Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Iowa Catholic Parish sprung into action when a neighborhood emergency struck


Davenport, Iowa, parish opens wide ‘window of mercy’ to neighbors in need


A parish became a disaster relief hub over the Memorial Day weekend, and volunteers were ready to respond, as staff told OSV News they have been operating “a field hospital for the works of mercy” since the late 1980s.

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Davenport, Iowa, served as a Red Cross station after a nearby six-story apartment building partially collapsed May 28. Nine occupants have been rescued as of May 31, so far, with two possibly trapped amid the rubble and three others still unaccounted for. More than a dozen fled the wreckage on their own. No deaths have yet been reported as recovery efforts continue amid concerns the remains of the building may fall at any moment.

The cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, but residents had complained of numerous plumbing and electrical issues at the structure, which as the former Davenport Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Father Rudolph Juarez, pastor of St. Anthony, told OSV News May 30 that Eucharistic adoration was taking place at the church when the apartment building crumbled — and some of those affected were “regulars” at a longtime parish outreach known as the “McAnthony Window.”

The ministry — the name of which evokes the drive-through service of the McDonald’s restaurant chain — provides meals five days per week, Monday through Friday, serving up more than 28,100 hot platters last year alone. More than 54,750 people were fed by the outreach’s food pantry, with volunteers also giving out close to 25,000 bus tokens, “countless bikes, clothing, toiletries and acts of love,” said St. Anthony pastoral associate John Cooper.

Window volunteers delivered water and sandwiches to rescue workers at the collapsed building, and “many of the residents” were familiar faces at the ministry “as they were living on the margins,” Cooper told OSV News.

“Our response was just like another day of helping people in distress at McAnthony Window,” he said.

Father Juarez agreed, saying that parishioners saw their efforts as “an extension of the work we were already doing,” with many “coming back on the Memorial Day holiday to help” as well.

Both the window and the parish doors have long been open to the neighborhood, Father Juarez and Cooper said.

The McAnthony Window began in 1987, when then-pastor Father James P. Conroy and Sister Ludmilla Benda, a Religious Sister of Mercy, began distributing meals each morning through a rectory window. Father Conroy eventually installed a sliding window to make the handoffs easier.

In 2018, volunteers began “developing a ministry of presence” by coming outside and spending time with patrons as they ate, said Cooper.

“We started talking to people and getting to know them,” he said. “We started to see what (else) they needed.”

Those conversations led to adding “personal finance classes, job coaching, men and women’s support groups and AA meetings” to the lineup, Cooper said.

Learning that many clients had been incarcerated at points, a religious sister specializing in prison ministry joined the team, he said.

The ministry also feeds the soul: a wooden kiosk, named for former St. Anthony pastor Father Apollinaire Mpanda, stocks rosaries and religious books for the taking, with a box for prayer intentions.

Funded by donations and fueled by the energy of parishioners, the outreach is “a labor of love that keeps on going and going,” said Cooper.

Even if supplies were uncertain, the parish would keep the McAnthony Window open, he said, adding that any parish could do the same.

“The parishioners just have to say, ‘We’re going to do this; we’re going to make it happen,'” Cooper said. “Just like the Apostles did at Pentecost — they didn’t say, ‘How much money do we have?’ They just walked out (of the Upper Room) and ministered.”

June 1st is the start of Hurricane Season; let us pray

Prayers for protection from storms, to prevent storms and to avert storms.

Prayer for Hurricane Season     

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea.  We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster.  During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father.  Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time.  O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a storm-less eternity awaits us. Amen.

 Originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957.  - Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA  

Prayer for Protection against Storms and Hurricanes

Our Father in Heaven through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, spare us during this Hurricane season from all harm. Protect us and our homes from all disasters of nature. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Prayer to Avert Storms and Hurricanes 

Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Archdiocese of St. Louis reorganizes, merges and cuts parishes


St. Louis Archdiocese Reorganization Will Cut Parishes From 178 to 134

In the end, this leaves the archdiocese with 44 fewer parishes than it has now. Some of these changes will be implemented as soon as August, but the plan will not be completed until 2026.

