8C80CF60-B78B-4AA4-8089-6FE1E81098B5I was donating some cereal to our church food pantry for the less fortunate. My son says, “Why are you giving away Dad’s cereal?”  I told him it was the wrong kind, and I bought it by mistake.  It sort of felt like the inquisition of little Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch. He thinks a minute, and replies, “ I think that’s the right thing to do.  I think that’s what Father (our pastor) would do.”  I thought it odd that his moral compass would be a Priest, for what to do about a box of cereal, but I also thought it cool that he was discerning. 

Shepherding isn’t easy, whether as a parent or moral authority.  Children expect you to live what you teach them.  We should be examples for the lessons, morals and rules we teach our children.  I know that I make mistakes.  Sometimes I just go with my best guess, as to what is the right way to handle a situation. In hind site I may realize that how I handled something was wrong, and maybe even terribly wrong.  I can only do the best with what I know or have at the time.  I can’t judge the me of yesterday with the wisdom I’ve gained today, nor is it just, to do that to another. I am grateful that our Lord shared this wisdom with us, “ Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

I think it’s good to always keep in mind that we are not infallible.  I cling to the mercy of God, And I hope that I can make room, in my heart and mind, for those clinging next to me. 

A Week of Saints, (August 26- Sept 1, 2018)

de usSunday, August 26

St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (1556-1648)

He was respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise. He put aside his career, because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.  He provided a free school for deprived children. He opened the first free public school in Rome

“Those who instruct many in virtue, will shine like the stars for all eternity”

Patron: Catholic Schools

Monday, August 27

St. Monica, wife, mother(322-387)

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan, who although was generous, he was also violent tempered. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St Augustine was not living a Christian life and Monica prayed many years for his conversion.  One priest told her, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” St Augustine finally converted, and was baptized by St Ambrose.

“One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.”

Patron: of Wives and Abuse Victims

Tuesday, August 28

St. Augustine, Priest,  Bishop(354-430)

 St Augustine lived a self satisfying life that didn’t include a faith in God.  His mother St Monica prayed devotedly for him for 17 years. He pursued many spiritualities and philosophies.  Through the intercession of St Monica and the instruction of St Ambrose he converted

He wrote many books teaching us how to live for Jesus and not fall into temptation and sin.

“A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.”  

Patron:  brewers, printers, theologians, sore eyes

Wednesday, August 29

The Passion of St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod, at the bidding of his stepdaughter. His wife didn’t like John, because he pointed out her audultry, so she conspired with her daughter to have him be headed. 

Thursday, August 30

St. Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879)

Jean had a passion for serving the poor and elderly. She became a nurse, and then joined a third order group founded by St John Eudes. She is the founders of The Little Sisters Of The poor

“Remain little, hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

Friday, August 31

Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (time of Christ)

.Joseph was a respected, wealthy leader, who had become a disciple of Jesus. He requested the body of Jesus and wrapped him in his shroud and placed him in a tomb. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.

Patron: funeral directors, pallbearers

Nicodemus was a Pharisee.  Nicodemus secret.y went to Jesus at nigh, to better understand his teachings. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus’ burial.

Saturday, September 1

St. Giles, Abbott (d. 710?)

He was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. He built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to the Holy Land.   In England, many churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. He was  among the “14 Holy Helpers”, a p group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Such devotion made his popularity spread. 

Patron: poor, disabled, epileptic 

Rock and Knock

2013 Ireland - 0214 - Version 2In Ireland there are dispersed around the countryside, what are called Mass rocks.  These rocks were where Catholics gathered for Mass, at a time in history, when it was unlawful.  I can imagine that my ancestors may have been gathered around those rocks, risking their lives for the Body and Blood of Christ.  This is believing!  Priests were even more at risk, since their lives meant celebrating Mass repeatedly, with this danger.  I am certainly indebted to these faithful, for my Catholic Baptism.  This old moss covered rock was maybe the most moving site that I encountered, on my visit there, a Mass Rock.

