Sep 12, 2009
Dear First Thursday Adoration Group and Barnabite Fathers,
Greetings in the LORD!
It is my utmost joy to give thanks to God for His goodness and blessings bestowed upon the First Thursday Adoration Group who have been faithfully gathering at the Barnabite Spiritual Center in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord to praise Him, to adore Him, and to pray to Him for vocations to serve the Lord as priests, religious, married and single in the Church.
What a responsibility and honor to be called to this task. Awareness of this special election prompts one to desire to grow in gratefulness of the heart even more. Although, all those who have been called and chosen by the Lord to pray for vocations may consider themselves blessed indeed, it was the Lord who called them first (cf. Jn 15,16). It was the Lord who is the initiator of all. And his gift is entirely a gratuitous one. So where is there merit to one who has been coming to pray, if everything is God’s gratuitous gift? The merit lies in their trust to rely and to depend solely upon God’s Providence, without which nothing can be accomplished; “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Ps 127,1)
Yes, these men and women of the First Thursday Adoration Group at the Barnabite Spiritual Center did not want to build their foundations in vain, but wanted to build through GOD on GOD, and entirely with GOD. This unique characteristic —trust in God’s love—makes them very much Zaccarian-like. It was Saint Anthony Zaccaria, the founder of the Barnabite Fathers, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, and the Laity of St. Paul, who professed that, “without the love of God we can do nothing; everything relies on this Love.” (Sermon IV) Thus, it may be stated that in the light of all of that has been said so far, it would be very appropriate to call the men and women of the First Thursday Adoration Group the authentic disciples of St. Anthony Zaccaria.
As a son of Saint Anthony and as Provincial Superior it is my wish and desire to express my most sincere words of gratitude to the founders of the First Thursday Adoration Group, namely Rev. Richard Kammerer, Mrs. Winifred (Wink) Alogna, and Mrs. Mary A. Kuehne— who inspired others to follow beginning in October of 1989. I am grateful to all the lay faithful, of whom many have already joined the LORD, who throughout all these long years supported spiritually and financially the existence and ministry of the First Thursday Adoration Group. I thank my fellow Barnabite Confereres, who ministered to this group throughout these 20 years. All of you, the members of the First Thursday Adoration Group and the Barnabite Fathers have been the heart and inspiration to so many of us. Thank you for being disciples who taught us about Christ through the example of your everyday life.
It is my prayer and fervent wish that “God bless you with a special blessing of His, a blessing complete and perfect.” (Anthony Zaccaria, Letter 5)
I remain yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Fr. Robert B. M. Kosek, CRSP, Ph. D.
40-Hour Adoration of The Most Blessed Sacrament May 27-29, 2010