California Catholic Exclusive.
On March 13, 14, and 15, San Francisco’s Star of the Sea parish will host its 2017 Lenten Mission. Church pastor Fr. Joseph Illo explained that the Lenten parish mission will be focused on adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in anticipation of a new adoration chapel opening.
The mission will be given by Fr. Victor Warkulwiz of the Missionary Priests of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Warkulwiz has brought the message of the vital importance of Perpetual Adoration to hundreds of parishes throughout the United States and Canada.
Work on Star of the Sea’s St. Joseph Adoration Chapel has been going on for months. The parish currently has about 48 hours of consecutive adoration scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays, and is moving towards Perpetual Adoration. The chapel will be consecrated by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Saturday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The consecration will be preceded by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament around the parish.
The Adoration Chapel is just the latest initiative from Fr. Illo. Under his leadership Star of the Sea has become as radical a parish as exists in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Masses are celebrated daily in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form. On Sundays, there are three Ordinary and two Extraordinary Form Masses. Since Ash Wednesday, 2017, all Masses are celebrated Ad Orientem— and the Church webpage links to a video explaining to parishioners what it signifies. Parishioners help monthly in San Francisco’s soup kitchens, and provide food and clothing to the poor at the parish. Star is one of the strongest pro-life parishes in the city. It is also one of the few, if not only, San Francisco Catholic parishes whose parishioners are willing to go out into the streets of the city and proselytize.
More than once Fr. Illo has said that “Eucharistic Adoration causes vocations.” There are two young men from Star who have discerned religious vocations: one is studying at St. Patrick’s Seminary now and the second will begin there in September. In April of 2015, a group of “prominent Catholics” ran a full-page ad in The San Francisco Chronicle demanding Archbishop Cordileone’s ouster; the only other cleric attacked in the ad was Fr. Illo because of his decision that only boys be allowed to serve at Mass. His reasoning was that that serving at Mass leads to priestly vocations. While one fellow-cleric said Illo’s move had “no justification,” Star’s two young seminarians at St. Patrick’s would seem to be all the justification needed.
To learn more about Fr. Warkulwiz’s Lenten parish mission, click here.
To learn more about the Consecration of Star of the Sea’s new Adoration Chapel, click here.