A new plan approved in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will reduce the number of parishes from 178 to 134 amid concerns about a lack of priests and shrinking Mass attendance, Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski announced over the weekend.

The plan, called “All Things New,” closes 35 churches, merges their parishes into neighboring parishes, and merges 15 other parishes into five new parishes. The plan also creates a new parish for the Spanish-speaking community in St. Charles County. In the end, this leaves the archdiocese with 44 fewer parishes than it has now.

Some of these changes will be implemented as soon as August, but the plan will not be completed until 2026.

“As your archbishop, I have the duty to provide for the pastoral care of all people in the archdiocese,”  Archbishop Rozanski said in a video announcing the changes. “‘All Things New’ has called us to ask ourselves what our parishes, ministries, and institutions need to look like in order to effectively share the faith that is sustainable for our children and generations to come.”

The archdiocese covers the city of St. Louis and 10 surrounding counties.

One of the reasons for reducing the number of parishes is poor Mass attendance. The archbishop said that about 5,000 Catholics are either leaving or not reengaging with the Church after high school or college annually. 

“Over the past decade, we’ve also seen fewer people attending Mass,” Archbishop Rozanski said. “Our numbers should be growing. We have more baptisms than funerals. Nearly 1,000 people enter the Church each year. But in 2021, the number of Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis dipped below 500,000 for the first time since the 1960s.”

Archbishop Rozanski also noted that many Catholics have moved out of the city and into the surrounding counties, but the parish lines have yet been changed to reflect that. He noted that, in one example, there are 10 priests for about 18,000 Catholics in North County, but there are only three priests serving 18,000 Catholics in one parish in St. Charles County. The changes seek to make these ratios more proportional. 

“We find ourselves with too few priests in large parishes and a disproportionate number of priests in small parishes,” the archbishop said. 

Another problem Archbishop Rozanski noted was the priest shortage. According to projections from the archdiocese, there would be more parishes than priests by 2025 if the archdiocese failed to make any changes. He said that 41% of active or retired priests are older than age 70.

Before making the changes, the archdiocese held 350 listening sessions, with at least one in each of the 178 current parishes. It also considered feedback from 70,000 Catholics in the archdiocese who participated in a survey. Feedback was also solicited from 18,000 school parents, staff, teachers, donors and community partners. The archdiocese also held focus groups and talked with civil and business leaders.

Archbishop Rozanski said the feedback helped structure the final plan, which was approved by the All Things New Planning Committee. The committee included priests, deacons, parish life coordinators, lay leaders, and religious within the archdiocese. In addition to considering the feedback, they also looked into financial data and other information.

The plan makes changes to how the archdiocese uses resources, which the archbishop said puts pastoral services closer to the people and parishes to foster collaboration across parish boundaries. He said the changes will help the archdiocese more effectively go into the community and bring Christ to people. 

“I pray this first phase of work will equip us to build new, creative models of ministry together,” Archbishop Rozanski said. 

Some Catholics in the archdiocese have been critical of the changes because of the extent to which they will shake up parishes. More than 3,000 Catholics in the archdiocese signed a petition that asked the archbishop to halt the plan about two months ago. 

The petition criticized the structure of the survey and claimed it only allowed the faithful to answer predetermined questions, without being allowed to address specific situations in their own parish. It also claimed the process would cause mistrust in Church leadership, which could drive Catholics away. 

In his announcement, Archbishop Rozanski acknowledged “the profound impact a parish community can have on us and how these good and faithful institutions have formed our families.” He said he wished the changes were not necessary but also maintained optimism.

