CAMERON — Bishop Glen John Provost will be the celebrant of a votive “Mass to Avert Storms” Monday, June 1 – the first day of the Hurricane Season — in Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church beginning at 5:30 p.m. with concelebrants including the pastors of the coastal Cameron churches.
At the conclusion of the liturgy, Bishop Provost will lead those in attendance in procession from the church to the Historic Shrine of Our Lady Star of the Sea.
The day is also to be observed as a “Day of Prayer and Fasting at the Beginning of the Hurricane Season” in the Diocese of Lake Charles, asking the intercession of Our Lady Star of the Sea for protection from storms and destruction. In addition, this year June 3, 5-6 are Ember Days in the Diocese of Lake Charles.
By an ancient and immemorial practice of the Roman Church, each of the seasons in the yearly circle of the Earth around its star is sanctified by the Church on what are known as Ember Days, or in Latin quatuor tempora, meaning "the four times.” On the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of these four weeks — which were spread out roughly at the change of each season — both the clergy and the lay faithful would offer to God the tribute of prayer and fasting for three purposes: first, to thank Him for the blessings of the season just passed and to ask for blessings on the season to come; second, in reparation for sins and asking grace to reform life going forward; and third, for the sanctification of the clergy.
In a decree issued on the First Sunday of Advent in 2018 and effective on January 1, 2019, Bishop Provost urged Catholics in the Diocese to observe that time-honored tradition as days of prayer and fasting. Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the First Sunday of Lent; Pentecost Sunday; September 14 (the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross); and December 13 (the Memorial of St. Lucy) during the third week of Advent. The significance of the days of the week is that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed; Friday was the day He was crucified; and Saturday was the day He was entombed.
The annual pilgrimage to the shrine provides those who make it with the potential of spiritual benefits as if they had visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, due to the special affiliation the Cameron church has with the Basilica. The pilgrimage provides a plenary indulgence with the fulfillment of certain requirements, including recent confession, reception of Holy Communion, prayers for the Holy Father, and the recitation of the Creed.
This “spiritual bond” was granted by His Eminence, Santos Cardinal Abril y Castellò, the Cardinal Archpriest of the Basilica and His Eminence, Emmanuel Cardinal Montero de Castro, the Cardinal Apostolic Penitentiary following Bishop Provost’s 2012 ad limina visit to the Holy See.