News from San Antonio Church – February 4, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin February 4, 2024

by Terrie Evans

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of St. Blaise with the Blessing of the Throats and also the 28th year of The World Day of Consecrated Life.  Celebrated in Parishes February 4th-5th with The World Day of Consecrated Life   dedicated to those who have committed their lives to a religious vocation.   This was instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1997 as a day of prayer for those women and men who chose Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.   Our Holy Father, Pope Francis presided over the Eucharistic Celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with those at the International Meeting of Consecrated Women and Men prepare for the Jubilee to be held in 2025. About 300 representatives from different forms of consecrated life gathered in Rome to reflect on the theme “Pilgrims of Hope of the Paths of Peace.”    Please pray for those who have made commitments to the consecrated life, may they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation. 

On Monday, February 5th we honor the Feast Day of St. Agatha of Sicily, Virgin, and Martyr.  Born in Catania, Sicily (231-251) who belonged to the outlawed Christian Church when Agatha rejected a marriage proposal from the Roman Perfect, Quintianus who turned her into the authorities for her Christian beliefs.  Faced with death, she reaffirmed her belief in God by praying: “Jesus Christ, Lord of All, you see my heart, you know my desires.  Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil.”   She is one of the most highly venerated virgin martyrs in Christian antiquity who was put to death for her profession of faith.  She was known for teaching Christianity to children before she was arrested, tortured, and died in prison.  Agatha was Canonized pre-congregation by Pope Gregory I and is venerated in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican Communion Churches.  She is the Patron saint of breast cancer patients, rape victims, and bakers and is invoked against fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mt. Etna.  The year after her death, stopping the eruption of Mount Etna was attributed to the intercession and prayers to St. Agatha. She is considered the patron saint of   Catania, Molise, and the Republic of San Marino after Pope Clement XII restored the independence of the state on the feast day of St. Agatha, February 5th.  She is also the Patron Saint of Malta where in 1551, a Benedictine Nun is said to have saved Malta from a Turkish invasion through her prayers to St. Agatha.   Agatha is buried at the Badia di Sant’ Agatha in Catania, Sicily in a small natural cave that was later enlarged and embellished around the 5th Century.   There are two churches dedicated to her in Rome, Sant’ Agatha in Trastevere and the Church of Sant’ Agatha dei Goti in Via Mazzarino.  The church of St. Gregory the Great was reconstructed for St. Agatha who he revered as a saint who bore many trials.  St. Agatha is depicted in the mosaic of San Apollinaire Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy with other female martyrs with her image forming the initial I in the 8th century Sacramentary of Gellone.  During the first week of February, the Festival of St. Agatha is held with a procession traveling throughout the city on last night of the fest.  A 17th Century tower, a former knight’s stronghold, located in Malta, now called St. Agatha’s Tower. In Switzerland.   St. Agatha is considered the patron saint of fire services and in the United Kingdom, she is the patron saint of bell ringers in service to the Catholic Church. 

On Tuesday, February 6th we honor Saints Paul Miki (1562-1597) and Companions, Joan Soan (de Goto) and Santiago Kisai, of the Society of Jesus who were crucified along with 23 other clergy, and laity.  They became known as the 26 Martyrs of Japan and were all Canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862.   Paul Miki was born into a wealthy Japanese Christian Family taught by the Jesuits and later joined the Society of Jesus.  He became a successful preacher who gained many converts to Catholicism at a time when the ruler of Japan began persecuting Catholics.  The Buddhist Monks were concerned about the growing number of Christians causing political tensions and outlawed Christianity giving the missionaries six months to leave.  Many stayed continuing the good work they had started and for a time, were calm.  In 1593, Spanish Franciscans arrived, and the townspeople assumed they were there to prepare for a Spanish invasion of the island.  Again, Christianity was outlawed, and a total of 26 Catholics were arrested, 6 Franciscan Missionaries, 17 Japanese and Korean lay Franciscans, and 3 Jesuits with Brother Paul Miki only months away from being ordained.   When Brother Paul Miki preached his last sermon professing Jesus as the only way to salvation, forgiving his prosecutors, and praying that they would turn to Christ and receive baptism.  By 1854, Japan’s borders were opened to the West with numerous missionaries returning to help those hidden Christians practice their faith.  In 1871, religious freedom returned, making public worship possible.  There is a National Monument marking the place of the executions of the 26 martyrs of Japan in Nagasaki.  A Prayer to St. Paul Miki and the Holy Martyrs:  Holy Martyrs of Nagasaki, you and countless others gave their lives in witness to the faith that God planted in your hearts.  Please pray for me, that I will have the same faith and courage that each one of you had, so that I will be a witness to Christ in all that I do.  Holy Martyrs of God, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You. AMEN.” 

