This weekend we 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 this weekend 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 greatest?” “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.”
Next weekend we will celebrate the Feast of Saint Monica, our Parish’s Patron. While the feast of Saint Monica will be this coming Tuesday (with an all school Mass on Tuesday, not on Wednesday of this week), during Ordinary Time Parishes may have an “external celebration of the Solemnity” of its Patronal Feast. The readings next weekend will speak of Saint Monica’s role as a wife, mother, and widow.
I’m sure that you aware of the “highlights” of Saint Monica’s life, but here is a brief summary of our Parish Patron. She was born around 332 to a Christian Family in North Africa, then part of the Roman Empire. She was a young girl when she married Patricius, a non-Christian older man. They had four children. Through her prayer and influence, her husband eventually became a Christian. Monica poured out tears and prayers to God for the conversion of her oldest son, Augustine. She went from place to place throughout the Roman Empire trying to find him. Finally she found him in Milan where he had met the Bishop, Ambrose. Following Augustine’s Baptism, they were going to return to their home near Hippo, now in Algeria, but she died around the year 387 in Ostia, the port of Rome. Most of what we know about Saint Monica is found in Saint Augustine’s great work, The Confessions.
MonicaFest was last Friday evening, August 23rd. Of course this is written long before that event, but the weather forecast looked very favorable. I hope that we had a lot of people here getting to know each other, welcoming new parishioners, and celebrating the fact that we are a Parish Community. Thanks to all the members of the Parish Council and the Knights of Columbus, as well as our “welcoming committee,” the Scouts, the Athletic “Department,” etc., who helped with this annual event. I really hope that a “good time was had by all.”
The Parish School of Religion began last Wednesday evening, August 21. Of course it isn’t too late to register for classes. Our next class will be this coming Wednesday, August 28, beginning at 6:45 P.M. Also on this coming Wednesday will be our second meeting for our Confirmation Sponsors. That gathering will begin at 6:50 P.M. in the Cafeteria. We will go over what our Sponsors and candidates did during the summer, discuss the Day of Recollection, coming up on September 8th, and other “loose ends” that need to be addressed before the celebration of Confirmation on Wednesday, October 9th. All sponsors should be present if at all possible.
Young Adult Group: As I wrote last week, and as there are still some pamphlets available, the young adult group invited you to join with them in a NOVENA TO SAINT MONICA for the return of Young Adults to the Faith. That Novena began on Monday, August 19th, and will end on the Feast of Saint Monica, this coming Tuesday, August 27th. While the Novena was in preparation for the Feast of Saint Monica, a Novena may be prayed at any time of the year.
So, if you didn’t take a pamphlet, or make the Novena, perhaps you could start on the 27th and pray for nine days starting on the Feast of Saint Monica. Again, in light of recent developments about some people not knowing much about the faith, Father Schumacher, Deacon Westhoff, Deacon Sommer, Brother Ben Keller, 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. 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. For the first few weeks (until the Msgr. Schneider Hall is completed), we will meet in the “Cry Room / Chapel” … on the South Side of the Church, following the 9:30 A.M. Mass until 11:15 A.M. We will only have about a half hour, but it is more of an “appetizer,” getting ready for the “main course”! ALL are welcome, not just young people! Next week I will have the topic listed here. I have asked Father Schumacher to do the presentation on the first weekend, September 8th.
We were asked to announce the following: Nature’s Call: Nature is calling you this Labor Day week- end! Join us at the 26th annual Nature’s Call Campout! Many young adult Catholics from across the Midwest will enjoy a relaxing getaway to Lake Pomme de Terre, where you can pitch a tent or simply hang a hammock in the several acres of land on the lake! You will meet and grow in friendship with 100+ young faithful while enjoying swimming, live music, dancing, hiking, a cooking competition, sports, and more! Holy Mass and Confessions available during the weekend. Food and beverages will not be provided. Stores are nearby for any necessities. The campsite does have restrooms with running water and shower facilities. To learn more and purchase tickets ($25 online or $30 at the door), please visit www.naturescall.camp . We look forward to seeing you! (My comment: It sounds like a great opportunity!)
Construction Noise and Daily Masses: Our morning Weekday Masses have been moved from Church to the gym, and will continue to be there for a couple more weeks. (The Saturday morning 8:00 A.M. Mass will be in Church, as will the 9:00 A.M. Mass on Labor Day, and, of course, all of the weekend Masses.) 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 con- struction, Adoration, until further notice, will be from 3:30 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. on Wednesdays. 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.
May God bless us all as we celebrate the Feast of our Archdiocese and City this weekend, and our Parish Patronal Feast on Tuesday and next weekend!
Fr Joe Weber