Brother Wind Blows Out Lights at Georgia Easter Vigil

Maria Hayes In the Headlines

On a breezy night, Catholics at the University of Georgia gathered for the Easter Vigil service. The beginning of the Mass went as planned — candles were lit, 20 RCIA candidates were welcomed into the Church, and the Gospel was proclaimed.

Then the lights went out. A strong gust of wind had cut the power to the Catholic Center.

Because the Vigil had begun at 8:30 p.m., friars and attendees could not rely on sunlight to stream through the stained glass and illuminate the chapel. Instead, they relit their candles in the pews and around the altar, and continued to celebrate Mass as the wind howled outside.

“Most people said this was their most beautiful Easter Vigil,” said Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, director, who celebrated the Eucharist. “In a sense, 2,000 years ago, there were no lights, but the people of light became visible in the presence of God and community.” Photos of the April 19 Mass were posted on the UGA Catholic Center’s Facebook page.

The blackout was memorable in the multitude of Easter events held around the Province.

On the day before Easter, parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Church in Narrowsburg, N.Y., gathered at 2 Franks’ Café, a new parish initiative. The free fellowship luncheon is open to everyone and held the third Saturday of each month.

More than 50 people attended the April 19 event, the second since the program began.

“Under the direction of pastor William Scully, OFM, 2 Franks Café is named for St. Francis Xavier and St. Francis of Assisi, hence the two Franks,” said Cathleen Breen, the parish’s coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. The parish’s JPIC volunteers staff the luncheons.

On Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny appeared after the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., much to the delight of the children. They took advantage of the beautiful weather to hunt for Easter eggs hidden on the parish grounds, according to Christopher VanHaight, OFM, pastor.

— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. The above image is courtesy of the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia.