Hercegprímás Urunk, szeretett hazánktól száműzve,
külföldi magyarjai látogatása során érkezett hozzánk, a
passaici Szt. István Magyar Egyház híveihez 1974. május
19-én, vasárnap. Ft. dr. Dunay Antal volt akkor a
lelkipásztorunk, aki az üldöztetések idején Prímas Urunk
határozott utasítására hagyta el az országot.
Philadelphiáig elébe utazva kísérte őt hozzánk.
Egyházunk egyik legnagyobb ünnepe volt ez a nap.
Templomunk zsúfolásig megtelt híveinkkel és autóbuszokon
érkező vendégekkel. Soha ekkora lelkes hívősereget (kb.
700 személy) még nem látott templomunk. A főúton
kordonnal lezárt úton, állami rendőrkocsi vezette
szirénázva Passaicig, majd a helybeli rendőrség
díszkísérete irányította autóját templomunkig.
Szeretett és sokat szenvedett Főpasztorunk diadalútja
volt ez a lakosság, iskolánk gyermekei és az egyenruhás
magyar cserkészeink sorfala között. Meghatódva
üdvözöltük a templomunkba érkező, térdreboruló
Főpásztort. A látogatás eseményeinek sorozata:
főpásztori ünnepélyes nagymise, majd a szomszéd utcai
magyar Református Egyház gyülekezetének meglátogatása
és üdvözlő beszéde templomukban. Délután meglátogatta és
megáldotta Ft. Gáspár sírhelyét (aki Zalaegerszegen
káplánja volt), utána cserkészeinket szemlélte meg a
garfieldi cserkészházukban. Végül a nap nyilvános ünnepi
fogadással zárult dísztermünkben, ahol a különféle
egyesületek vezetői és delegációi üdvözölhették a Prímás
Urat. Beszédei vezérgondolatában mindenütt hangsúlyozta:
hagyjátok a templomot és az iskolát!!!”
Az alábbiakban Mindszenty bíboros, hercegprímás
szentmiséjét, illetve külön a
prédikációját, illetve a fogadáson elhangzott beszédeket
közöljük. Emellett egy videó felvételt is meg lehet
tekinteni, melynek hangsávja, a kor technikája miatt nem
készült, illetve maradt fenn.
Mindszenty bíboros köszöntése és szentmiséje:
Az esemény filmfelvétele:
Throng Greets Cardinal Mindszenty
PASSAIC – Faith, family and national pride were the
dominant themes of Cardinal József Mindszenty, former
primate of Hungary, as hundreds of well-wishers greeted
him during a visit here Sunday.
The 82-year-old cardinal, an outspoken foe of Communism,
was optimistic too that the people of Hungary will be
freed from its domination.“Nothing lasts long in this
land”, the cardinal said in an interview in the rectory
of St. Stephen's Magyar Church. “Even good systems will
be worn out”, he added.
Cardinal Mindszenty said, however, that there can be no
change until the country's leaders experience “personal
con-version”, and the people “gain more sober maturity”.He
repeated the message he has given to Hungarian people:
“Stand firm in the faith and in the Church” and
culti-vate “natural” nationalism. Earlier, Cardinal
Mindszenty, speaking in a firm voice, delivered a
half-hour homily in St. Stephen's Church, where he was
the chief concelebrant of a mass in the Hungarian
language. He spoke without text and used eyeglasses only
occasionally during the celebration of the mass. In his
homily, he spoke but briefly of Communism, when he noted
that “certain leaders have given up their faith and are
collaborating with the enemy”.
He traced the history of Hungary from the time of St.
Stephen, who reigned as king nearly 1,000 years ago, and
urged the Hungarian people to be proud of their heritage,
their Church, their country and the family.
The cardinal put strong emphasis on the value of family
life, with children showing respect and love for their
Attended by his private secretary Msgr. Tibor Meszaros,
and an altar boy, Cardinal Mindszenty alone distributed
communion to the majority of more than 600 people who
filled the church and filled up the center aisle to the
Concelebrating – were Msgr. Meszaros, Father Anthony S.
Dunay, pastor of St. Stephen's; Father Joseph Cassidy,
associate pastor of St. Christopher, Parsippany; Father
Paul Kurcz, associate at Holy Trinity, Passaic; Father
Roger Hebert, pastor of St. George, Paterson; Father
John J. Demkovich, pastor of St. Mary, Passaic, and
Father Frank Harangozo, an aide to the cardinal. Father
John J. Cusack, associate at St. Stephen's, and Father
Ladislaus Flek, pastor of St. Joseph, Passaic, were
chaplains to Bishop Casey.
Bishop Casey was in the sanctuary but did not
concelebrate because of the language difference. At the
close of the liturgy, the bishop stepped to the pulpit
and delivered his official greetings to the cardinal in
“The Diocese of Paterson and the Byzantine Eparchy of
Passaic are honored to have you here at St. Stephen's,”
Bishop Casey said. “You are a symbol of spiritual
strength to people of all faiths throughout the world.
Your heroic struggle against the Nazis and the
Communists, the personal leadership you gave to your
beloved flock in Hungary in the darkest hours of their
oppression are known to lovers of freedom everywhere.