Thursday, February 8th is set aside by the United States Conference Catholic Bishops as the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking.  All Catholics are asked to attend or host a prayer service to create awareness for this phenomenon that affects all humans.   

Thursday, February 8th is also the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery by Arab Slave traders at the age of 8 and over the next 12 years was sold three times until given her freedom.  In Sudan, Bakhita served as a maid in the Italian Vice Council Callisto Legannis’ home and when he was to return to Italy, Bakhita begged to go with him.  By 1886, she was employed by the Micheli Family near Venice as a Nanny.  In 1888, when the family was to locate to Sudan, Bakhita was left in the care of the Canossian Sisters   who were established in 1808 when Magdalena of Canossa recruited several of her companions to assist her in the needs of the neglected in Verona, Italy.   Bakhita stated that this is where she encountered Christianity for the first time, “Those Holy Mothers instructed me with heroic patience and introduced me to that God, who from childhood I had felt in my heart without knowing who he was.”  When the Micheli Family returned from Sudan, they requested she return to their home.  Bakhita refused; and with the law on her side, she fought for her freedom.  In 1889, an Italian court ruled that because the British outlawed slavery in Sudan before Bakhita’s birth, and Italian law had never recognized slavery as legal, she was never legally a slave and was now free.   In 1890, she was Baptized Josephine Margaret Bakhita confirmed and received Holy Communion from Archbishop Guiseppe Sarto, who would become Pope Pius X.  She entered the Order of the Canosssian Sisters as a Novitiate in 1893 and took her vows in 1896, and for the next 42 years was employed as a Cook, Sacristan, and Portress (door keeper).  Josephine Margaret Bakhita was dedicated to comforting the poor and suffering in the community and became known as Sor Moretta “Little Brown Sister”.  She died in 1947 in Veneto Italy and was Beatified in 1992, Canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica.  St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita said: “My trusts rest in the Lord for everything”.   The foundress of the Canossian Order, Magdalen of Canosa (1774-1835) said: “The way to holiness consists in a life of uninterrupted small sacrifices” was canonized a Saint on October 2, 1988, by Pope John Paul II.  At Present, they have 18 provinces with around 2,700 sisters in more than 336 communities in 32 countries around the world with their headquarters located at Via della Stazione di Ottavia, Rome, Italy.    The Canossian Daughters of Charity run a retreat center, the Canosssian Spirituality Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  

We also celebrate the feast day of Gerolamo Emiliani (1486-1537), St. Jerome on February 8th.  He was born in Venice, ran away to join the Army at age 15 and spent time as a soldier in charge of the Fortress of Castelnuovo in the Italian Mountains.  The Venetians took the fortress, Jerome was captured, chained, and put in prison.  He escaped to a church in Treviso and after he removed his chains and hung them on the church wall, gave his life to God.  He was ordained to the priesthood in Venice during the plague and took on the role of caring for abandoned children.  He fed them and raised them back to health while teaching them about the Christian Faith, becoming ill himself from the plague. Jerome recovered and in 1532, founded a religious society, The Congregation of Religious Clerics, the Somaschi Fathers to care for orphans, the poor and the sick.  With the spirituality of St. Jerome, his order was to serve the early Christian communities to serve Christ, and the poor abandoned children while showing them the tender “Fatherhood and Motherhood” of God.  St. Jerome Emiliani set up Orphanages in 6 Italian towns, built a hospital in Verona and until his death continued to care for the sick. 