First Saint for month of June


St. Justin

All the voices around Justin clamored that they had the truth he sought so desperately. He had listened to them all since he first came to Rome to get his education. They each shouted that they held the one and only answer but he felt no closer to the truth than when he had started his studies. He had left the Stoic master behind but the Stoics valued discipline as truth and thought discussion of God unnecessary. He had rejected the Peripatetic who seemed more interested in money than discussion. The Pythagorean had rejected him because he didn't know enough music and geometry -- the things that would lead him to truth. He had found some joy with the Platonists because the contemplation of ideas gave wings to his mind, but they had promised wisdom would let him see God and so, where was God?

There was one place that Justin always escaped to in order to get away from these shouting, confusing voices and search out the quiet inner voice that led him to truth. This place was a lonely spot, a path that seemed made for him alone in a field by the sea. So sure was he of the isolation of his retreat that he was shocked one day to find an old man following him.

The old man was not searching for truth but for some of his family. Nonetheless they began a discussion in which Justin identified himself as a philologian, a lover of reason. The old man challenged him -- why was he not a lover of truth, a lover of deeds. Justin told him that reason led to truth, and philosophy led to happiness. This was certainly an interesting thing for Justin to say since he had not found the truth in the study of reason or happiness in his quest among the philosophers! Perhaps the old man sensed this for he asked for Justin's definition of philosophy and of happiness.

In the long discussion that followed, Justin spoke eloquently to the old man's searching questions but even Justin had to admit that philosophers may talk about God but had never seen him, may discuss the soul but didn't really know it. But if the philosophers whom Justin admired and followed couldn't, then nobody could, right?

The old man told him about the ancient prophets, the Hebrew prophets, who had talked not of ideas but of what they had seen and heard, what they knew and experienced. And this was God. The old man ended the conversation by telling Justin to pray that the gates of light be opened to him.

Inflamed by this conversation, Justin sought out the Scriptures and came to love them. Christ words "possess a terrible power in themselves, and are sufficient to inspire those who turn aside from the path of rectitude with awe; while the sweetest rest is afforded those who make a diligent practice of them."

Why hadn't Justin known about Christianity before with as much as he had studied? He had heard about it, the way other pagans of second century Rome had, by the rumors and accusations that surrounded the persecution of Christians. The fearlessness of their actions made him doubt the gossip, but he had nothing else to go by. Christians at that time kept their beliefs secret. They were so afraid that outsiders would trample on their sacred faith and descrate their mysteries that they wouldn't tell anyone about their beliefs -- even to counteract outright lies. To be honest, there was good reason for their fears -- many actors for example performed obscene parodies of Christian ritual for pagan audiences, for example.

But Justin believed differently. He had been one of those outsiders -- not someone looking for trouble, but someone earnestly searching for the truth. The truth had been hidden from him by this fear of theirs. And he believed there were many others like him. He exhorted them that Christians had an obligation to speak of their faith, to witness to others about their faith and their mysteries.

So Justin took his newfound faith to the people. This layman became the first great apologist for Christianity and opened the gates of light for so many others. He explained baptism and Eucharist. He explained to the pagans why they didn't worship idols and why that didn't make them atheists. He explained to the Jews how Christians could worship the same God but not follow Jewish laws. He explained to the Greeks and the philosophers how philosophy did not take into account the dignity of humankind. He wrote long arguments known as apologies and traveled to other lands in order to debate publicly. His long education in philosophy and rhetoric gave him the skills he needed to match his oponents and the Holy Spirit gave him the rest.

It is not surprising that Justin was arrested during the persecution under Marcus Aurelius. Along with four others (Chariton, Charites, Paeon, and Liberianus) he was brought before the Roman prefect, Rusticus, to be accused under the law that required sacrificing to idols. When Rusticus demanded that they "Obey the gods at once, and submit to the kings," Justin responded, "To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation."

When Rusticus asked what doctrines he believed, Justin told him that he had learned all the doctrines available during his quest but finally submitted to the true doctrines of the Christians, even though they didn't please others. (An understatement when he was under danger of death!)

