This weekend we celebrate the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Summer can be a difficult time for many, especially, as we experienced in July, with extreme heat, heat-related illnesses, and difficulty breathing. It can also lead to wild fires, as we have heard about those in Europe this summer. It is, perhaps, disturbing to hear Jesus say in this week’s Gospel, “I have come to set the earth on fire!” Jesus’s mission was as much to challenge as to comfort. As disciples we are challenged to remain faithful, no matter the weather or what is going on around us! Have we been set on fire in our commit- ment to the faith?
Next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of Saint Louis IX, King of France, the Patron of the Archdiocese and the City of Saint Louis. (While it is the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Archbishop has asked that we celebrate the Feast in honor of our Patron Saint.) Our readings next
weekend will speak about the image of Saint Louis as found in Sacred Scripture. Special emphasis will be on his service of God and his own people: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the great- est?” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
… The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
I’m sure you know a lot about Saint Louis, but here is some more information about him. Saint Louis IX was born on April 25, 1214, the son of King Louis VIII of France and Queen (now Blessed) Blanche of Castile. The story is told that when he was small his mother hugged him tightly. She said, “I love you, my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child. But I would rather see you dead at my feet than ever to have you commit a mortal sin.” Louis never forgot those words. He grew to cherish his Catholic faith and his upbringing. His father died when he was twelve, so his mother was the Regent, and ruled France in his name, until he reached the age of twenty-one. He was a remarkable king. He married Princess Margaret. They loved each other very much and had eleven children. Busy as he was, the King found time to attend Holy Mass every day and to attend the recitation of the Divine Office, now “The Liturgy of the Hours.” He was a (as called now) a “Secular Franciscan,” and lived a simple life- style. He was generous and fair and ruled his people with wisdom, charity and true Christian princi- ples. There was no separation between what he believed as a Catholic and how he lived and governed the people of France. He knew how to settle arguments and disputes; he listened to the poor and under- privileged. He had time for everyone, and not just the rich and influential. He felt an obligation to help the suffering Christians in the Holy Land. He wanted to be part of the Crusades. The first Crusade he went on he was captured. Even in jail he behaved as a true Christian Knight. He was unafraid and noble in all his ways. He was freed and returned to take care of France. Yet as soon as he could, he started back for the Holy Land. On the way, however, he contracted typhoid fever. A few hours before he died he prayed, “Lord, I will enter into your house, worship in your holy temple, and give glory to your name.” He died on August 25, 1270, at the age of fifty-six. He was proclaimed a saint by
Pope Boniface VIII in 1297. Happy Feast day to all the people of Metropolitan Saint Louis, especially in our Archdiocese!
Young Adult Group: We have a GOOD NUMBER of “young people,” i.e., folks generally out
of college and not yet “over thirty” here in our Parish. While we don’t have a “formal name” for this group, our Young Adult Group, aided by Brother Ben Keller, OP, and with assistance from a number of our young parishioners, has been quite active. Our young adults have been meeting with prayer (holy hours on several Friday nights!), dinners, brunches, study of the faith, and now, an opportunity for ALL the parish to get involved with two events. First of all, the young adult group invites you to join with them in a NOVENA TO SAINT MONICA for the return of Young Adults to the Faith. That Novena will begin tomorrow, Monday, August 19th, and will end on the Feast of Saint Monica, Tuesday, August 27th.
There are copies of the prayers to be said at the entrances of the Church. I know, all too well, that there are a number of young people from most of our families, including mine, who have “taken a vacation” from church. This novena is specifically for these young adults to come home … just as Saint Monica prayed for almost forty years for the conversion of her son, Saint Augustine. If you have someone to pray for, specifically, this would be the great time to do it! Second, in light of what I wrote last week about faith, the young adults, along with Father Schumacher, Deacon Westhoff, Deacon Sommer, and
I will be offering, beginning on Sunday, September 8th, a brief discussion topic about the faith, between the 9:30 A.M. and 11:30 A.M. Masses. (That is part of the “stay tuned” that I referred to last weekend.) There will only be about ½ hour of time so the topic will not be in depth, but will try to explain a little more about the faith, especially in light of the recent Pew Research Center survey that indicated that 69% of Catholics don’t believe that the Eucharist is really the Eucharist. More on that next week!
Meanwhile, let us pray for more fervent young adults to live the faith!
Construction Noise and Daily Masses: Our morning Weekday Masses have been moved from Church to the gym, and will continue to be there this coming week and for a couple of weeks beyond this week. (The Saturday morning 8:00 A.M. Mass will be in Church.) I have an agreement with the contractor that if there is a funeral they will suspend work during the Funeral. Regarding Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: Because of the construction, Adoration, until further notice, will be from 3:30 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. on Wednesdays, in the Adoration Chapel. Thank you for your patience with the building of the new elevator and the renovation of the Msgr. Schneider Hall and serving kitchen. Confessions will still be available from 3:30 – 4:30 on Wednesdays.
MonicaFest will be this coming Friday evening, August 23rd, beginning at 6:00 P.M. in the Cafeteria and, weather permitting, on the Msgr. Clarence White Field. There will be a dinner, games, fellowship, and, for the kids, bounce houses and the Scouts will erect their “monkey bridge.” While we have had this later in the Fall in the past, we have run into some rainy weather (like last year) as well as some cold weather (like two years ago). The “ideal” date for this would have been September 6, the Friday after Labor Day, but the Women’s ACTS retreat will be going on at that time. ALSO by having it on August 23 it is closer to our parish feast. It is a great time to visit with long time parishioners and to meet and greet our newer parishioners!
The Parish School of Religion begins this Wednesday evening, August 21, at 6:45 P.M. All students, parents, faculty, and staff, will meet in the School Cafeteria. After the children are dismissed there will be a meeting for our parents.
Baptism Preparation: Our next “Baptism Prep” will be Thursday, August 22, at 7:00 P.M. in the Rectory Meeting Room. PLEASE CALL THE RECTORY OFFICE if you are planning to attend. A session is required before the Baptism of your first child.
May God bless us all as we more deeply seek the Lord’s presence in our lives! Faithfully yours,
Fr Joe Weber