The Somaschi Fathers were devoted to the Guardian Angels, the protection of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the Archangel Raphael.  In 1537, during an epidemic while caring for the sick, St. Jerome contracted the plague and died.  The plague of 1536-1537, caused from the fleas of rodents with symptoms of fever, chills, vomiting, with the appearance of black boils took many lives, in Florence, 70,000 died from the plague.  He was Beatified on April 23, 1747, by Pope Benedict XIV and Canonized twenty years later on July 16, 1767, by Pope Clement XIII with his Major Shrine, St. Girolamo Emiliani Sanctuary in Somasca.  In 1928, Pope Pius XI named him the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children and is also invoked by those who are foster parents.  Their Motto: “Lighten My Burden”.  A Prayer to St. Jerome: “St. Jerome Emiliani, watch over all children who are abandoned or unloved.  Give us the courage to show them God’s love through our care.  Help us to lose the chains that keep us from living the life God intended for us.  Amen.” 

On February 10th, we honor the Feast Day of St. Scholastica (480-543) born in Umbria, Italy along with twin brother Benedict.  She dedicated her life to God at a young age who lived in her father’s house until forming a community with other consecrated virgins, the 1st convent of Benedictine Nuns.  This was located at the base of Monte Casino where there is an ancient church, Monastero di Santa Scholastica, now under her patronage. She became a nun near Monte Casino where Benedict established a monastery and meet to visit and pray together.  Scholastica is invoked for protection from storms due to the time in 543 when she felt something would happen to her brother as he prepared to leave after his visit.  Scholastica began to pray when a driving storm with rain and hail began forcing Benedict to stay. 

When Scholastica died, Benedict saw her soul ascending into heaven.  He placed her body in the tomb he had prepared for himself and arranged for his own body to be placed there after his death.  St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are buried at Monte Casino along with Pope Victor III, Cardinal Domenico Bartolini, St. Apollinaris and St. Bertharius.  The Pope, Gregory the Great wrote: “The bodies of these two whose minds were always united in Jesus, were not separated in death.”  She is also the patron saint of Benedictine Nuns, Education and Convulsive Children and was Canonized pre-congregation.  She is shown in a Benedictine habit, holding the Rule of Saint Benedict, with a Crucifix or ascending dove.  A commemorative coin with her likeness was issued in 2002 in Austria with Scholastica depicted alongside Benedict on the head side of the coin.  Scholastica is honored on the calendar of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church on February 10th.

News from San Antonio Church – January 28, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 28, 2024

by Terrie Evans

Our San Antonio Church Community sends their condolences and prayers to the Schulter, Acito, and Ader Families on the passing of James “Jim” Schulter on January 16, 2024, at the age of 79.  Jim was a longtime parishioner who served our church for many years along with his late wife Sandra who died in 2016.  They both volunteered for decades with his sister Fran and husband, the late Joe Acito.  Jim was a driving force with Joe Cupito and the late Jo Ann Metz in the fight to save our church from closing in the 1980’s. Jim struggled with health issues for a while and whenever he felt well enough, we were happy to see him at Sunday Mass.  He leaves son Louis, sister Fran (Schulter) Acito, brother Bill (Viv) Schulter and their families.  Jim also leaves his two best friends from the old days, Jack, and Pam (Acito) Baker and Fred Brandewiede, their extended families and all his friends at San Antonio Church.  Jim was buried from St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church.    

On this last Sunday in January, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrates National Catholic School Week, January 28, 2024 – February 3, 2024.  The National Catholic Education theme this year is Catholic Schools: “United in Faith and Community.”  During this week, Dioceses throughout the country highlight the importance of faithful, integral Catholic formation and education within the mission of the church.  Our Catholic schools are the places where Christ continues to be the Teacher, the way, the truth, and the life whom we follow throughout this life and into the next.  St. John Bosco said: “If we want to have a good society, we must concentrate all our forces on the Christian education of the young.  Experience taught me that if we wish to sustain civil society then we should take good care of the young.”   On Tuesday, January 30th at 10:00AM, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr will celebrate a Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral Basilica.

