at St. Benedict the Moor Church
WINSTON-SALEM — It was a double celebration of sorts as Bishop Peter J. Jugis presided over the installation Mass of Father Lucas Rossi at St. Benedict the Moor Church on July 18 at 7 p.m. at the church on 12th Street.
Father Rossi, who was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte in 2010 and served as parochial vicar at St. Leo the Great Church in Winston-Salem for the past two years, began his first assignment as pastor of the parish on July 10. He signed the official documents during the Mass, in the presence of Bishop Jugis, taking over the leadership of the Winston-Salem parish, established in 1940 as one of four Catholic churches in the city. He will also serve the 200 or so registered families of Good Shepherd Mission in nearby King.
Parishioners from both parishes were on hand as they witnessed their new pastor receive his appointment.
Pictured above: Parishioners from St. Benedict the Moor Church in Winston-Salem and Good Shepherd Mission in King gathered July 18 to welcome their new pastor, Father Lucas Rossi, after his installation Mass at St. Benedict Church.
After signing the documents, Bishop Jugis ushered him to several areas inside the church to explain Father Rossi's responsibilities in serving the faithful: the baptismal font, the confessional, the altar and the tabernacle, the pastor's chair, etc. Each place in the church, starting with an open and welcoming front door, marks an important part of the pastor's duties in administering the sacraments and encouraging the faithful to holiness.
During his homily, Bishop Jugis took time to encourage the parishioners and their new pastor.
"The installation of a pastor is always a good opportunity for the parish as a whole to take a look at the mission of a parish," Bishop Jugis said. "Why does the parish exist? Why is it here in the first place?
"Because it is a new beginning with a new pastor, it's important to remember that the most important mission of any parish church is the worship of God. The first thing we are to do is to give glory, praise and honor to Almighty God and celebrate the sacred mysteries that take place here on this altar.
"God is always first, no matter what activities take place at the parish," he said.
The second reason any parish exists is for the sanctification of the parishioners, he continued.
"You are on the path of salvation, tending towards eternal life, and you have a duty to be sanctified and be holy yourselves through the celebration of the sacred mysteries of the altar and the other sacraments, and through the preaching of God. You have a responsibility to be always reconciled to God."
He concluded that the third purpose for a parish is for evangelization, to be a leaven for the local community, bringing the love and truth of Christ out into the community.
He gave all present their mission, stating, "Your mission is the worship of God, your sanctification and to take God into the world."
He also explained Father Rossi's mission as pastor.
"Father's mission is to prepare you for eternal life. His responsibility is three-fold: teaching, sanctifying through the sacraments, and coming to know the people of God."
And in a lighter moment, Bishop Jugis drew laughter from the congregation when he looked at Father Rossi, and with a smile, said, "Father Rossi, do not be afraid!"
He then reassured Father Rossi that he has his bishop, brother priests and parish family to help him in his first assignment as pastor.
"You are not alone – God gives you many helpers."
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
View more photos from the installation Mass:
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy