A Week of Saints (September 30 – October 6, 2018)

Sunday, September 30

St. Jerome, Priest (331-420)

Jerome is frequently remembered for his temper and sarcastic pen, but his love for God was extraordinary.  He translated the Old Testament  from Hebrew  (the vulgate), and wrote his famous commentary. St Augustine said, “What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known.”  He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic.

“Begin now to be what you will be hereafter.”

Patron: of Librarians

Monday, October 1

St therese of Lisieux, nun (1873 – 1897)

Theresa of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun called the “Little Flower,” who lived a cloistered life in France. She saw in quiet suffering redemptive suffering.  All her life St. Thérèse suffered from illness, and died of tuberculosis. She suffered without complaint. She had her “little way”.  St. Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives.  To do everything with great, even something as simple as picking up a pin. 

“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”

Patron:  missionaries; HIV/AIDS, florists, gardeners, loss of parents, tuberculosis

Tuesday, October 2

Guardian Angels

Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Mt 18:10

Many saints have given witness to Guardian Angels, St’s Benedict, Bernard, Francis de Sales, Pio, and many more.

“Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.”

St Francis de Sales

Wednesday, October 3

Bl Columba Marmion, monk/Priest (1858-1923)

Blessed Columba Marmion was an Irish monk, and was one of the most influential Catholic writers of the 20th century. He believed that a mans love for God was reflected in his love of neighbor. He “possessed an extraordinary facility for adapting himself to other people,” and above all “in comforting others and putting them at their ease.”

“The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God’s method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong”

Thursday, October 4

St Francis of Assisi, Priest (1182-1226)

Francis of Assisi followed what Jesus did by how he lived. Much prayer led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ. Embracing a leper on the road manifested his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: he would have been content to be the “nothing” man. He gave up everything, and thought a religious fanatic, begging from door to door.  People began to realize his way was love of God. He started the Franciscan Order. During his last years he was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death, he received the stigmata.

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

Patron: animals, environment 

Friday, October 5

St Faustina, religious sister (1905-1938

Saint Faustina was born in Poland.  When she was almost twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whose members devote themselves to the care and education of troubled young women. She was given the name Sister Maria Faustina, to which she added, “of the Most Blessed Sacrament”. She was asked by our Lord to be a model of how to be merciful to others, and teach God’s plan of mercy for the world. She wrote and suffered in secret, with only her spiritual director and some of her superiors aware that anything special was taking place in her life..

Patron: mercy

“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God.  I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Saturday, October 6

St Bruno, Priest (1030-1101)

Bruno was born in Cologne to a prominent family. He was a professor, but later became a hermit. He and six companions were assigned a hermitage.They built an oratory and individual cells, roughly followed the rule of St. Benedict, and thus he began the Carthusian Order. They embraced a life of poverty, manual work, prayer, and transcribing manuscripts..

“For the devil may tempt the good, but he cannot find rest in them; for he is shaken violently, and upset, and driven out, now by their prayers, now by their tears of repentance, and now by their almsgiving and similar good works.”

Patron:  monastic communities, possessed people

“They Departed”

Fr Kulway's First Mass 5-22-2016 - 004 - Version 3

I was encouraged to start a blog, because of my journal writing.  I prayed about it, and decided it was in God’s will for me.  It is one of the most difficult tasks, I’ve done, sharing my personal reflections, on how God moves in my life.  It makes me vulnerable, expressing moments of my spiritual journey, in a public way.  Even if it’s not widely seen, the fact remains that I have shared it, it’s available to the eyes of the world.  It has not gone unnoticed.  Like many endeavors in life that God calls us to, satan takes note. He looks for an opportunity to pounce… a place we feel exposed.

St John Vianney was tormented by satan every night.  He heard confessions for 16 hours a day, and had the gift to read souls.  Satan took note.  I think, when we enter into God’s will, the spiritual battle of this world can become very real.  Our beds may not rattle, or levitate, like St. John Vianney, but we encounter obstacles to our mission, to discourage us.  I also believe that once the culprit is identified, once we know who our enemy is, the battle is half won. Satan is cunning, “prowling like a lion”, trying to be unnoticed, and deceiving.

