Some may have seen this news that the relics of St. Maria Goretti will be on tour in the United States come this fall. From the National Catholic Register:
It’s been confirmed. The body — the major relics — of St. Maria Goretti, beloved by countless millions, is heading to the United States.
When she arrives from Italy, the first public appearance will be on Sept. 21 at Sacred Heart Basilica in Newark, N.J. — public because she will initially be visiting a prison before that. As of the latest scheduling she will tour through 25 Catholic dioceses spanning 18 states in parishes, schools, and prisons, including New York, Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, and Oklahoma City.
But I have even bigger news that that. One of the parishes selected for the veneration of her relics will be no other than my humble, little parish in Staten Island, St. Rita’s Church. Other than St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, St. Rita will be the only church in New York City where the relics will be on display. I don’t know how we were selected, but what a huge honor for us.
Here are some details. She will be hosted at St. Rita's on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 for one day only. Public veneration will begin at 7:00 AM. A Solemn Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John J. O'Hara at 7:30 PM. Public veneration will end at 11:00 PM.
Hereis a website with the information.
At the web site there is a schedule for the travel across the country. She may be at a parish closer. Here's the link to the travel schedule.
There's also a Facebook page, but I'm not on Facebook to verify it. Here's that link.
The relics will not be her entire body. From the Register article:
To be clear, the major relics are her remains inside a glass-sided casket. The wax statue of her in repose contains her skeletal remains which are not visible. Her body is not incorrupt. But her skeleton is complete except for some small amounts of bone that went into reliquaries and her right arm that her mother Assunta donated to the Church of St. Nicholas, known as the Sanctuary of St. Maria Goretti, in her birth town of Corinaldo. Maria used her right arm to defend her purity in the attack.
Expected to draw huge crowds, every stop on the tour at the various churches, schools and prisons will include presentations on Maria Goretti’s life and virtues, plus other prayer and veneration opportunities. Masses will often be part of the liturgical celebrations.
I assume the display will be like this image of her relics on display above. i pulled that off Google Images.
I know that my son’s class (he goes to St. Rita’s school) will be led into the church for veneration. I don’t know how the little church will hold what I expect will be huge crowds. I would guess that if we squeezed tightly St. Rita could hold maybe 400 parishioners. The lines could be out the door. Still I will be there for as long as I can, and certainly for the Mass. If you plan to be in the neighborhood to attend, let me know. I’d love to meet you.