Occasionally people will ask me what the predominant ethnic group is at Blessed Sacrament. They’ll even say “Oh, so you’re Irish, so it’s an Irish parish??” And the answer is no. We actually don’t have any particular majority of ethnicity, and that is fine with me. We are not overwhelmingly Polish, German, Italian or described by any other European country of origin. We have a mix of many different people, including Croatians, Africans, French Canadians and perhaps a few who don’t think much about ancestry but identify most as Americans.
A melting pot is actually a traditional way of describing our nation, and in these times of much discussion over immigration and borders it would serve us well to remember that image. I myself am a Canadian-born, Buffalo-raised person whose grandparents and great-grandparents were Irish Catholics. To me, a great mix of people actually seems more Catholic than anything else. So my answer to people who ask is: “We have no group that dominates statistically, so we’re a Catholic parish!” The word Catholic means universal, and thus our faith tradition has no borders. Maybe just the line between here and the Gates of Heaven! And Jesus has won us entry…no visa needed!! He speaks all languages!
If you’re someone looking for a parish to join, I encourage you to come and pray here. Visitors often comment on a warm welcome and a lovely worship space. Of course, our central identity is in Christ Jesus, and our Catholic faith and teaching tell us we can recognize Christ truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist!
And so it is a great honor to be called “Blessed Sacrament”! Sometimes we get 3rd class mail addressed “The Blessed Family” or “The Sacrament Family.” Actually…we’re all three….Blessed Sacrament(al) and family!!!
Fr. Bill Quinlivan