On Wednesday, January 31st, we celebrate St. John “Don” Bosco born in Becchi, Italy on August 16, 1815, during a draught and famine and at the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).  His father died when John was 2, and with two older brothers, was raised by his mother, Margherita: laboring growing food and raising sheep.  He was very devout and desired to become a Priest but being poor, John lacked an education and knew his options were limited and the Priesthood was not a possibility.  John left home to find work in a vineyard where he stayed for a few years until meeting a Priest who offered to help him.  Fr. Joseph Cafasso collaborated with him and in 1835, John entered the seminary at Chieri, next to the Church of the Immaculate Conception for his studies and after six years was Ordained in 1841 on the eve of Trinity Sunday by Archbishop Franzoni of Turin.  His 1st assignment was in Turin, Italy, and at a time where he was needed most, in the poor neighborhoods.  Fr. Bosco visited prisons to find boys aged 12-18 housed in deplorable conditions and it was then he knew his calling was to help other boys from ending up there.  When he was younger, a traveling circus came through his town and John was enthralled by the magic tricks from the performers, paid attention and learned some of the tricks they used to charm their audiences.  So, when John was not preaching, he was working to keep boys off the streets and used some of what he learned from the circus acts to get their attention.  Along with his mother, Mamma Margarita, John found lodging for 800 boys and worked to get them jobs as apprentices.  At that time, apprentices needed better contracts and more desirable working conditions, and John negotiated for their safety.  In 1845, he opened a night school for boys in the poorest sections of Turin, Italy and mentored to those young men who desired to be priests.  In 1859, Fr. Bosco established the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco) with 15 Seminarians.  The purpose of the Society was to continue the charitable work he started and help young boys stay out of trouble. The Salesians’ mission was for corporal works of charity towards the young, poor and the education of boys who want to enter the priesthood.  In 1871, Fr. John “Don” Bosco founded a group of religious sisters to help girls as the Salesians were doing for boys called the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. 

Another group, the Salesian Cooperators, were established in 1874 by Fr. John as a way for lay people to work with young people, both boys and girls.  At the end of 1874, he was asked to accept an Italian parish in Buenos Aires and also a school for boys at San Nicolas de Los Arroyos in Argentina.  Many volunteers from the Salesians answered the call for their 1st Missionary in 1875 and in 1877, Fr. John “Don” Bosco gave the opening address on Systems of Education for the new St. Peter’s Youth Center in Nice.  In August 1877, Fr. John “Don” Bosco founded the official publication of the Salesians, The Salesian Bulletin.  The monthly bulletin is published by the Salesian Congregation and has been published without interruption since 1877.  In 1881, Fr. John wrote “A Compendium of Italian History from the fall of the Roman Empire” that has been noted by scholars for the cultural importance and knowledge from ancient times to modern civilization.  He also penned two biographies, on his mentor Fr. Cafasso and on one of his students, Dominic Savio.   Fr. John “Don” Bosco died in 1888 at the age of 72, declared Blessed in 1929 and Canonized on Easter Sunday in 1934 with Pope Pius XI celebrating both in Rome.  He was given the title “Father and Teacher of Youth”.  His mother “Mamma Margarita” was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI on the 150th Anniversary of her passing in 2006.  Servant of God, Margarita Bosco is now known for her work with her son Fr. John “Don” Bosco which helped in the founding of the Salesian Congregation.  She was a woman of faith who at the age of 58 chose to follow her son “In his mission among the poor and abandoned young people of Turin.”  The headquarters of the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, the Salesians of John “Don” Bosco are in Rome, Italy and as of 2022, there are 14,614 members (128 Bishops, 14,056 Priests and 430 Novices).  On Friday, February 2nd we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus, 40 days after Christmas and the end of the Epiphany Season.  In the Gospel Mary and Joseph take the Infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to perform the redemption of the 1st born son in obedience to the Torah.  Also seen as giving thanksgiving after the birth of a child to designate the rite for God’s blessing upon a woman after childbirth. 

Other traditional names include Candlemas (when candles are blessed), the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin and the Meeting of the Lord.  The Feast of the Presentation is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church dating back to the 4th Century.  In the Roman Catholic Church, the Presentation of Jesus is the Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.   The Blessing of Candles on the day of the Presentation of Jesus recalls Simeon’s reference to the infant Jesus seen as the “light for the revelation” to the Gentiles.  Pope Innocent XII thought Candlemas was created as an alternative to Roman Paganism when he said: “Why do we in this feast carry candles?  Because the gentiles dedicated the month of February to the internal gods, and at the beginning of the month Pluto stole Prosperine, and her mother Ceres, sought her in the night with lighted candles, so they, at the beginning of the month, walked about the city with lighted candles.  Because the holy fathers could not extirpate the custom, they ordained that Christians should carry about candles in honor of the Blessed Virgin; what was done before in the honor of Ceres is now done in the honor of the Blessed Virgin.”  The term Candlemas or Candle Mass recalls the practice where a priest would bless beeswax candles for use throughout the year to be used in the homes of the faithful.  In France, Candlemas is celebrated with crepes and in Italy this day is considered the last cold day of winter.  Because of severe storms in the month of February, Sailors are hesitant to set sail on Candlemas Day believing that any voyage begun on that day will end in disaster.  