We have the freedom to participate in the Lord’s Supper, at little cost, an hour of time.  We don’t have to risk imprisonment, torture, persecution or life.  The Irish did, as they gathered in secret, and under the cover of the woods.  Today at Mass my thoughts were directed to Our Lady of Knock, who used to be celebrated on this day, before moved to another.  In the apparition, Our Mother spoke no words, but held her hands like a Priest at the Altar, in the apparition and reality.  After all it was through her that our Lord came to us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  She needed no words.  She didn’t need to express the worth of the Sacrificial Lamb, not to the Irish.  

The discourse on the Eucharist has been read these past few weeks on Sundays, in the Lectionary.  Christ is emphatically telling those who have ears to hear that He is real food.  We have been satisfied so easily in our churches that we may never know, if we would journey to a rock in the woods.  Maybe today we can just be consumed with gratitude that we don’t have to, and pray we never will. 

Our Lady of Knock, please pray for us.


A Week of Saints (August 19-25, 2018)


Sunday August, 19

St. John Eudes, Priest (1601-1680)

St. John Eudes was a French missionary.  At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity, and at age 24, he was ordained a priest.  He cared for plague victims. risking his own life. He preached missions. and was known as the greatest preacher of his age, throughout France. He founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, for prostitutes, and the Society of Jesus and Mary, to educate priests.  

“Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there.”

Patron:  missionaries

Monday, August 20

St. Bernard, Priest, Doctor (1091-1153)

 St. Bernard was born of noble parentage, under the care of his pious parents.  After the death of his mother, he joined the Cistercian Order, of which he persuaded his brothers and several of his friends to follow his example. The reputation of St Bernard spread far and wide; even the Popes were governed by his advice. He was credited with many miracles

“The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself … Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare … You too must learn to await this fullness before pouring out your gifts, do not try to be more generous than God.” 

Patron:  bookkeepers, candlemakers

Tuesday, August 21 

St. Pius X, Pope (1835-1914)

Two of the most outstanding accomplishments of this saintly Pope were the inauguration of the liturgical renewal. and the restoration of frequent communion from childhood. He also waged taught against the heresy and evils of Modernism.   From St. Pius X we learn again that “the folly of the Cross”, simplicity of life, and humility of heart are still the highest wisdom. and conditions of a perfect Christian life, for they are the very source of all apostolic fruitfulness.

“To heal the breach between the rich and the poor, it is necessary to distinguish between justice and charity.”

Patron: first communicants

Wednesday, August 22

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic teaching on this subject is expressed in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII.  It states that Mary is called Queen of Heaven, because her son, Jesus Christ, is the king of Israel and heavenly king of the universe.  The Davidic tradition of Israel recognized the mother of the king as the Queen Mother of Israel.

Thursday, August 23

St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

Rose was born in Peru to Spanish parents. Her parents tried to get Rose, a beauty, married, but she refused.  When they refused to let her enter the convent she became a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. She set up a room in her house to care for those in need, orphans, homeless, elderly.

“The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases.” -St. Rose of Lima”

Patron:  gardeners, florist people ridiculed or misunderstood for their piety, for the resolution of family quarrels. vanity

Patron: Americas,

Friday, August 24

St. Bartholomew, Apostle (time of Christ)

Bartholomew was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. He has been identified as Nathaniel, who appears in the Gospel of John as being introduced to Jesus by Phillip.

Patron: butchers, leather workers, neurological diseases, shoemakers, plasterers 

Saturday, August 25

St. Louis of France, king (1226-1270)

At his coronation as king of France, Louis  bound himself by oath to behave as God’s anointed, as other kings had.  Louis was different, he actually interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith. After the violence of two previous reigns, he brought peace and justice. He replaced trial by battle with a form of examination of witnesses.  He was respectful of the papacy, founded hospitals for the sick and cared for lepers. He fed the hungry and helped the poor.

 “Fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this. no one can be saved.”

  Patron: Barbers, Grooms, Secular Franciscan Order