“The demon is very cunning, but he is not strong. Making a Sign of the Cross soon puts him to flight… when I made the Sign of the Cross they departed.”

St John Vianney

I think it wise, before we want to abandon something that becomes difficult, or seemingly unfruitful for the Kingdom, we check the tall grass, around us, for that lion….and take comfort, in the power of God,  in the sign of the cross.


A Week of Saints (September 23-29, 2018)

Sunday, September 23

St. Padre Pio, Priest (1887-1968)

Francesco joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio, when he was fifteen. He was drafted during World War I, but had tuberculosis, and then discharged. In 1918, he was praying after Mass, and had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet and side.

Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him. His confessional ministry would take 10 hours a day; many said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.  St John Paul II honored him for his prayer and charity.

“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.”

Patron: stress relief, adolescents

Monday, September 24

Blessed John Henry Newman Priest (1801–1890)

John Henry Newman, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches. Catholic theology tended to ignore history, but instead was inclined to draw deductions from first principles. Newman taught that  lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.  Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. After Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the Universities.

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons“

Tuesday, September 25

St Cleophas (time of Christ)

One of two disciples who met Christ on the road to Emmaus. He was also identified as the father of Mary, one of whom stood with the Mother of God at the foot of the Cross. He has been identified as the father of St. James the Less and as brother of St. Joseph.

Wednesday, September 26

Ss. Cosmas & Damian (3rd Century)

Sts. Cosmas and Damian were brothers, from Arabia, known for their knowledge of medicine.  Because of their faith, they never took money for their craft. Their reputation made them marked objects of persecution. They were apprehended, and suffered torments.

Patron of Druggist

Thursday, September 25

St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1580-1660

St. Vincent, known as The Apostle Of Charity, was born to a poor family in FranceFrance, about 1580. On  a sea voyage he was captured by African pirates and made a slave for two years, until he escaped. He returned to France, and began to preach missions.  His charity was extended, from children to old age. In spite of popularity, he remained deeply rooted in humility. 

“If the world takes something from us on the one hand, God will give us something on the other.”

patron:  charitable societies.

Friday, September 28, 

St. Wenceslaus, Martyr (907-935)

St. Wenceslaus was born near Prague, and was the son of a Duke. St. Ludmila, his grandmother taught him Christianity.  

After the death of his father and grandmother, at the hands of the Magyars, he was declared the new ruler.  He encouraged Christianity. His brother, invited Wenceslaus to a religious festival, trapped and killed him on the way to Mass.

Patron:  Bohemia, Prague

Saturday, September 29

Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Saint Michael is the “Prince of the Heavenly Host,” the leader of all the angels. His name is Hebrew for “Who is like God?”  He cast down Lucifer and the evil spirits into Hell, and is invoked for protection against Satan. The four offices of Saint Michael are: to fight against Satan, to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy,  to be the champion of God’s people, to call away from earth and bring men’s souls to judgment.

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail.

Patron:  Guardian of the Catholic Church, Jewish People, police officers, military, grocers, mariners, paratroopers, firefighters, paramedics, sickness

Saint Gabriel, whose name means “God’s strength,” announced the birth of John the Baptist  and the at Incarnation of the Word to Mary.

He appeared to St. Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was he who “strengthened” Jesus during his agony in the garden of Gethsemane.

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Patron: grocers, soldiers, doctors, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness

Patron:  of messengers, telecommunication workers, postal workers

Saint Raphael, whose name means “God has healed” because of his healing of Tobias’ blindness in the Book of Tobit.  Tobit is the only book in which he is mentioned. His office is generally accepted by tradition to be that of healing and acts of mercy.

Raphael is also identified with the angel in John 5:1-4 who descended upon the pond and bestowed healing powers upon it so that the first to enter it after it moved would be healed of whatever infirmity he was suffering.

