This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our desires and possessions sometimes keep us from following Christ. As the disciples argue about who is the greatest disciple, Jesus embraces a little child — innocent, powerless, and with nothing. May we be open to the ways we try to place ourselves above others and ask for the grace to be like the child Jesus embraces and a faithful servant to all in need.
Next weekend will be the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. What if all of us here today embraced the role of prophet! Would that all of us listened to the cries of the poor and realized how our sins of gluttony and greed contribute to global problems! How would our world, our community, our lives be changed? These are the challenges next weekend’s readings place before us. May our minds and hearts be open to seeing ourselves in them.
The Annual Catholic Appeal: The results were announced last week and we did it again. I want to thank all of our parishioners who participated so well in this year’s ACA. Over ½ of our parishioners donated to the ACA. (I hope that we can improve on that!) We were the highest percentage of gifts given over the announced goal in the West County Deanery. This year we collected the fourteenth largest amount of all the parishes and institutions in the Archdiocese. Many thanks must be offered to ALL of you, but especially to our retiring chair couple, Kathy and Troy Steffenson. Thank you all… but especially Kathy and Troy for working so hard for the success of this year’s campaign, as well as all the previous years that you have served the Lord and the Archdiocese. The ACA is here to assist all the people of the Archdiocese! (I will be seeking the assistance of some parishioners to take the place of Kathy and Troy. When I ask please at least prayerfully consider it! Thank you!)
The Dominicans: Over the years I have been blessed to have been asked to serve as a mentor and formation assistant for some of the Dominican Friars living at Saint Dominic Priory and attending Aquinas Institute. While we didn’t have a Dominican last year, two years ago we had a Dominican Deacon, (now) Father Raphael Christianson, OP. Over the years I have helped a good number of young friars in developing skills needed in their priestly ministry. After a year of ministry at Indiana University’s Catholic Student Center, Brother Ben Keller, OP, has returned to Aquinas and to us here at Saint Monica. Brother Ben, originally from Minnesota, served as a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) Missionary at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, following College and prior to entering the Dominicans. With a passion for helping young people come to know Christ in a more meaningful way, he will be getting to know the young adults and young families to help them continue to find deep happiness and purpose in the Christian life (I’m asking Brother Ben to write in next week’s bulletin about his dreams and plans.) With my being gone this weekend, Fr. Michael Mascari, OP, a professor at Aquinas, will be here for the 5:00 P.M. Mass Saturday and the 7:30 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. Masses on Sunday. (I could write more about Fr. Michael, but I won’t, but suffice it to say that he is very well respected by the entire Order of Preachers through- out the world for all the leadership that he has provided to that community!) Fr. James Dominic Rooney, OP, another former “student” of mine, has helped here in the past and will be with us again next weekend for the 9:30 A.M. Mass. Father James Dominic is working on his Doctorate in Philosophy at Saint Louis University. He spent the Spring Semester teaching Philosophy in China! We welcome our Dominican Brothers and ask the Lord’s blessing upon them. Please make them feel welcome!
FAITH “Faith Alive In The Home”: Last Sunday, at our Festival of Ministries, many of you met Sr. Maureen Martin, ASCJ, who is the Director of this new program, funded by the “Beyond Sunday”
Campaign, for several parishes in our area. This is an attempt to instill our Catholic Faith in our youngest parishioners. There is another announcement elsewhere in the bulletin regarding a meeting to be held next Tuesday, September 25, at 7:00 P.M. in the School. We encourage a prayerful consideration to be given to the importance of parents being the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith. Sister’s phone number and e-mail are in that other announcement. Please call her if you have questions.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem: As I mentioned in last week’s bulletin I’ll be in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend for the annual meeting of the Northern Lieutenancy of the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre. Our parishioners Dr. Tony and Mrs. Rose Ann Penilla are being inducted this weekend. Last week I put a little in the bulletin about the Order. Here is some more information about the history of this almost 1000 year old order in the Church.
The origins of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem are generally thought to date back to the First Crusade, when the Crusade’s leader, Godfrey de Bouillon, liberated Jerusalem. As a component of his reorganization of the religious, military and public bodies of the territories newly freed from Muslim control, he founded the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre. According to most accounts of the Crusades, the first King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, assumed the leadership of this canonical order in 1103, and reserved the right for himself and his successors (as agents of the Patriarch of Jerusalem) to appoint Knights to it, should the Patriarch be absent or unable to do so.
Very soon after the First Crusade the troops – including the Knights of the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre – began to return to their homelands. This led to the creation of priories all over Europe, which were part of the Order as they came under the jurisdiction of the noble knights or prelates who had been invested at the Holy Sepulchre itself and who, although they were no longer in the direct service of the King of Jerusalem, continued to belong to the Order of Canons. In the 14th century, the Holy See made a substantial payment to the Egyptian Sultan so that he would grant the right to protect the Christian Sanctuaries to the Franciscan Friars Minor. Throughout the whole subsequent period of the Latin Patriarchate’s suppression, the right to create new Knights was the prerogative of the repre- sentative of the highest Catholic authority in the Holy Land: the Custos.
In 1847 the Patriarchate was restored and Blessed Pope Pius IX refounded and modernized the Order, issuing a new Constitution which placed it under the direct protection of the Holy See and assigned its government to the Latin Patriarch. The Order’s fundamental role was also redefined: to uphold the works of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whilst preserving the spiritual duty of propagating the Faith. That is still the work of the Order: to help Catholics in the Holy Land!
Last week’s homily: Several people wanted to know the two items that I quoted from Facebook last week. Here they are: “If being hurt by the church causes you to lose faith in God, then your faith was in people, not God.” And the second, “I am not a Catholic because of priests. I am not a Catholic because of bishops. I am not a Catholic because of the Pope. I am a Catholic because of God’s love. I am a Catholic because of Jesus. I am a Catholic because of the Eucharist. I am a Catholic because I believe in God’s Word.”
Have a great week. Fall is upon us. May it be a peaceful time.
Fr. Joe Weber