When Rusticus asked where the Christians gathered, Justin gave a response that gives us insight into Christian community and worship of the time: "Where each one chooses and can: for do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so; because the God of the Christians is not circumscribed by place; but being invisible, fills heaven and earth, and everywhere is worshipped and glorified by the faithful."

When Rusticus asked each of them if they were a Christian, they all responded the same way: "Yes, I am a Christian." When Rusticus tried to put responsibility for this on Justin, they responded that God had made them Christians.

Just before Rusticus sentenced them he asked Justin, "If you are killed do you suppose you will go to heaven?" Justin said, "I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it."

Justin and his fellow martyrs were beheaded in the year 165 and went to be with the Truth Justin had longed for all his life. He is often known as Justin Martyr and his works are still available.

Abbot Justin Brown announces it's time to step down


A Statement From Abbot Justin Brown

For nearly 22 years I have had the honor and privilege of serving as Abbot of Saint Joseph Abbey. When I was elected on November 23, 2001, as all abbots of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation, I was elected for an indefinite term. It is therefore incumbent upon the abbot to discern the length of his term.

After much prayer and reflection, and in consultation with the monastic community, I believe that for the good of the abbey and me personally, now is the time for new leadership in the monastery.

The Abbot President and Council of the Swiss American Benedictine Congregation have accepted my resignation from the office of Abbot of Saint Joseph Abbey effective July 14, 2023. On that day, the solemnly professed monks of the abbey will elect our next abbot.

I am grateful for the years I have served as abbot, years both challenging and rewarding, but above all, I am humbled by the trust my confreres have placed in me and grateful for God’s grace and blessings, which continue to sustain me and my brother monks in our monastic vocation in service to the Church.

I look forward to new opportunities of service here at the abbey and seminary college.

Please pray for our community as we prepare to elect our next abbot.

A couple of MLB players defend the Church as the Dodgers promote anti-Catholic hate


Kershaw disagrees with Dodgers’ decision to reinstate gay ‘nun’ group for Pride Night award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw says he disagrees with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to welcome a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the team’s annual Pride Night.

Kershaw told The Los Angeles Times on Monday that the team’s decision to honor the group after it rescinded its original invitation prompted him to approach the Dodgers about expediting the announcement that the team was bringing back Christian Faith and Family Day later this season.

“I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up,” Kershaw said. “Picking a date and doing those different things was part of it as well. Yes, it was in response to the highlighting of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (by the Dodgers).”

Kershaw announced via Twitter last Friday that Christian Faith and Family Day will be held July 30 when the Dodgers face the Cincinnati Reds. The last time the Dodgers held it was 2019.

Kershaw, who has been with the organization since being drafted in 2006, said his issues were with the Sisters and not the LGBTQ+ community. He also added the he will not boycott Pride Night on June 16 when the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.

“This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that,” said Kershaw, who held a players-only meeting in the clubhouse before Monday’s game. “This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion, that I don’t agree with.”

The Dodgers rescinded their original invitation to the Sisters on May 17 after receiving backlash from some conservative Roman Catholics and politicians, including Florida’s Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who accused the group of mocking nuns and the Christian faith.

However, the Dodgers’ decision sparked its own backlash from LGBTQ+ groups around the country, with some deciding to pull out of Pride Night. The Dodgers reversed their decision five days later and welcomed them back.

The Sisters, a group of mainly men who dress as nuns, is a charity, protest and performance group founded in 1979 in San Francisco. Its Los Angeles chapter will receive the Community Hero Award.

The group denied it was anti-Catholic. On its website, the group said it uses “humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.”

Trevor Williams, a pitcher for the Washington Nationals, also criticized the Dodgers on Tuesday, posting a statement on Twitter saying he was “deeply troubled” by the decision.

The Nationals are in Los Angeles this week to face the Dodgers.

“To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles county alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization,” Williams wrote on his account to his more than 43,000 followers.