“I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord”

Patron:  travelers, the blind, and bodily ills


8AA90ED1-8A3B-4CDE-9EDF-C273A3674363We all have gifts of different natures.  One isn’t better than the other, but I’ve recently encountered a “caregiver”.  A caregiver is the one, in my opinion, who notices a need.  Mother Mary noticed they needed more wine at the Wedding Feast at Cana.  Veronica saw Jesus, and was moved to care for Him.  As caregivers, we see what is needed.  I hurt my back once and had to miss a family day at the fair.  My son, 6yrs old, came to me and said, “Mommy, I would rather you stay home and get better, than go to the fair.  I don’t want you to get worse.”  I didn’t need permission to stay home, but knowing he wanted me well, above all, made my staying home easier.  He saw my need.  It’s not necessarily service, but it’s seeing the human condition first.  Mother Mary realizing the embarrassment of the wedding host, Veronica recognizing Jesus’ loneliness, my son seeing my anguish.  

I think it’s in the noticing.  You may bring someone a glass of water, because you were asked, or it’s your job, that is service.  To do it because you notice that someone has been surrounded by people, who want to speak to them, and they can’t get away, on a hot day, that is a caregiving.  

I think of our Lord and how he cares for us.  I believe it can go unnoticed, so subtle are His ways. The people who happen into our lives, we may identify as coincidence, but are there, because the Master saw a need, and sent a servant to us.  I think again about the Wedding Feast.  Today, I am greatly appreciating the caregiver recently placed in my life.  You see deeper than the surface, and have made me feel truly noticed.  It is your gift, and I thank God for His care, and sending you to me.

A Week of Saints (September 16-22, 2018)

Sunday, September 16

St Cornelius, Pope, Martyr (d 253)

Cornelius (d. 253) . Because the church was so persecuted, there was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian. A college of priests goverened the church during this time.  Cornelius’s papacy was concerned with the Sacrament of Penance and on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Cornelius was exiled due to the persecutions of the Christians under Emperor Gallus, where he died a martyr.

Monday, September 17

St. Robert Bellarmine, Priest, Cardinal (1542-1621)

Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit, devote his studies in Scripture, Church history and the fathers of the Church, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers.  His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable.  He used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, “The walls won’t catch cold.”  Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, 

.“Love is a marvelous and heavenly thing. It never tires and never thinks that it has done enough“

Patron: canon lawyers, catechists

Tuesday, September 18

St. Joseph of Cupertino, Priest (1603-1663)

Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.  Already as a child, he liked prayer. After a short time with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. He cared for the friary mule, then Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer.  He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.

Patron:  Air Travelers, Astronauts, Pilots

Wednesday, September 19

St. Januarius, Bishop, Martyr (c 305)

St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento. He went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He also was imprison. They were thrown to the wild beasts, but when the animals did not attack them, they were beheaded. What is believed to be Januarius’ blood is kept in Naples, as a relic. It liquifies and bubbles when exposed in the cathedral. Scientists have not been able to explain this miracle to date..

Patron:  blood banks, volcanic eruptions

Thursday, September 20

Ss. Andrew Kim Tae- gon and Paul Chong Ha-Sang and Companions, Martyrs (1821-1846)

This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay apostle and married man, aged 45..

Friday, September 21

St. Matthew Apostle, Martyr (time of Christ)

Matthew was a Jew who collected Roman taxes. Tax collectors were generally hated as dishonest traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with “sinners”. So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers.

Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that “many” tax collectors and “those known as sinners” came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. Matthew is one of the twelve Apostles.

Saturday, September 22

St Maurice, Martyr (3rd Century)

Maurice and his fellow legionnaires refused to sacrifice to the gods as ordered by the Emperor. The entire Legion of over six thousand men were put to death. To the end they were encouraged in their constancy by Maurice and two fellow officers, 

Patron: Vatican’s Swiss Guard, armies, weavers, cloth makers