The Month of May 2024

My Friends,

 Something had to be done…”
            Many of you have heard the true story I tell about a mother and her four year old.  She had not been active in any church.  The young boy had no faith formation.  He sees a crucifix and asks her, “What is that man doing, mom?
            Bishop Robert Barron, who is no stranger to our parish family from our adult faith formation program, offers a response to that question. A reflective reading in these fifty days of Eastertide can draw us more deeply into the meaning of the mystery.
            “Why would God’s salvation of the human race have to include something as horrifying as crucifixion? We live in a time when the human predicament is regularly denied, explained away, or ignored. Despite the massive counter-evidence from the moral disasters of the last century, we are still beguiled by the myth of progress: with just enough technical advancement, psychological insight, and personal liberation, we will solve our problems.
            “But with this sort of stupidity and superficiality the Bible has no truck. The scriptural authors understand sin not so much as a series of acts but as a condition in which we are stuck, something akin to an addiction or a contagious disease. No amount of merely human effort could possibly solve the problem.
            “With this biblical realism in mind, we can begin to comprehend why the Crucifixion of the Son of God was necessary. The just rapport between God and human beings could not be reestablished either through our moral effort or with simply a word of forgiveness. Something had to be done—and God alone could do it.”
“Laborers into His vineyard…”
            Grace will be abounding for the Church of St. Louis in the month of May as Priests are ordained for service to this local Church.
            On Saturday May 25th Archbishop Rozanski will ordain three candidates to the Priesthood. They are Deacons Jeffrey Fennewald, Robert Lawson and Joseph Martin. The Mass of Ordination will be celebrated at 10:00 AM in the Cathedral Basilica. They have completed their formation for Holy Orders at our Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.  All in the Archdiocese are welcome to attend.  The following day, according to custom, each of the newly ordained Priests will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in the parish where he was raised, and his early faith formation began.
            Traditionally, in the month of May, candidates are also ordained Transitional Deacons for a final year of ministry prior to Priesthood ordination.  That will not be so this year.  There are two candidates in formation for ordination now.  One, Deacon Robert Hennekes is studying at Pope John Paul II Seminary in Boston.  The other, Matthew Ludwig, is in formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.  Both will be ordained Priests for service in St. Louis in May of 2025.
            Thanks be to God for “sending laborers into His vineyard.”  And thanks be to God for the generous response of these ordinandi for Priesthood to His call to service in the Church in ordained ministry. Pray with me that other young men will likewise be generous in responding to His call and will enjoy strong support and encouragement from their families and friends.
Deepening Faith
            Our St. John’s Faith Enrichment Group regularly meets on the first Sunday of the month, in the church hall, following the 10:00 o’clock Mass.  The group that gathers reflects the diversity of our members.
            The video series Catholicism by Bishop Robert Barron is the springboard for conversation on faith matters. Sessions so far have sparked engaging reflections by participants.  The next Faith Enrichment Group meeting is Sunday, May 5th following the 10:00 Mass.  The conversation usually lasts about one hour.  Light refreshments are served.  All are welcome.
“You did it for me”
            Each year the Archdiocesan Annual Catholic Appeal funds people programs that serve over one half million children, women and men in our metropolitan community.  People of all faiths, and of no faith, benefit.  The homeless are provided shelter.  The hungry receive nutritious meals.  Women and children at-risk are afforded safe-haven and necessary care.  Senior citizens receive a continuum of needed services.  Disadvantaged children and teens are educated.  Those are only a few of the people programs made possible by the Appeal.
            By now you should have received a letter from Archbishop Rozanski, along with a pledge card, asking your generous support for the 2024 Annual Catholic Appeal.  You should have received a letter from me, too, with specific participation details for our Pro-Cathedral family.
            There are two goals set for us and for all by the Archdiocesan Appeal leadership.  One is calculated according to a standard formula. Our formula goal is $6,933.  The other goal is a challenge to meet the total of our gifts to the 2023 Annual Catholic Appeal last year.  Our challenge goal is $26,625.  In my almost twenty-two years among you, we have never not reached goal!  Already, as of 26 April 2024 we have surpassed our formula goal by nearly $1,500!
            Please return your pledge card, with your gift, in the envelope that was enclosed with the Archbishop’s mailing.  If you prefer, you are welcome to return it to the Pro-Cathedral with your Sunday Offering, or by mail to the Pro-Cathedral office by Sunday, May 5, 2024. The last date for gifts is Friday, August 16, 2024.  If you misplace the pledge card from Archbishop Rozanski, please contact the rectory.  We will be happy to provide a replacement card with a postage paid return envelope to you.  As the Appeal nears its conclusion, we will send a follow-up reminder to those who might have forgotten, or not yet had chance to respond with a gift to the Appeal.
            For the Annual Catholic Appeal each year I ask that you be as generous to God, and the works of God, as God has been generous to you.  Your gift, then, will be the right one.  I am grateful.  Archbishop Rozanski is grateful.  All those who benefit from your generosity are most grateful.
The venerable patrimony of the Archdiocese
            During the twenty years in the late 1800’s when St. John’s served as Archbishop Kenrick’s Cathedral Church, four priests were consecrated bishops here. The first was Father John Hogan in 1868, to be Bishop of Kansas City. Then in 1872, Father Patrick Ryan, the pastor of St. John’s, was consecrated and became Archbishop of Philadelphia. Father Thomas Bonacum was consecrated in 1887 to be Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1888, Father John Hennessy was consecrated and sent to serve as Bishop of Wichita.
            That those sacred and solemn celebrations took place in this Pro-Cathedral Church are yet another reason that the church is part of the venerable patrimony of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Here grace has been abounding. So may it be for a long time to come.
We remember
            On Monday, 27 May 2024, as our nation observes the Memorial Day holiday, we pray with gratitude for those who have served generously and selflessly in our military defending and preserving freedom and justice worldwide.  We remember, especially, those who have embodied the Gospel teaching of Jesus that, “there is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”
            We pray, too, for peace in Ukraine and in the Holy Land.  We pray, as well, for peace in our homes, metropolitan community, nation and worldwide. God grant us to see a day when hostilities, persecution and oppression are ended, and the dignity of every person is respected and protected.
In Brief
            We welcome Christopher Elliott to the Pro-Cathedral family.  Thanks be to God who builds us up!
            On Saturday, June 15th, parishioners Will O’Shea and Eva Schuller will celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage here.  God bless the new beginning they begin and make them to be a blessing in the lives of others.
           We keep in prayer Joyce Sullivan, Margaret Czapla and all the sick and homebound, together with their care givers and loved ones.  We pray for all deceased members of our St. John’s Pro-Cathedral family that they see God face to face now, and their families and friends experience grace & peace.

Monsignor Delaney