The Month of July 2022

My Friends,

To eat & to be satisfied

            On June 19th, the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body & Blood of Christ, the Catholic Church in the United States began a three year Eucharistic Revival.  It is envisioned as a time to appreciate more deeply and live more intensely the mystery of the Eucharist, which St. John Paul II called the inestimabile donum – the inestimable gift.  The words of Pope Francis on the Feast of Corpus Christi are to the point!

            “Instituted during the Last Supper, the Eucharist was like the destination of a journey along which Jesus had prefigured it through several signs, above all the multiplication of the loaves narrated in the Gospel of St. Luke. Jesus takes care of the huge crowd that had followed him to listen to his word and to be freed from various evils. He blesses five loaves and two fish, breaks them, the disciples distribute them, and ‘they all ate and were satisfied’, the Gospel says. In the Eucharist, everyone can experience this loving and concrete attention of the Lord. Those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ with faith not only eat, but are satisfied. To eat and to be satisfied: these are two basic necessities that are satisfied in the Eucharist.

            “To eat. ‘They all ate’, writes Saint Luke. As evening fell, the disciples tell Jesus to dismiss the crowd so they can go in search of food. But the Teacher wants to provide for that too!  He also wants to feed those who had listened to him. The miracle of the loaves and fish does not happen in a spectacular way, but almost secretly, like the wedding at Cana, the bread increases as it passes from hand to hand. And as the crowd eats, they realize that Jesus is taking care of everything. This is the Lord present in the Eucharist. He calls us to be citizens of Heaven, but at the same time he takes into account the journey we have to face here on earth.

            “Sometimes there is the risk of confining the Eucharist to a vague, distant dimension, perhaps bright and perfumed with incense, but rather distant from the demands of everyday life. In reality, the Lord takes all our needs to heart, beginning with the most basic. And he wants to give an example to his disciples, saying, ’You give them something to eat’, to those people whom he had listened to during the day. We can evaluate our Eucharistic adoration when we take care of our neighbor like Jesus does. There is hunger for food around us, but also of companionship; there is hunger for consolation, friendship, good humor; there is hunger for attention, there is hunger to be evangelized. We find this in the Eucharistic Bread – the attention of Christ to our needs and the invitation to do the same toward those who are beside us. We need to eat and feed others.

            “In addition to eating, however, we cannot forget being satisfied. The crowd is satisfied because of the abundance of food and also because of the joy and amazement of having received it from Jesus! We certainly need to nourish ourselves, but we also need to be satisfied, to know that the nourishment is given to us out of love. In the Body and Blood of Christ, we find his presence, his life given for each of us. He not only gives us help to go forward, but he gives us himself – he makes himself our traveling companion, he enters into our affairs, he visits us when we are lonely, giving us back a sense of enthusiasm. This satisfies us, when the Lord gives meaning to our life, our obscurities, our doubts; he sees the meaning, and this meaning that the Lord gives satisfies us. This gives us that ‘more’ that everyone is looking for – namely, the presence of the Lord! For in the warmth of his presence, our lives change. Without him, everything would truly be grey. Adoring the Body and Blood of Christ, let us ask him with our heart: ‘Lord, give me that daily bread to go forward, Lord, satisfy me with your presence!’”

“…we will continue serving those who are most vulnerable”

            Archbishop Rozanski offered this response on 24 June 2022 when the decision of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade was published:

            “The Catholic Church has always proclaimed that every human being, born and unborn, is endowed by our Creator with the right to be protected and cherished.  Therefore, just as before today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade, the Church will continue serving those who are most vulnerable and bearing witness to the dignity of every human person, regardless of religion, race, age or any other factor.

            “Here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we will continue providing resources for women facing unexpected and difficult pregnancies, cherishing and protecting women and their children, so that they may both develop their full potential in this world and will be happy with God forever in the next.

            “I urge all the faithful in our Archdiocese, now more than ever, to demonstrate compassion and provide support to those in need, with a special deference to mothers and children in need.”

The All Things New Planning Areas

            The All Things New strategic pastoral planning process has been unfolding in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for several months now.  It aims to configure the Archdiocese to be most effective in its mission and ministry through the year 2050.  Among other factors it takes into account the dramatic shift in demographics in the Archdiocese and the reality of significantly fewer numbers of priests as many of my “era” reach retirement age.  In just a few years we will have fewer priests than the number of parishes in the archdiocese.  The All Things New initiative will position us to plan for a vibrant and vital future serving the Church and the community.

            For All Things New planning, the 178 parishes of the Archdiocese have been grouped into fifteen “planning areas”.  We are in Planning Area Number 3

            This area is comprised of these parishes:  the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the Old Cathedral, St. Cronan, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mary of Victories, Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Joseph – Croatian, St. Francis de Sales, St. Wenceslaus, St. Cecilia, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Pius V, Resurrection of Our Lord, St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen Protomartyr, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Margaret of Scotland.

            Continue to pray, please, that the Holy Spirit give Archbishop Rozanski, and our Archdiocesan leadership, wisdom and right judgment as the All Things New planning evolves.  Let me suggest, too, that we pray for ourselves and for the parish families in our Planning Area, as our lives will likely be intersecting in days to come.  In the power of the Holy Spirit, may God make us to be one body, one spirit, in Christ.

“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.  These are only a few of the people programs made possible by the Appeal.

            At present our gifts total $20,208.00 toward a challenge goal of $26,050.  Gifts have come from almost 50% of the parish family.  Last year our gifts totaled $26,048, given by 67% of our parish family.  As yet we have no first time donors toward the assigned goal of three.

            As the 2022 Appeal nears its conclusion, I encourage any of you who have not yet made a gift to do so.  I ask simply 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.  All those who benefit from your generosity will be most grateful!

In Brief

            The parish office will be closed on Monday, 4 July 2022, as we observe the Independence Day Holiday.  On the holiday, and in these contrary times, our special intention in prayer is that it will be true that “in God we trust.”

            During these Covid pandemic times, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the option of receiving Holy Communion from the chalice has been suspended.  Some weeks ago Archbishop Rozanski suggested to pastors that, at their discretion, this option could now be restored.  At this time when Covid diagnoses in the metro area are on an uptick, and out of a continuing abundance of caution for the good health of all here, it has seemed to me still too early to do so. Hopefully the day will not be long in coming when we can confidently resume the practice.

            For a number of years Father Larry Brennan has been a familiar presence at Masses here when on home visits to St. Louis.  He and I first met in 1964 at our high school seminary.  He is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, but for several years has served in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.  Recently that service concluded and Father Brennan has returned to St. Louis.  He is living at Regina Cleri in Shrewsbury, our residence for senior priests.  It is good to have him home.

            Our church parking lot has been leased to S&H Parking, one the major downtown parking vendors, for special event and some limited monthly parking for many years. St. Louis Blues hockey games and concerts at the Enterprise Center and Stifel Opera House are some of these events.  The monthly income from this arrangement is a reliable source of our operating revenue.  The lease is currently being renegotiated taking into account the completion of the new soccer stadium just west of us, and the additional special event parking which will be possible.  I am grateful to the staff our Archdiocesan Office of Building and Real Estate Office for coordinating this.

            We keep in prayer Murry Velasco and Lubertha Bartee, and all the sick and homebound that God keep a careful eye on them.

          Monsignor Delaney