This coming Sunday is called Quasimodo Sunday. It is the Second Sunday of Easter,
sometimes called Low Sunday. It is called Quasimodo after the first words of the Introit,
which would be heard in every parish across the land.
This beautiful and unforgettable song is dedicated to first communicants (children or
new converts), as instruction about how to proceed and grow in faith. It is especially
compelling to us because of our literary and pop-culture knowledge of the bell ringer in
"Hunchback." It is good know the original meaning and idea -- and also to read the real
song as the Introit at Mass.
Once I was asked why the Church was using the name of a Disney character as the name
of the Mass. Actually, the Disney character is based on a novel by Victor Hugo, which, in
turn, named his character because he was born on this day and also because he had the
character of a child.
What does this Introit say to us and to the first communicants? Likening the recent
convert to a new born child, it counsels them to desire the milk of God'sWord - to
receive that nourishment and grow in faith. Properly disposed, the new communicant
doesn't need to be told this, but the rest of us sing about it as a reminder that we all
should preserve the spirit of the children of God and remain humble and submissive to
This second Sunday of Easter is also named "Divine Mercy Sunday" after the
appearances of our Lord to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a renowned 20th century
mystic, nun and visionary. When Sister Maria entered the convent, her mother superior
wrote that she was "unremarkable" which would seem like an insult to many of us, but
Christ chose this humble, cheerful, child-like saint to be the messenger of His words of
mercy to a hurting post-war world. Her diary - commissioned by Jesus Himself - is one
of the most profound messages of God's love ever written. How appropriate that the
Church has chosen this Sunday after Easter to remember that God loves us and wants to
heal us, if we will approach Him as little children.
Perhaps those of us who attend the 5:30 Mass this Sunday will hear the Angelus bells at
6, and be reminded of God's love, and our old friend, the Hunchback of Notre Dame!