On Saturday, February 3rd, we honor the Feast of St. Blaise with the rite of the Blessing of the Throats.  The traditional blessing of the throats conferred of the liturgical memorial of St. Blaise will take place at San Antonio Church on Sunday, February 4th with two crossed candles tied with a red bow as our priest says the blessing:  “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop, and Martyr, may God deliver you from aliments of the throat and from every other evil.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”.   For centuries, St. Blaise has been invoked as the patron saint for those suffering from diseases of the throat because of his intercession in saving a child from choking. As a young man, he became a physician, a priest and later Bishop of Sebastea.  He is the patron saint of animals and veterinarians. 

On Saturday, February 3rd we also celebrate the Feast of St. Ansgar (801-865), 9th Century missionary called the Apostle of the North for bringing Christianity to Northern Europe.  St. Ansgar was renowned as a highly successful missionary who built the 1st Christian Church in Sweden who fought the pagan influence in Denmark when he became the 1st Christian Missionary for Scandinavians.  When he was very young, Ansgar was brought up in a Benedictine Monastery and had a vision that his mother was now in the company of the Blessed Mother and this vision is what motivated him to choose missionary work.  He became a Benedictine Monk at age 15 and was later chosen to be Abbot for the Monastery.  When the Pope made him legate for the Scandinavian Missions stating: “I will go to the people even if I have to go to the ends of the earth.”   Ansgar would direct apostolic activities in the North traveling throughout Denmark who became Archbishop of Bremen.    He was instrumental in the conversion of the King of Sweden who would allow Christian missionaries to return to the country.  He was considered a humble man, exceptional preacher and ascetical priest who devoted his life to the poor and the sick.  He said: “the greatest good we can do for others is to love them and pray for them. “After his death in 865, Ansgar was proclaimed a saint by his successor, Rembert with Pope Nicholas 1 the Great approving the proclamation.  He is venerated in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches and there are statues of St. Ansgar in Hamburg, Copenhagen and Ribe.  Vita Ansgar, “The life of Ansgar”, a biography of St. Ansgar written by his successor Archbishop Rimbert of Bremen between 869-876 became an important source detailing Ansgar’s Scandinavian Missionary work. Written to reassure priests on what they were to expect on a mission and to help Bishops, who manage the needed funds to support their cause.  It also defended missionary work for those who lived under the Rule of Saint Benedict and would have needed justification to leave their monastery to work in a secular society.  St. Ansgar asked for one miracle “that God make him a good man”. 

