Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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St. Aloysius Parish hosts 78th annual Novena of Grace
the Inland Register
(From the Feb. 24, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
Jesuit Fathers Leon Kapfer (left) and Craig Boly will lead this year’s Novena of Grace at St. Aloysius Church, Spokane. (IR photo from St. Aloysius Parish)
Jesuit Fathers Craig Boly and Leon Kapfer will lead this year’s Novena of Grace, offering nine days of prayer and worship from Saturday, March 5 through Sunday, March 13 at St. Aloysius Church, 330 E. Boone in Spokane.
The novena is a nine-day period of concentrated prayer to God for one’s most important intentions.
The Novena of Grace had its earliest beginning in 1615 in Goa, India, when a boy, crippled from birth, was cured through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier. The saint had been canonized, along with his dear friend, Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), on March 12, 1622.
Through the years, other intercessory miracles have been attributed to St. Francis, as well, including the healing of Jesuit Father Mastrilli from a near- death accident in 1633. Father Mastrilli formalized the novena format, which grew in popularity throughout the world, especially in parishes run by the Jesuits.
The Novena of Grace offered each year at St. Aloysius Church in Spokane has been, and remains, the largest in the United States.
During these nine days of prayer, three daily services are scheduled: 12:15, 3:30, and 5:15 p.m. Both Sunday services will begin at 12:30 p.m. to allow for normal Sunday liturgies.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered beginning 45 minutes before each service. For those wishing to receive it, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be offered at all novena liturgies on Saturday, March 12, which coincides with the canonization of Sts. Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier.
This year’s series of novena talks will focus on St. Francis Xavier’s recognition of Jesus as “the bearer of God’s mystery, and the healer of souls.” St. Francis was eager to bring the light of Christ’s loving presence into the darkness of lands where Christ was unknown. His zeal models hope for today’s fractured world that yearns for healing.
Through the novena prayers, God’s peace and light are invited into the hearts of participants and the hearts of those they love.
The presenters will guide the attendees to pray for a special gift of grace each of the nine days.
Jesuit Father Craig Boly is the second oldest of six boys. He was born in Portland, Ore. He entered the Jesuit novitiate after graduating from high school in 1962. He was ordained a priest in 1974.
Father Boly has ministered as a prison chaplain, and has been on the staff of and taught at Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University. He recently completed 10 years as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Seattle, and is now on sabbatical.
He holds master’s degrees in English and Counseling Psychology, and is a state-licensed marriage and family counselor. He also has a doctorate in systematic theology from St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology.
He is the author of several books, including The Road to Lonergan’s Method in Theology and Jesuits in Profile, and edited an eight-volume series titled Laborers in the Harvest: Essays by Jesuits of the Northwest.
Jesuit Father Leon “Lee” Kapfer heralds from Spokane, where he grew up in St. Patrick Parish and attended Gonzaga Prep prior to entering the Society of Jesus in 1940.
He spent time on staff and teaching at Bellarmine Prep, and Gonzaga Prep, and ministered at the Jesuit Zambia mission for 10 years, where he mastered the native language while training seminarians. Later he was assigned to the mission office of the Jesuits in Portland.
Father Kapfer was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Joseph Parish, Seattle, in 1989. His particular emphasis there has been work with seniors, homebound, hospitalized, and shut-ins, along with grief and funeral ministry.
Father Kapfer celebrated his jubilee of 50 years as a Jesuit priest on June 20, 2003.
For further information about the Novena of Grace, contact St. Aloysius Parish Center: 323-5896.