On his anniversary, archbishop hails Mary

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz greets Martha Cawson following a Mass commemorating the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Aug. 15 as Richard A. Lechleiter, president of the Catholic Education Foundation, looked on. The day also marked the 10th anniversary of the installation of Archbishop Kurtz as the ninth ordinary of the Archdiocese of Louisville. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz greets Martha Cawson following a Mass commemorating the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Aug. 15 as Richard A. Lechleiter, president of the Catholic Education Foundation, looked on. The day also marked the 10th anniversary of the installation of Archbishop Kurtz as the ninth ordinary of the Archdiocese of Louisville. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

Beneath the coronation window of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz declared the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary a “glorious event.”

The stained-glass window, located in the sanctuary behind the altar, depicts Mary being crowned Queen of Heaven. On the feast of the Assumption, Catholics remember the end of Mary’s earthly life and her assumption into heaven.

Archbishop Kurtz called on the 300 or so people who gathered at the midday liturgy Aug. 15 to model themselves after the Mother of God, to put Christ first in their lives.

“We talk about the Ascension of Jesus
using the active verb. Now we talk about

the Assumption using the passive verb,” the archbishop said in his homily.

While Christ, in his power, raised himself, the archbishop said, it was the Blessed Mother who “depended on the power of another — her son Jesus — to raise her to glory,” he said.

The feast day also marked the 10th anniversary of the archbishop’s installation as the ninth ordinary of the Archdiocese of Louisville. The congregation included priests and members of the archdiocese’s staff, as well as other well-wishers.

He told them, “Thanks also for your prayers as I celebrate my 10th anniversary as archbishop here, that my service will continue to be fruitful.”

Archbishop Kurtz also remembered his predecessor, Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, who died in 2011. Aug. 15 would have marked the 40th anniversary of Archbishop Kelly’s episcopal ordination.

Archbishop Kurtz concluded his homily by praying for “the gift of humility” in order to put other people first.

“When we are praised for any good action, may we be like our Blessed Mother and magnify ourselves to the Lord,” he said.

He referred the congregation to the day’s first reading from the Book of Revelation. In the passage, Mary is likened to “a new ark,” the archbishop said.

“Whereas the ark was the one who held that which was precious and holy in the Old Testament, she is the one who held in her womb the Christ child, Jesus,” he said.

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