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The Pentecost Miracle

By Fr. Robert J. Carr

Here at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston Massachusetts, the Puerto Rican community refers to a particular event as the Pentecost Miracle.

Members of the University Community working with the media were trying to force Cardinal Bernard Law to resign as Archbishop of Boston. Education and research comprise one of the largest industries in Boston, Massachusetts and includes students and faculty from places like Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University and other institutions. No one knew their motivation at the time, but, later we realized people were trying to silence the Catholic voice to ensure homosexuals could marry in Massachusetts among other anti-life reasons. This now world famous position of this state’s government is law as of May 17, 2004.

However, back then this was not yet the case and protesters worked diligently harassing the Cardinal, parishioners and priests in an attempt to silence the voice of the Catholic Church in Boston. As we were approaching Pentecost, Cardinal Law called for his communities to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which we did in the Puerto Rican Community at the Cathedral.

Demoralized from the harassment and more so because we learned our guitarist and only musician could not make the 9:00 am Spanish mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, we began the day hoping for the best.

The opening song, sung a cappella, impressed me. I chose, for my homily, not to do what I prepared but to preach on that song in light of the Gospel. As I discussed the Gospel message and the song, I called people to join me in reciting the words to the hymn. We began, yet as we continued, the sound of the whole community reciting the words turned into a crescendo of power. We continued word by word, verse by verse. Stronger and stronger we recited together, each driven not by a leader but by a collective enthusiasm that we soon recognized came to us from above.

When we finished the song filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit we all looked at each other thinking, “What was that?” We knew then and we know now that the Holy Spirit was with us, regardless of what the university community and the media wanted to do to us. We call that moment the Pentecost Miracle.

Unfortunately, the Cardinal was forced to resign that December. gay marriage was declared legal a year later and was set into motion on May 17, 2004. However, for the persecuted members of the Puerto Rican community at the Holy Cross in Boston, we know we still have to continue our work preaching the Gospel, with the help of the Holy Spirit.


Catholicism Anew  MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Editor, 617 542-5682



Miracle, Pentecost, Persecution

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