100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Follow me!” In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus issuing the call to discipleship. This call of Jesus to follow Him is at the very heart of the Gospel. It’s at the heart of our faith – the call of Jesus to each one of us personally to be His disciples. He asks for our wholehearted and unconditional response. No conditions – Jesus made this clear to the one who asked to go first and bury his father. Our Lord’s response to him may seem harsh, but Jesus is teaching us that He must come first, even before family obligations. Another asked to say farewell to his family before he followed Jesus. Again, Jesus says no. We can’t say to Jesus, “I will follow you, but….”. Our response to Jesus must be unconditional. Following Jesus must always be our number one priority. The Gospel today is teaching us that following Jesus requires our resolute determination, not looking back to what we leave behind. Jesus says: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” Entering into God’s kingdom demands our full attention and absolute commitment.

Sigueme! En el Evangelio de hoy, escuchamos a Jesus hacienda el llamado al discipulado. Esta llamada de Jesus a seguirlo es al corazon del Evangelio y de nuestra fe – la llamada de Jesus a cada uno de nosotros personalmenta a ser sus discipulos. El Senor pide nuestra respuesta sincera e incondicional. El Senor nos llama a seguirlo sin condiciones. Esto es claro cuando en el evangelio de hoy cuando alguien le pidio ir primero a enterrar a su padre. Jesus le dijo “no.” La respuesta de Jesus parece duro, pero Jesus nos esta ensenando que El debe venir primero, incluso antes de las obligaciones familiares. Otra persona le dijo: “Te seguire, Senor, pero permiteme que me despida de los mios.” Una vez mas, Jesus dice que no. No podemos decir a Jesus: “te seguire, pero…” Nuestra respuesta a Jesus debe ser incondicional. Seguir a Jesus debe ser siempre nuestra prioridad numero uno. El Evangelio de hoy nos esta ensenando que el seguir a Jesus require nuestra firme determinacion, no mirando hacia atras. Jesus dice: “Todo el que pone la mano al arado y mira para atras, no sirve para el Reino de Dios.” El Reino de Dios exige nuestra atencion y compromiso absoluto.

Today we celebrate with gratitude the 100th anniversary of this community of Our Lady of Hungary. I don’t say 100th anniversary of this parish since Our Lady of Hungary only officially became a parish 95 years ago, in 1921, when Bishop Hermann Alerding, the 4th Bishop of Fort Wayne, appointed the first pastor, Father Geza Gyorfy. But it was 100 years ago, in 1916, that this community began as a mission church of Saint Stephen’s parish. It became a community of disciples. Those first parishioners, like us gathered here today, were committed disciples of Jesus. They heard and answered Jesus’ call: “Follow me.” We know that those first parishioners, Hungarian-American Catholics, were steadfast in their faith and were deeply committed to following Jesus. They made many sacrifices to build this parish. They built a church here in 1923 and a school in 1927. Later, under the leadership of Father John Sabo, they built this beautiful church in 1949. Today, it is good to remember Monsignor Sabo who spent his whole priestly ministry here at Our Lady of Hungary, from 1930 until his retirement in 1980: 50 years of priestly ministry (45 of which he served as pastor) here at Our Lady’s. He was a disciple, a priest who put his hand to the plow and did not look back. Today we give thanks and pray for him and all the priests who have served here at Our Lady of Hungary. We also give thanks for the many sisters who taught in the school through the years, the Daughters of Divine Charity. And we give