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Patron’s relics leave lasting impression at St. Maria Goretti Parish Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- "Wow! What a 23 hours with the relic of St. Maria Goretti's body in our parish and our church," wrote Msgr. Michael Burke, pastor at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, in his parish bulletin.

Relics of the parish's patroness were at the parish from the morning of October 16 to the morning of October 17. More than 13,000 people from 11 states were estimated to have venerated the relics. According to the parish, there were two medically confirmed healings.

Many volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers -- along with parish staff members -- were needed to help the efforts run smoothly. They served as greeters, staffed the souvenir tables, and performed other duties as needed.

"People are really excited and they're really trying to take in the whole experience," said Lynn Thompson, a parishioner who helped coordinate the volunteer efforts. "They're really feeling the presence of St. Maria Goretti with us."

Security was provided by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Madison Police Department, and JBM Security. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were also on hand.

Memories of weekend

Monsignor Burke also said, "Two memories that I will always cherish are how she drew into her the children and young people. Some of our children came back three times to touch the reliquary containing her body . . .

"The other aspect I'll always remember is the emotion coming out of people after the visitation to her relic in our church. I witnessed unbelievable emotion of people after their visit to her reliquary. The vestibule was filled with people crying who found peace in mercy and forgiveness.

"When we escorted her relic out of church after the 6 a.m. Mass on Saturday, people were clapping and crying. Paul, her driver, and Fr. Carlos [Martins] looked at me and said 'They don't want her leaving!'"

A remembrance wall is planned for outside the parish hall with reflections from young people on the visit of the relics to the parish.

 
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