Published: November 24, 2011
From Sabrina Mao Of The Chinese Catholic Community
Twenty years ago there were only a few multicultural Catholic communities in Atlanta. Besides the Spanish communities, I can only recall one Vietnamese community.
The Chinese Catholic community was just beginning to form in the fall of 1990. At the beginning, we were only gathering for fellowship, but then we decided that we should have Mass. Because we didn’t have a Chinese-speaking priest in Atlanta, we had to invite and fly in a Chinese priest to celebrate Mass with us. Thanks to Msgr. Donald Kiernan, who was very kind and most generous to us, we were able to meet once a month for Mass at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody. Of course, once a month for Mass was not enough because if you missed Mass once, then you would have gone without Mass for two months. In 1996 when I served as the president of the Chinese community, I suggested to the community that maybe we should have Mass twice a month. They agreed, and we did it without a hitch.
This continued for awhile till people cried out for Mass more often for the same reason: that is, if they missed Mass once then they would have gone without going to Mass for two weeks. When I presented to the community the challenge that perhaps we could try to have Mass every week in order to satisfy those who could not attend Mass at our regular schedule due to their employment, I encountered problems. I could understand their objections because many of our parishioners at the time were dual parishioners. That meant in addition to attending Mass with the Chinese community, they also belonged to their local parishes. This was even a greater challenge to me because where could I find Chinese priests to celebrate Mass with us every week.
I approached Archbishop Donoghue and presented him with our problems. I sought his advice. Archbishop Donoghue was very sympathetic to our plight and was genuinely concerned and loved our community. He appointed me as his liaison to the Chinese community to direct and administer pastoral and liturgical matters. He also gave me names of priests in the diocese to call. I invited them to celebrate Mass with us and I would translate their homily into Chinese so people could get the full scope of the Mass. What God wants, nothing can prevent. It worked.
Archbishop Donoghue gave us his full support and even came to celebrate Mass with us numerous times. I remember one time at the last minute our invited Chinese priest couldn’t come. I went to Archbishop Donoghue and told him the problem. He came over to the church, put on vestments and celebrated Mass for us.
Today, the Chinese Catholic community not only has Mass every week, and with the support of Archbishop Gregory, we even have Father Bill Hao as our own Chinese-speaking priest. How blessed we are. All this progress could not have happened had we not had the archbishop’s foresight, leadership and support. I am truly grateful for the archbishop’s love and support. His goodness will remain in my heart forever.
Archbishop Donoghue was a wonderful bishop and God’s humble servant. His death is certainly a great loss for Atlanta and a great loss for me. He will be sorely missed. May the Lord rest his soul and receive him into his bosom.
Sabrina Mao was Archbishop Donoghue’s liaison to the Atlanta Chinese Catholic community from 1996 to 2005 and Archbishop Gregory’s delegate to the community from 2005 to 2009, when Father Bill Hao was appointed as minister.
From The MIM Rosary Group
The apostolic letter of now Blessed Pope John Paul II for the Year of the Rosary in 2003 touched Archbishop Donoghue’s heart to launch a beautiful promotion of the holy rosary that year. He invited the MIM Rosary Group, F.I., at the Cathedral of Christ the King to bring together all Marian prayer groups of the archdiocese under his aegis and direction. Archdiocesan Marian members of the team met at monthly meetings at the Cathedral; rosaries were handmade, some in other parts of America. By June 2003 at the Eucharistic Congress, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, 10,000 rosaries—6,000 in English and 4,000 in Spanish with beautiful pamphlets with Archbishop Donoghue’s texts in English and Spanish, designed by Rich Wharton (now Father Alan Bernardino Mary Wharton, F.I.) and the late Bruce W. Hafley, were given out. Through much prayer and organization, a packet was placed on each of thousands of chairs at the congress with priests receiving their gift too. All priest recipients and workers were consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Archbishop John Francis Donoghue had a special devotion to Our Blessed Lady and all of us are truly thankful and grateful to him for allowing us to be Our Lady’s hands and feet for her work in promoting the rosary for the archbishop’s intentions: Sunday—peace in the world; Monday—families; Tuesday—clergy; Wednesday—religious; Thursday—married persons; Friday—single persons; Saturday—persons having difficulty living chaste lives in accordance with Catholic Church teaching.
Archbishop Donoghue, we love you and we thank you for all that you gave to us as another Christ and follower of His teachings. We thank you for all your efforts to bring unity, especially through the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Divine Son. We pray that you will rest in peace and intercede for all of us.
MIM Rosary Group, F.I.
From The Alliance Of The Two Hearts
Surely our beloved Archbishop Emeritus, John Francis Donoghue, has entered into heaven at his passing, such a true and faithful servant was he. Our Apostolate is deeply saddened at the loss of this spiritual father of us all, who did so much good in striving to bring a greater love, understanding and practice of the Catholic faith to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. …… As a Eucharistic and Marian Apostolate we are grateful to Archbishop Donoghue for his wholehearted enthusiasm when he met (with worldwide representatives of the Two Hearts Alliance). At that meeting in 1996, the archbishop expressed that it was the hope and desire of his heart that all the families of the Archdiocese of Atlanta have their homes enthroned to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary by the Alliance of the Two Hearts. He recognized, as did Blessed John Paul II, who first requested help for the families of the world, that the family is the origin of stability in society and the Church, and that it was through the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart that families might retain or regain sanctity. Remembering the statements of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima to the three children, and to Sister Lucia at the apparition of Our Lord to her in 1925, to honor His Mother’s Heart alongside His own Heart, our Apostolate under the blessing of Blessed John Paul II and that of Archbishop John Francis Donoghue began our little catechesis of reparation, according to the requests of Fatima to assist Our Lady in the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
Slowly we began the Communion of Reparation Vigils to bring peace in the family, the Church, society and the world. We began with one vigil and now have 10 vigils and growing.
In the 2003 Lenten Vigil with the 9 p.m. Mass for the Sacred Heart at the Cathedral of Christ the King, celebrated by Archbishop Donoghue, and the 1 a.m. Mass celebrated by Father Jose Viola in honor of Our Lady, Archbishop Donoghue welcomed the Alliance to expand its presence through the Vigils and its Apostolic Mission. We can only be always grateful for the love and encouragement of this dear bishop friend in Christ, in the many ways he has by act and prayer assisted us, and the entire Atlanta community, to grow closer to our mission of serving the Lord and His Church, through Our Lady.
Diane Guesman, Alliance of the Two Hearts