“Creating an environment in which one group feels celebrated and honored at the expense of another is counterproductive and wrong. It is a clear violation of the Dodgers’ Discrimination Policy, which explicitly states that any conduct or attire at the ballpark that is deemed to be indecent or prejudice against any particular group (or religion) is not tolerated.”

Pride Nights have caused some division on the sports landscape in recent years. Last season, five pitchers with the Tampa Bay Rays cited their Christian faith in refusing to wear Pride jerseys.

Pope Francis Wednesday General Audience 05.31.2023


Pope at Audience: Matteo Ricci's love for Chinese people, a source of inspiration

At his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis praises the apostolic zeal of Venerable Matteo Ricci, one of the early Jesuit missionaries to the Far East whose love for the Chinese people remains a model of consistency for Christian witness.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Matteo Ricci's love for the Chinese people remains an enduring source of inspiration.

With this sentiment, Pope Francis described Venerable Matteo Ricci, one of the early Jesuit missionaries to the Far East, at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, as he continued his catechesis series on saints who personified apostolic zeal.

“His love for the Chinese people is a model; but what is a very timely one, is his consistency of life, his Christian witness. He brought Christianity to China...”

The Pope praised Ricci's excellence in various areas, but stressed his greatness, above all, lies in his being "consistent with his vocation, consistent with that desire to follow Jesus Christ."

Time in China

Last week, Pope Francis praised St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first native priest of Korea and a martyr for the faith, who dreamed of reaching China, but was not able to fulfill that dream. This week, instead, he spoke of Ricci who did.

Reflecting on the saint to the thousands of faithful in the Square, the Pope remembered how originally from Macerata, in Italy's Marche region, Ricci studied in Jesuit schools and having himself entered the Society of Jesus. Enthused by the reports of missionaries, like many of his young companions, he asked to be sent to the missions in the Far East. 

Father Ricci would go to China, and patiently go on to master the difficult Chinese language and immersed himself in the country’s culture.  It would take 18 years, and unshakeable faith, to arrive in Peking, the Pope said, overcoming frequent mistrust and opposition.

Thanks to his writings in Chinese and his knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, the Jesuit Pope observed, Matteo Ricci became known and respected "as a sage and scholar."  

An inspiring missionary

His vast learning and ability to engage in sincere and respectful dialogue, the Holy Father explained, were employed in the service of the Gospel. 

"This opened many doors to Him," the Pope said.

Ricci, he noted, made the Gospel known not only in his writings, but by his example of religious life, prayer and virtue.

In this way, the Pope suggested, Ricci attracted many of his Chinese disciples and friends to embrace the Catholic faith.

Matteo Ricci died in Peking in 1610, at the age of 57, the Pope said, "dedicating his whole life to mission."  Ricci was the first foreigner permitted by the Emperor to be buried on Chinese soil. 

Great Missionaries

The Pope praised the strong prayer life of Ricci which propelled all his work, and that animates the life of missionaries.

Consistency and closeness to Christ, through prayer, the Pope suggested, is one of the greatest characteristics of the great missionaries, before inviting the faithful to ask themselves whether they are consistent in their Christian faith.

“Brothers and sisters, today we, each one of us, ask ourselves, within: 'Am I consistent, or am I a little so-so?'”

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth


Ordinary Time: May 31st

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary



May 31, 2021 (Readings on USCCB website)


Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.











The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales' devotions.

The Mass of today salutes her who in her womb bore the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the world, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Sun of Justice. It narrates the cleansing of John from original sin in his mother's womb. Hearing herself addressed by the most lofty title of "Mother of the Lord" and realizing what grace her visit had conferred on John, Mary broke out in that sublime canticle of praise proclaiming prophetically that henceforth she would be venerated down through the centuries:

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name" (Lk. 1:46).