On Saturday, February 3rd, the 50th Annual Four Chaplains Memorial service will be held at 4:00PM at St. Boniface Church in Northside at 1750 Chase Avenue.  Fr. Matthias Creehan, former Navy Chaplain who served over 20 years in Military Training Facilities and Veteran Affairs will preside over the service which will include a Color Guard, Patriotic Hymns, Candle Service, Ringing of the Ships Bell, and Taps.  All Veterans and Active-Duty Military members are invited.    This service is a tribute to the heroic actions of 4 Military Chaplains during World War II who selflessly acted out of faith in God to help others.  After midnight on February 3, 1943, the U.S. Army transport ship SS Dorchester, one of three ships in a convoy sailing across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to an American Base in Greenland.  The Dorchester was filled with 902 service members, merchant seaman and civilian workers.  Within 150 miles from their destination, a German U Boat spotted the convoy and fired torpedoes striking the ship below the waterline.  The blast killed and wounded many in total darkness.  Soon panic and chaos broke, then 4 men came to the aid of those frightened and disoriented and began handing out life jackets and when the last one was taken, they took theirs off so others would survive.  The Dorchester sank in 20 minutes with only 230 survivors out of 902, 672 perished.  Those 4 men, all new Army Chaplains were:  Lt. George Lansing Fox, a Methodist Minister, born in Pennsylvania who had served in the ambulance corps during World War I received the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and the French Croix de Guerre for bravery; married to Isadore Hurlbut also a Minister.   His son Wyatt enlisted in the Marines on August 8, 1942, on the 18th, the same day his father went on active duty.  Lt. Alexander David Goode, PHD. a Rabbi, born in New York, the son of a Rabbi, in Pennsylvania the Alexander D. Good Elementary School is named in his honor, wife Teresa Flax and daughter Rosalee.  Lt. John P. Washington, born in New Jersey in 1908 was in ordained into the priesthood in 1935, named Chief of Chaplains of the Reserve Pool at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. The fourth Chaplin, Lt. Clark Vandersall Poling, the 6th Generation to serve as a Minister, born in Columbus, Ohio.  His father was a Chaplain in World War I and became Dutch Reformed Minister, Pastor of the First Reformed Church in New York, wife Betty Jung, son Clark Jr. “Corky” and daughter Susan Eizabeth born 3 months after his death.  They all became friends and classmates at Harvard while attending the Army Chaplain School.  They were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Hearts posthumously and a special medal for heroism, “The Four Chaplains Medal” authorized by Congress; awarded to their survivors by the Secretary of the Army, Wilber M. Brucker on January 18, 1961.  In 1948, The U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in honor of the sacrifice of the chaplains with the words, “These Immortal Chaplains…. Interfaith in Action”. 

Books written about the “Immortal Chaplains” are Four Men of God, by Edgar A. Guest in 1949.   Sea of Glory: The Magnificent Story of the Four Chaplains, by Francis Beauchesne Thornton in 1953.  The Men the Ship:  The Famous Four Chaplains Story and the Sinking of the Dorchester, by Chester J. Szymczak 1976.  In music, the composition “The Light Eternal” written by James Swearingen in 1992. The Four Chaplains are honored on the Liturgical Calendar of the Episcopal Church on February 3rd.   There are stained glass windows depicting the Four Chaplains at the Pentagon, West Point, and the National Cathedral and at military bases and posts throughout the country.  There are many memorials to the Immortal Chaplains including the Memorial Sanctuary on the ship RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach California and the Chapel at the Pittsburg International Airport.  There are art works, sculptures, and plaques in cities throughout the United States.  In Kearney, New Jersey, the “Four Chaplains Memorial” is located outside St. Stephen Church.  This was Fr. Washington’s last assignment before he joined the Army as a Chaplain.  It was dedicated on the 70th Anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester and shows the 4 Chaplains with their arms locked praying on the stern of the ship with an angel carrying 4 life jackets.  In Massillon, Ohio The Four Chaplains Memorial Viaduct along Ohio State Route 172 over the Tuscarawas River was built in 1949 and refurbished in 1993 with a memorial plaque.  A two-hour audio documentary “No Greater Love” tells the story of the Four Chaplains including interviews with survivors, rescuers, and Naval Historians.  In 2004, a sixty-minute documentary was produced titled “The Four Chaplains Sacrifice at Sea”.

News from San Antonio Church – January 21, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 21, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Catholic Church to celebrate our lives as Christians.  The” Sunday of the Word of God” will be celebrated in St. Peters Basilica by Pope Francis on this day with the motto “Remain in My Word”.  This day teaches us to forget our past failures, repent for those wrongs and live as true Christians in the future.  A Collect Prayer for this Sunday of the Word of God: “Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works.  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.  Amen.” 

On Monday, January 22nd the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops designates this day as a day of prayer and penance for the protection of unborn children.  The “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children” calls on all the Dioceses of the United States of America to pray for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and for penance of violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.  This Sunday is seen as a liturgical celebration as a “Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life”.

