Cardinal makes trip to visit local Maronite Catholics

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - One of the only 12 Catholic Cardinals from the United States came to the Mohawk Valley on Sunday. His Eminence Cardinal Daniel DiNardo took part in a mass at the St. Louis Gonzaga Catholic Church on Rutger Street in Utica.

The cardinal, along with Bishop Cunningham of Syracuse, helped parishioners celebrate the feast of St. Maron.

The holiday is to honor the death of St. Maron, now 1,600 years ago. Those who followed St. Maron in Lebanon were called Maronites. St. Louis Gonzaga is only one of a handful of Catholic Maronite-rite churches in the country.

Cardinal DiNardo said, "Those who followed St. Maron, they ended in the mountains of Lebanon. In some ways they were cut off from others, but actually it simply energized those monks and their work with the people of Lebanon and their distinctive way of theology and celebrating mass and the sacraments became so distinctive. It became recognized what we call in the Catholic Church a rite unto itself."

Following the mass, a celebration was held at the Hart's Hill Inn in Whitesboro.

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