“Serve the Lord with gladness.” The Episcopal Motto of the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, Arch- bishop-elect of Saint Louis, taken from Psalm 100. It was the culmination of almost over a year when on Wednesday morning it was announced that Archbishop Carlson’s resignation as our Archbishop, which was submitted on June 30, 2019, was accepted by Pope Francis and Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, of Springfield, Massachusetts, had been named our new Archbishop. He is scheduled to be installed on Sunday, August 25, the Feast of Saint Louis (something, by the way, that I had predicted last year!). In the meanwhile, Archbishop Carlson will remain as our “Apostolic Administrator,” de facto still the Archbishop. May we pray for both Archbishop Carlson as he concludes his active ministry here and for Archbishop-elect Rozanski as he prepares to become our new Archbishop.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). Before He gave His Body and Blood on the Cross for the salvation of the whole world, Jesus gave His Body and Blood to His disciples in the form of bread and wine, instructing them to continue to this practice in memory of Him. Like the Lord providing water and manna in the desert, Jesus provides food and drink to sustain us, taking it one step further by transforming it to His own Body and Blood.
As we receive the Eucharist this weekend, and every day if we wish, let us realize the sustenance we
are given. May the Eucharist we share strengthen and enliven us as we bring Jesus with us to the world.
We congratulate our twenty-six young people who will receive their First Holy Communion on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 P.M. Obviously, it is going to be a “different” First Communion, without the proces- sions, the presentation of Gifts by the children, the children participating in various ways in the Mass. BUT they will receive our Lord in Holy Communion, the “source and summit” of our lives as Christians. We congratulate all involved, especially their parents, “the first educators of their children in the ways of faith.” We are happy that two of the children have grandfathers who are deacons and they will give their grandchildren their First Holy Communion. The list of the children is elsewhere in the bulletin.
Next weekend is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We will return to wearing “green vestments” and will return to hearing from Saint Matthew’s Gospel. Next weekend we will hear Jesus reassure His disciples by reminding them of the tender care of His heavenly Father, an appropriate theme for Father’s Day! Our heavenly Father watches over us assiduously, faithfully, lovingly; every hair on our heads is accounted for. So next weekend, especially, may we all recall all the times our own fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father figures … living and dead … made us feel safe and secure with their vigilant care.
Fathers’ Day Novena: A lovely custom here to remember all those mentioned above. The cards are in the main lobby of the church. Please list your fathers (and other “father figures”) so we can pray for them during these nine Holy Masses to be prayed for the annual Fathers’ Day Novena. Please return your envelopes as soon as possible. All the names will be placed under the statue of Saint Joseph in our Church.
The attendance last weekend at our Masses was not the greatest, but we will continue with the three Masses for the time being. (In addition there is First Communion Mass at 2:00 P.M. today). Our Masses next weekend will be on Saturday at 5:00 P.M., Sunday at 9:30 A.M. and 11:30 A.M.
In case you are wondering, at the 5:00 P.M. last Saturday there were 83 people. Around 125 were at the 9:30 A.M. on Sunday, including several in the Msgr. Schneider Hall. Finally there were only about 50 at the 11:30 A.M. Mass last Sunday. Again, the Archbishop has granted a dispensation from the attendance at Holy Mass and from the Easter Duty until this pandemic is cleared up and we can gather “safely” again.
Masks: Again, the Archbishop has asked that masks be worn in Church, for all from 2 years on and up. While we do have masks available in the entry of church, we would prefer if you would bring your own mask. Please lower the mask for the reception of Holy Communion. Again, too, the Archbishop has asked that you PLEASE receive Holy Communion in the hand. If, for some reason, you don’t want to do that, please come up LAST to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. I know that I will sanitize my hand after anyone receives Holy Communion on the tongue.
Census updates and Stewardship forms: These were sent out via a Constant Contact message on Tuesday, June 9th. I want to thank the many people who returned them promptly. Please consider doing so as soon as possible. Thank you.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network: June Reflection – The Way of the Heart (This was not available for last week’s bulletin, the first Sunday of June. It is presented here for your prayerful reflection.) The Feast of the Sacred Heart will be this coming Friday, June 19th.
I picked up a scrap of paper that was placed under the statue of the Sacred Heart in the church.
Someone had written a one line prayer that was invested with a gem-like faith. It read: O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill the hearts of the new First Communion children with your presence of love always. This is a prayer of wonder and mystery. It is in keeping with the prayer intention of this month that people, in- cluding children may “find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus.”
The scrap of paper under the statue reminds us of the scraps of everyday experiences of grace that we fail to collect because we are too busy, too pre-occupied and maybe we delude ourselves into think- ing that we are too sophisticated for the beauty and simplicity of prayer.
So often we come to God’s altar with empty “heart-baskets” because we have neglected to collect the scraps of the ordinary, the everyday, the hum-drum, that etch for us all the traces of “the loving- kindness of the heart of our God” in the chaotic pattern of our hectic lives.
Let us strive to walk along the Way of the Heart on a daily basis and make our own the Father’s loving gaze upon humanity, acting in all things with the Heart of Jesus Christ. Let us also go to the places where men and women are suffering injustice, to help heal and support the brokenhearted. (Written by John Cullen)
Faithfully yours, in Jesus, the Bread of Life,
Fr Joe Weber