LOVE THE LORD’S DAY
REMEMBER TO KEEP HOLY THE LORD’S DAY
—CCC, NOS. 2168-2195
IT’S THE MASS THAT MATTERS
The history of theChurch in the United States includesmissionaries and priest
circuit-riders who traveled widely in their territories to bring the Mass and the
other Sacraments to the Catholic people. Fr. Junipero Serra planted mission
stations in California from San Diego to Sonoma. Fr. Jacques Marquette did
the same in the early days of Michigan andWisconsin. Fr. Eusebio Kino rode
the trails of Arizona to bring the Eucharist to the dispersed pioneers settling
the new lands. Fr. Pierre DeSmet served the North American Indians in parts
of the upper Midwest. Briefly sketched here are stories of two priests who
gave witness to these ideals.
An unlikely and colorful pioneer priest was Fr. Demetrius Gallitzin. He
was born as a prince in 1770. His father was a Russian prince, and his mother
a Prussian countess. Fr. Gallitzin was raised an Orthodox Christian but
became a Catholic after his mother’s conversion to the Catholic Church.
Upon completing his education, he emigrated to the United States.
In Baltimore, he met Bishop John Carroll, who interested him in mis-
sionary work. Fr. Gallitzin enrolled at St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained
a priest in 1795. He soon obtained permission to go to Captain Michael
McGuire’s settlement in western Pennsylvania. Once he arrived there, Fr.
Gallitzin built a small church and celebrated the first Mass in it on Christmas