ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly 1,000 people filled St. Agnes Cathedral on Long Island for Holy Thursday.
This part of Holy Week recalls the Last Supper, leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Song and prayer could be heard coming from the overflow crowd in Rockville Centre. Well over 900 people packed the church, which came as a hopeful sign for parish leaders.
“To see the cathedral bursting with people from all walks of life, and all ages and generations, was a real inspiration to me,” Monsignor Francis Pizzarelli, of Hope House Ministries, said.
Bishop John Barres is the new spiritual leader of the Rockville Centre Diocese. Thursday he blessed both the ceremonial oils and parish priests.
“Each one of those oils is blessed by the bishop and then distributed to each of the parishes for use in celebration of the sacraments throughout the year,” Sean Dolan, of the diocese, said.
Afterward, Barres greeted each of the parishioners, asking them to invite someone to mass who hasn’t been to church in a long time.
Barbara Hess said it’s an opportunity to share her spiritual journey with others.
“I’ve had many challenges in life, and that’s what’s kept me going,” she said.
Recalling the Palm Sunday bomb attacks in Egypt that killed more than 40 Christians, other parishioners said they’re simply glad to be able to practice their faith freely and safely.