Today is the Feast of All Saints and it was a beautiful feast at that. The sun shone brightly and the temperature was a modest fifty degrees Fahrenheit which is a gift even in the first week of November in Western New York State. My wife said she wanted to accompany me to Mass at Mt. Irenaeus today. Diane doesn’t always go so it was a gift to have her in the car on our way to the Mountain as we call it. We rode along stopping briefly in the village of Cuba, New York and then on through Friendship and Nile and up the road to our destination. We stopped at the House of Peace to drop off the goodies Diane had prepared and then up the trail to Holy Peace Chapel we strode. As we walked we met others who were joining us for today’s liturgy. Those who come to the Mass each week are part of the Mount Irenaeus community and what a diverse community it is with college students from nearby Houghton College along with students from St. Bonaventure University. Then there are the resident friar community and people like Diane and I who journeyed here today. Today all of us gathered in the chapel were saints and that is what Fr. Dan Riley, OFM invited us to be in his homily. Diane and I have been coming here for over fifteen years now. We know most of the regulars and many of the students. Mount Irenaeus is less like church and more like community and that is what I dare say most of us come regardless or our age. Lyrics that we often begin our celebration with continue to resonate and describe this place.
Let us build a house where love is found
In water, wine and wheat:
A banquet hall on holy ground,
Where peace and justice meet.
Here the love of God, through Jesus,
Is revealed in time and space;
As we share in Christ the feast that frees us:
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place. – Marty Haugen – All Are Welcome