FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Ambrose Catholic Parish
Celebration of the Feast of St. Ambrose
1012 E. 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60642
Contact: Mark Anthony Kutame
(773) 995-3650 (office)
(773) 805-1145 (cell)
Chicago, IL. Saturday & Sunday, December5th-6th, 2015— The St. Ambrose Catholic Parish experienced what can be described as a fantastic atmosphere of music, blessings, joy, merry-making, happiness, and most importantly love as its members celebrated the feast of their patron saint, St. Ambrose of Milan, whose feast-day in the Roman calendar is December 7, the day he was ordained bishop.
The celebration started with a Choral Concert on Saturday evening, December 5th featuring the St. Ambrose Choir led by the Music Director, Marcia Ann Berry, and the Ghanaian Catholic Community Choir, led by Rev. Bro. Pius Agyeman. The first part of the concert program treated attendees to solos, choral combinations by the St. Ambrose and Ghanaian choirs in English and Twi, and a trio by the Dean of the Deanery and two vicariate priests. Following the intercession, the second part of the concert featured a drama performance of the incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, choreographed by Rev. Brother Pius Agyeman. Tiffany Akotia, a 14 year old, played the role of the Virgin Mary while Kristen Addo, 11 years of age, played the role of the Angel. Their theatrical performance drew a long applause.
The following day, Sunday, December 6th, marked the highlight of the celebration with a Eucharistic Mass led by His Lordship Bishop Joseph Perry, Vicar of Vicariate VI and assisted by Reverend Father John Owusu-Acheaw, CSSp, Resident priest of St. Ambrose Parish. In his homily Bishop Perry narrated the fascinating story of St. Ambrose. Earlier in his life, St Ambrose of Milan (Sant Ambroggio de Milano in Italian), had embarked upon a career in law and politics just as his father did, and by 370 AD became the Imperial governor of Northern Italy. When the Episcopal See of Milan became vacant in 374 AD, neighboring bishops and the Emperor convinced him to accept the call of the faithful to become their bishop as the will of God. St. Ambrose who was a catechumen at the time, accepted the call and was baptized and ordained first deacon, then priest, then bishop, all in a single week! Profoundly aware of his lack of preparation for his great responsibilities, he prepared himself for his spiritual journey through prayer and the study of Scripture. He learned quickly, became deeply spiritual, and fell in love of God’s Word. Coupled with the oratorical skill acquired in law and politics, St. Ambrose became one of the greatest preachers of the early church. He also became an activist opposing fiercely, heresy, paganism, and hypocrisy. He battled to preserve the separation of Church and state and courageously excommunicated the powerful Catholic Emperor Theodosius I for a massacre of innocent civilians in Thessalonica. St. Ambrose also had a significant impact on sacred music through the composition of hymns and psalm tones that are known to this day as Ambrosian chant. He was also a doctor of the church. To be designated “Doctor of the Catholic Church one had to meet three requirements: 1) Outstanding holiness among saints; 2) doctrinal insight that is deep and profound; and 3) an extensive body of theological writings which the church recom¬mends as an expression of the authentic and life-giving Catholic Tradition.
The Bishop then encouraged members to be courageous in their faith even in the face of persecution of God’s people which is currently going on all around the world especially in the Middle East. He prayed that the Good Lord will raise up in the Church more leaders like St. Ambrose.
Following the celebration of the Eucharistic Mass, the Bishop joined the people of St. Ambrose in the parish hall to an international potluck luncheon. Dishes from the Phillipines, US, and Ghana, among others, were part of the menu. DJ Prince provided music. Popular on the dance arena were the cha cha slide and the electric slide.
The celebration of the feast was a huge success! Members are looking forward with great anticipation to next year’s celebration.