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Bishop Johnston visits Benedictines in Clyde

Bishop Johnston visits Benedictines in Clyde - (30-06-2017)

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PHOTO: Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. presides over Eucharist, assisted by Benedictine Sisters Wilmarie Ehrhardt, OSB (left) and Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB.

The sun rose bright and beautiful over the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration's monastery in Clyde, Missouri, on the morning of June 19 - as if it knew a special guest would soon be arriving.

Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese traveled north to see the Benedictine Sisters, his first visit since being installed into office in late 2015.

“Finding time on his busy calendar is difficult, so it was a delight to welcome him to our home.” Clyde Prioress Sister Rita Clair Dohn, OSB said. “It was immediately obvious that he is a very warm and welcoming man, and it seemed we all became dear friends instantly.”

While at the monastery, he served as celebrant for Mass and shared a beautiful homily that centered on the radical nature of Christianity.

“The Gospel is a proclamation of a new way of life…a new reality,” he said to the Benedictine Sisters gathered for Mass. “That’s probably what drew us to our vocation, I think. I don’t know about you, but as a young man I said, ‘I’m on board.”

Bishop Johnston continued, “Living like the Gospel sometimes causes us a little trouble. It gets us at odds with the world, sometimes with our own confreres, our sisters, people that you live with.”

He then shared the inspiring story of Takashi Nagai, a Catholic convert who survived - but lost his wife to - the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. Nagai’s life of prayer and service to the people of Japan earned him the title of  “Servant of God.”

“He raised the spirits of a whole nation,” Bishop Johnston said. “He was able to see grace coming to him in the most austere suffering we could imagine, but he saw God’s provincial plan in all of it and allowed it to take root in his life.”

Bishop Johnston ended his homily with great words of advice, “God gives us graces every day. Now is the day of salvation. God wants to do something great every day. Do not miss it.”

His words certainly inspired those in attendance that day.

“When he was giving his homily, I thought, ‘Wow! What a pastor!’ His homily was practical and inspiring, easy to relate to. I was in awe of him,” Sister Rita Clair said.

Bishop Johnston joined the Sisters for lunch and fellowship after Mass, helping to solidify a new friendship.