The Month of January 2019

My Friends,
 
Saint Among Us
Twenty years ago next weekend marks a spiritual highlight in our Archdiocese’s, our city’s life.  For 31 hours, we had Pope Saint John Paul among us.  Let us take a reflective look back at his words to the young people at the gathering in the then Kiel Center.
          “Dear Young People of St. Louis,
          “Dear Young People of the United States,
          “Praised be Jesus Christ!
          “Your warm and enthusiastic welcome makes me very happy. It tells me that tonight the Pope belongs to you. I have just been in Mexico City, to celebrate the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops for America. And now, my joy continues here with you, the young people of St. Louis and Missouri, and of the whole United States.

“We are gathered here this evening to listen to Jesus as he speaks to us through His word and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“We have just heard the Apostle Paul say to Timothy, his young fellow evangelizer: “Train yourself for devotion”. These are important words for every Christian, for everyone who truly seeks to follow the Lord and to put his words into practice. They are especially important for you, the young people of the Church. And so you need to ask yourselves: what training am I doing in order to live a truly Christian life?

“You all know what “training” is, and what it signifies. In fact, we are here in the Kiel Center where many people train long and hard in order to compete in different sports. Today, this impressive stadium has become another kind of training ground — not for hockey or soccer or basketball, but for that training that will help you to live your faith in Jesus more decisively. This is the ‘training in devotion’ that Saint Paul is referring to – the training that makes it possible for you to give yourselves without reservation to the Lord and to the work that he calls you to do!

“Each one of you belongs to Christ, and Christ belongs to you. At Baptism you were claimed for Christ with the Sign of the Cross; you received the Catholic faith as a treasure to be shared with others. In Confirmation, you were sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strengthened for your Christian mission and vocation. In the Eucharist, you receive the food that nourishes you for the spiritual challenges of each day.

“Your belonging to the Church can find no greater expression or support than by sharing in the Eucharist every Sunday in your parishes. Christ gives us the gift of his body and blood to make us one body, one spirit in him, to bring us more deeply into communion with him and with all the members of his Body, the Church. Make the Sunday celebration in your parishes a real encounter with Jesus in the community of his followers: this is an essential part of your “training in devotion” to the Lord!

“Dear young friends, in the Reading we have just heard, the Apostle Paul tells Timothy: “Let no one have contempt for your youth”. He says this because youth is a marvelous gift of God. It is a time of special energies, special opportunities and special responsibilities. Christ and the Church need your special talents. Use well the gifts the Lord has given you!

“This is the time of your “training”, of your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. But this does not mean that you can put off until later your meeting with Christ and your sharing in the Church’s mission. Even though you are young, the time for action is now! Jesus does not have “contempt for your youth”. He does not set you aside for a later time when you will be older and your training will be complete. Your training will never be finished. Christians are always in training. You are ready for what Christ wants of you now. He wants you – all of you – to be light to the world, as only young people can be light. It is time to let your light shine!
         
“I urge you to let his word enter your hearts, and then from the bottom of your hearts to tell him: ‘Here I am Lord, I come to do your will!’.”

Moveable Feasts
          The proclamation during Masses, near the end of the Christmas Season, of the date of Easter and the other moveable feasts, was a tradition dating from a time when calendars were not readily available.  Although calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year for many years in advance, the proclamation still has value.  It is a reminder of the centrality of the Resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of our redemption in Christ celebrated each year. Though no longer proclaimed during Mass now, the publication of the moveable feasts for the Year of Our Lord 2019 is still relevant.  It follows:
         
“As we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so by leave of God's mercy we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection, who is our Savior.
         
“On the sixth day of March will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season.  On the twenty-first day of April we will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.  On the thirtieth day of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.  On the ninth day of June, the feast of Pentecost.  On the twenty-third day of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  On the first day of December, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen!”

Thanks Giving
          In this holy season, my prayer is that God give you and yours grace and peace now and throughout the coming new year. My prayer is also one of gratitude for your generosity to this parish, and to our parish family, and to me, in all the many ways – seen and unseen – you each demonstrate it.
          My thanks go to our staff members, to those who serve in parish leadership, and to all who volunteer time and talent in ways that are multiple and diverse. We are blessed by what you each do for the good of us all. All enrich our mission & ministry in our little portion of this city where our presence offers a spiritual oasis to all.
          My appreciation goes, as well, to those who oversee the monthly food pantry collections and the Giving Tree, and the winter coat collection. Those initiatives make the spirit of this season come alive year round.
          May God continue to prosper the good work He has begun in us!

Keeping Time
          Calendars for the Year of Our Lord 2019 are available at the church entrances. You are welcome to take one.  We are grateful to the Kutis Family of Funeral Homes for generously providing them every year.

In Brief
          On January 7th, we celebrated a funeral Mass for Jane Costello.  She was born into glory on December 31st.  Her husband of 71 years, Don, survives.

Jane is among the last of the "matriarchs" of the parish.

She and Don regularly -- and faithfully -- attended the Saturday evening Vigil Mass for Sunday each week until in recent time her health began to diminish.  Don and Jane have been, and continue to be, among our most generous benefactors supporting our mission and ministry.

God grant that Jane sees Him now face to face.  And God grant grace and peace to Don and all in the family these days, in coming days, and always, as together we all await "the blessed hope and the coming of Our Savior Jesus Christ".

We share the joy of Pam and Scott Vouri, and their first-born, Preston, on the birth, January 6, of Adeline Grace Vouri!

Now again, in Adeline Grace, Scott and Pam tell the truth, in flesh & blood, that love creates life!  God keep Scott and Pam and Preston and Adeline growing great in His love all ways always.

Year end contribution statements will be mailed, as usual, to all households of record during the month of January. They will be mailed to the current address on file in the parish office. If you have had a change of address, but have not informed us, please do so by email at: stjohnsae@netzero.net or on the parish office voicemail at 314-421-3467.
 

Faithfully,
Monsignor Delaney