Servant of God, Isaac Hecker, founder of the Paulist Fathers, was born in an immigrant family in New York City on December 18, 1819. On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, the Paulists will begin a year-long celebration to commemorate Father Hecker’s life and mission and celebrate his contributions to the Catholic Church and Catholic life in America.
Immaculate Conception Church marked the beginning of the Father Hecker Bicentennial with a special Mass on December 18, 2018.
A national Fr. Hecker Bicentennial Committee is working to plan a series of special bicentennial events and to provide accessible bicentennial resources, including materials on the Paulist website at Paulist.org/hecker. So look for many more announcements throughout the coming year. This year-long celebration will conclude on the Bicentennial of Fr. Hecker’s birth, Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
The following is an excerpt from Father Hecker’s Diary on the occasion of his 25th birthday (December 18, 1844), his first birthday after his reception into the Catholic Church the previous August.
It is my 25 birth day; here let me offer myself to Thee for Thy service oh Lord. Is it not what I should? Am I not thine? Thou didst create me and ever hast sustained me. Thine I am. Accept me oh my god as thine, a child who needst most thy love and protection. O let me offer myself in a greater degree than I have ever done for the good of the Kind of which I am a part.
What Hecker Ate: A 19th-Century Meal: As part of our continuing observance of the Bicentennial year of Isaac Hecker’s birth, the IC Women’s Group is organizing a potluck parish dinner, 1800’s style. Everyone is invited to What Hecker Ate: A 19th-Century Meal on Sun., Oct. 6. Come and have Sunday Dinner with our church family. Cash bar opens at 5 p.m. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. RSVP no later than Sept. 29 to Barb Sirknen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (865) 661-2318. (The IC Women’s Group will provide three entrée meats. When you RSVP, you may choose from a list of suggested menu items to bring to the dinner or you may make a donation towards the meal.)