—Excerpted from the Cathedral Daily Missal

This feast is of medieval origin, it was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its observance spread throughout the entire Church. Previously it was celebrated on July 2. Now it is celebrated between the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the birth of St. John the Baptist, in conformity with the Gospel accounts. Some places appropriately observe a celebration of the reality and sanctity of human life in the womb. The liturgical color is white.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Petronilla. The feast of the Queenship of Mary is now celebrated in the Ordinary Rite on August 22.

Aurelia Petronilla was guided in the Faith by St. Peter, the first pope. She died three days after refusing to marry a pagan nobleman, Flaccus. She is included in the Roman Martyrology.

The Visitation
And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. [Lk. 1:39]

How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.

Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.

The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.

She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy.

I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10, 10] Even before He was born His presence gave life.

With what piercing shoots of joy does this story of Christ unfold! First the conception of a child in a child's heart, and then this first salutation, an infant leaping for joy in his mother's womb, knowing the hidden Christ and leaping into life.

How did Elizabeth herself know what had happened to Our Lady? What made her realize that this little cousin who was so familiar to her was the mother of her God?

She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.

If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.

If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, "in haste," to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.

And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.
—Excerpted from The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander

Patronage: St. Elizabeth: Expectant mothers.

Symbols and Representation: St. Elizabeth or Elisabeth: Pregnant woman saluting the Virgin; Elderly woman holding St. John Baptist; huge rock with a doorway in it; in company with St. Zachary.
St. Zacharias or Zachary: Priest's robes; thurible; altar; angel; lighted taper; Phyrgian helmet.

Highlights and Things to Do:

  • Read Luke 1:39-47, the story of the Visitation. Read and meditate on the words of the Magnificat and the Hail Mary, two prayers from this feast. For those with children, depending on the ages, assign memorization for these prayers. Also discuss the meaning of the text as a family.
  • This feast reminds us to be charitable to our neighbors. Try to assist some mother (expectant or otherwise), visit the elderly or sick, make a dinner for someone, etc.

New Orleans Archdiocesan Priest requests prayers for healing


Reverend Jeffrey A. Montz

Please pray for Fr. Jeffrey Montz
Fr. Jeffrey Montz, who has frequently offered Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. Please keep Fr. Jeffrey and his family and friends in your prayers during this difficult time for him.
Fr. Jeffrey has specifically asked that we pray for his healing through the intercession of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in hopes that a miracle may be granted to advance the cause of Archbishop Sheen’s canonization. Please use the prayer below or pick up a prayer card in the back of church to offer your prayers for the healing of Fr. Jeffrey.
Eternal Father,
You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth,
through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ,
and by the working of the Holy Spirit.
If it be according to your will,
glorify your servant Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen,
by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession:
that Fr. Jeffrey Montz will have a complete healing and recovery.
I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Venerable Fulton Sheen, pray for him.

Welcome to the return of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Life of the Church

On the Monday after Pentecost the Church resumes Ordinary time with the 8th week.  Ordinary Time will continue all the way to the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent.  So from yesterday, May 29th until December 2nd we will be in Ordinary Time.  Ordinary Time is when we see the green vestments, except for various feasts and memorials.

With Ordinary Time we also see the end of the Easter Candle lit for every liturgy.  Now, the Easter Candle is lit only for the celebration of Baptisms and for funerals.  Ordinary Time is that period of time when we hear so much of the Scriptures as detailed in the 2-year cycle for daily masses and the 3-year cycle for Sunday masses.

Ordinary time does not imply anything other than the liturgical season of the year.  Ordinary time is when we still experience the extraordinary in all things faith and worship.  The Mass is still the Mass, the readings are still the powerful Word of God, the Sacraments still dispense Grace and the Eucharist is still the source and summit of our faith.

The first two Sunday's in Ordinary Time will be marked by special Solemnities so we will still witness white vestments.  This coming Sunday we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity and the following Sunday we celebrate the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

So we look forward to worshipping together in the most Holy Season of Ordinary Time.