The Month of September 2018

My Friends,

The Lord’s Day
The Holy Father has begun a series of reflections, in recent weeks, on the Ten Commandments.  Joining tourists and faithful in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday, September 5th, Pope Francis during his General Audience focused on the Commandment, "Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day."

The Pope told those gathered that resting on Sunday was not “a mere escape or diversion, but a command to imitate God himself, who on the seventh day rested from his works and contemplated the goodness of his creation.”  His reflection follows:

"Dear brothers and sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we now consider the command to keep holy the Lord’s Day. For the Scriptures, this day of rest is not a mere escape or diversion, but a command to imitate God himself, who on the seventh day rested from his works and contemplated the goodness of his creation. Our day of rest, like his, must be an occasion of joy, praise, and thanksgiving for the gift of life, culminating in our celebration of the Eucharist, the supreme act of thanksgiving given to us by the Lord himself. How easy it is to be negative, to dwell on life’s problems and challenges, and to try to flee from them! On the other hand, accepting God’s invitation to give thanks for the goodness of life and creation entails a conscious choice. Goodness, like love, is never forced on us; it must be freely chosen and accepted. When, on our weekly day of rest, we contemplate our lives and the world around us, let us be conscious of God’s provident care and conform ourselves, like Jesus, to the Father’s will, knowing that, in the end, “all is grace”. For, as the Psalmist assures us, in God alone do our souls find rest."

Penance & Adoration
A reminder that the Sacrament of Penance is offered in the northwest reconciliation room.  The Sacrament is available Saturdays from 3:30 till 4:00 and Sundays from 9:00 till 9:20.

During those two thirty-minute times, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the Altar for a period of Eucharistic Adoration.  It is a time – a prelude -- of Eucharistic Amazement at the meaning of the mystery we are about to celebrate.  Then we can be better impelled to go from here to “imitate what we celebrate”!

Alive in Christ
Each year, at this time, every pastor is required to present a report to the Archbishop detailing all aspects of parish life.  It is called the “Status Animarum” or “State of the Parish”.  This report includes “vital statistics” of parish life, as well as a detailed “financial report” verifying responsible stewardship of parish resources.

A synopsis of our “financial report” for the fiscal year 2018, July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018, is presented on page 3 of the bulletin today.

The “vital statistics” we have reported are these:  “Registered Parish Households: 65”;  “Regular Contributors: 54”; “Total Baptisms: 2”; “Total Marriages: 4”; “Total Funerals: 1”.  There were no First Communions nor Confirmations in the last year.

This snapshot provides food for thought as we continue to explore opportunities to assure that we are a parish that is vibrant and vital and Alive in Christ!

Welcome News
Recently I received welcome news from the Archdiocesan Leadership of the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal.  Our formula goal for the 2018 Appeal was $6,820.  Our challenge goal was $41,650.  Your gifts, as of the formal conclusion of the Appeal, total $41,660.  We have, then, again surpassed our goal!
               Our new donor goal was three;  we numbered one first-time donor.  
               I am grateful to you!  The Archbishop & Appeal Leadership are grateful!  Most importantly, the 1/2 million children & adults who benefit from the “people programs” funded by the Annual Catholic Appeal, without regard to race or creed, are most grateful.
               Once more you demonstrate that our numbers are small but your hearts are great!
               Thank you!  Thanks be to God!

Heavenly Greeters
From time to time people inquire about the images of the saints on either side of the center doors in the nave of the church.  Their positions make them heavenly greeters for all coming and going.

On the south side, the image is of St. Rita of Cascia who lived from 1377 – 1447 in Italy. Married and the mother of two sons, after they were raised and she had been widowed, St. Rita joined the convent, living out her life as an Augustinian nun.  For reasons no longer known, a special devotion to St. Rita developed in this parish.  In its early days there were special observances here on May 22 which is her feast day. Because she lived a very difficult life she is known as the “saint of desperate situations”.

The image on the north side is of St. Anthony of Padua who lived, also in Italy, from 1193 – 1231.  A Franciscan Friar, he was known for his preaching and service to the poor.  He is depicted holding the Bible and the child Jesus.  His feast is celebrated on June 13.  He is known as the “patron of the poor”.

Archbishop Carlson has asked all pastors to acknowledge the catastrophic revelations of recent publication of details related to the abuse allegations made public, regarding now-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the recent Grand Jury Report from the Pennsylvania State Attorney General.

You likely know that it was announced on August 20th, that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has accepted Archbishop Carlson’s invitation that he review all files “for the purpose of making an independent determination of our handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.”
               We acknowledged these catastrophic revelations last week, in the first intercession, which I personally composed, of the Prayer of the Faithful.  We repeated it again this week.  Join me, now, as we repeat, this prayer, yet again:
               Rid the Church finally of the scandal & crime of abuse & the lack of effective response to this evil.
               Impel bishops & all church leaders to right past wrongs & protect – especially – the most vulnerable.
               Heal all who have been violated.  Remedy hurt & anger & disillusionment among the Catholic faithful.
               Hasten the day that – soon – the Church will be more credibly Alive in Christ!
               Let us pray to the Lord.
In Brief
Sunday, September 9th, the Parish Picnic was held at the home of parishioners Drs. Patrick and Christine Durbin.  Thank you Patrick and Christine, it was a peaceful and enjoyable time for all.

Thanks be to God for the birth of Catherine Frances Hartnett, second child of Andrew and Abby Hartnett, on 4 September 2018.  We look forward to her baptism and welcoming her as the newest member of our parish family.

Monsignor Delaney