They sense your courage and the strong spirituality
which sustained you against torture and loneliness
during the long years of your imprisonment. You are a
beacon of hope in a confused world,” the bishop said.
“When you came to the United States two weeks ago”,
Bishop Casey continued, “you stated, ‘Wherever I go, I
stand for God, for my Church, for my country, and for my
independence.’ You, better than the rest of us, know
that God alone is the source of our strength. We salute
you and pray that the Lord will give you continued good
health to spread his word.”
Immediately after the mass, Cardinal Mindszenty visited
the Hungarian Reformed Church on Fourth Street, a block
away, where he was greeted by Stephen György, president
of the Board of Elders, and about 300 members of that
congregation. Again, he spoke briefly in Hungarian.
Returning to St. Stephen's rectory for luncheon,
Cardinal Mindszenty renewed his acquaintance with Father
Dunay, who had served in his Archdiocese of Esztergom in
Hungary before he left for the U.S. – at the cardinal's
direction – in 1948, to escape arrest by Communist
After luncheon, Cardinal Mindszenty went to Calvary
Cemetery, Paterson, to visit the grave of Father John
Gáspár, Father Dunay's predecessor, who had been the
cardinal's assistant in Hungary before he came to this
country. Father Dunay succeeded to the pastorate here
upon Father Gáspár's death in 1963.
Later he visited the Hungarian scout headquarters in
Garfield, before returning to a reception in St.
Stephen's school hall. There he told some 400 persons
that they “must remain united against the forces of
The reception he received here, he said, made him
understand his “suffering had been worthwhile.” He said,
“If I was a poet, I couldn't put into words what I feel
after all the praise I received today. But you must
translate your words and applause into action to bring
about the freedom we are talking about.”
Mayor Gerald Goldman, who presented the cardinal with a
key to the city, headed a list of speakers who included
State Sen. Joseph Hirkala and Bishop Michael Dudick of
the Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic.
The occasion afforded a tearful reunion for Lorand Derka
of Garfield, who had spent 10 years in a Communist
prison. He and the cardinal had been imprisoned together
in Budapest in 1953.
“We need your visit”, he told Cardinal Mindszenty,
“because without any support our churches and schools
will be empty. You are helping us in our difficult task
to have our youth continue our traditions.”
The cardinal had urged the Hungarian community to keep
its parochial schools and to continue speaking Hungarian.
Cardinal Mindszenty had also visited with other
Hungarian-speaking clergy of the area during the
afternoon and discussed with them the problems of
Father Dunay praised the cardinal as a unifying force in
the Hungarian community. “We are losing our young people”,
he said. “They are moving away.” He added, “I hope the
cardinal's visit awakens their sense of national pride.”
That pride was amply demonstrated in the colorful
decorations in the school hall and in the traditional
costumes worn by many of the people – the women in long
dresses with lace and the men in black Hungarian-style
tuxedoes, many bedecked with medals.
Children in Hungarian scout uniforms lined the sidewalk
at the entrance to the church when Cardinal Mindszenty
arrived about 45 minutes before the 11 o'clock mass. He
was applauded loudly after he spoke briefly to the
gathering outside, and then went to the rectory to vest
for the mass.
A committee of parishioners had escorted Cardinal
Mindszenty to Passaic from Philadelphia, where he had
been the guest of Cardinal John Krol. After spending
Sunday night at the Marriott Motor Hotel in Saddle
Brook, the cardinal left for Washington Monday morning.
His Passaic visit was in response to an invitation from
Father Dunay when he visited him in Rome a few years ago.
The stop was one of many he is making during an
eight-week cross-country tour of Hungarian communities
in the U.S. before he returns to Vienna on June 29.
He is also here to talk with the publishers of his
memoirs, entitled “Mindszenty: An Autobiography”,
scheduled to be published in November. He told a news
conference upon his arrival in New York May 6 that the
publication may cause him and the Church to be attacked.
He said he had “gotten used to attacks and one more or
less doesn't really matter.”
Cardinal Mindszenty was removed as primate of Hungary in
February when Pope Paul VI declared his see vacant. The
Pope said the action was taken so he could appoint a
successor who could be present in Hungary.
Cardinal Mindszenty left Hungary in 1971 after spending
15 years in the U.S. embassy in Budapest, where he took
refuge during the 1956 Hungarian uprising. He had been
serving a life sentence imposed by the Communist
government in 1949.
He had previously been imprisoned some three months by
the new Communist regime there in 1919 and again during
the Nazi occupation in World War II.
Asked in various interviews if he considered returning
to Hungary, he said that “under present circumstances it
is not easy to think about this; it would mean accepting
everything that has happened.”
Living in Vienna at the time his see was declared vacant,
Cardinal Mindszenty denied reports he had resigned
voluntarily. “I performed my duties to the fullest”, he
said. “I am not the cause of the vacancy.”
by Vic Winkler
The Beacon, May 23, 1974. pp. 1, 9
A fenti szöveget Károly László
írta. Forrás: St. Stephen's R.C. Magyar Church, Passaic,
New Jersey, 1903 — 2003 emlékkönyv