On Tuesday, January 23rd we honor St. Vincent Deacon and Martyr, Bishop of Saragossa in the 4th Century during the reign of Governor Dacian who worked to stamp out Christianity.  Vincent pledged to never give up his faith and was arrested and thrown into prison after being tortured.  Vincent of Saragossa died in prison while still praising Jesus.  His body was thrown to vultures, but ravens swooped down and chased the vultures away.  The area in Southern Spain where St. Vincents remains were thrown is now called the Cape of St. Vincent with flocks of ravens and vultures still hover over this coastal spot where his body was dumped.  Fellow Christians gave him a proper burial with a shrine erected over his grave.  St. Vincent of Saragossa was canonized pre congregation.  A Prayer to St. Vincent: “Saint Vincent, in the face of persecution and torture, you remained courageous, even fixated on the love of Christ.  You conquered the evil one by your fidelity and were crowned with glorious martyrdom.  Please pray for me, that I may also receive that crown through my daily sacrifices of love.  Saint Vincent, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in you.  AMEN.” 

On Tuesday, January 23rd we also celebrate the life and works of Marianne Cope 1838-1918 also known as St. Marianne of Mookai.  She was a German born American Religious Sister who was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse in New York.  In 1870, she helped found the 1st of two Catholic Hospitals in New York with medical care to be provided regardless of race or creed and through her dedication, became a hospital administrator.  By 1883, she was the Superior General of her congregation when she received word for help from King Kalakaua of Hawaii.  His desperate plea was for the care of leprosy patients.  Because leprosy was considered to be highly contagious, over 50 religious congregations had turned the King’s request down.  Mother Marianne Cope answered his letter: “I am hungry for the work, and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen Ones, whose privilege it will be, to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders.  I am not afraid of any disease; hence it would be my greatest delight even to administer to the abandoned lepers.” 

With 6 other Sisters, Mother Marianne departed Syracuse on the SS Mariposa to manage Kaka’ako Branch Hospital on Oahu which was the receiving hospital for patients with Hansen’s disease.  After her first year on the island, the government asked her to set up the first general hospital on the island of Maui.  Mother Marianne worked to deal with the maltreatment of leprosy patients; and threatened to leave her work and return to Syracuse if things didn’t change.  Two years later the King awarded Mother Marianne with the Cross of a Companion of the Royal Order of Kapiolani as she was essential to the mission’s success and the care of his people.  Her next calling was to establish a new home for women and girls on the Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai, knowing she may never return to Syracuse. 

In 1888, Mother Marianne Cope moved to Kalaupapa to care for Father Damien SS.CC who had worked in the leper colony was critically ill.  She cared for him until he died on April 15, 1889, and now she was not only in charge of the female residents but now but the care of the boys on Kalaupapa.  With donations from a local businessman, Henry Perrine Baldwin for a new home and help from Sister Leopoldina Burns and Sister Vincentia McCormick a new girl’s school was opened.  In 1895, four Brothers of the Sacred Heart arrived to care for the boys with Mother Marianne Cope moving the Sisters to the Bishop Home caring for the leperous women and girls.  Mother Marianne Cope died on natural causes on August 9, 1918, never contracting Hansen’s disease.  She was buried on the grounds of the Bishop Home in Hawaii until 2005 when her remains were brought back to Syracuse for reinterment at the Motherhouse.  Mother Mariann Copes was returned to Honolulu in 2014 for her final resting place at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.  She was Beatified on May 14, 2005, and Canonized on October 21, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI.  Along with Fr. Damien, Mother Marianne Cope were both canonized for their dedicated work in the Hawaiian Islands and their community still ministers to the small group of patients who suffer from Hansen’s disease.   Her major shrine, Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum is located in Syracuse, New York at 601 North Townsend Street.  St. Mariann Cope is the Patron of Lepers, Outcasts, and those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. 

On Wednesday, January 24th we honor St. Frances de Sales who became known for his writing.  Born in France in 1567 ordained a Priest and appointed Bishop of Genoa in 1602.  In 1578, he attended a Jesuit institution to study rhetoric, humanities and theology and studied philosophy at the University of Paris.   In 1587 when he was 20 years old, Francis became very ill and for a time bedridden when he began praying the Memorare before the statue of Our lady of Good Deliverance, the Black Madonna that were images of the Blessed Virgin that were painted black or became darkened by age.  It was then he decided to offer his life to God when he consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He felt that God had good things planned for him when Francis said, “God is love.”  His faithful devotion to god influenced the rest of his life and he longed to devote himself to the Christian Ministry.  He brought many to return to God by his kindness and preaching, while writing many spiritual books.  In 1616, Francis wrote “Treatise on the Love of God” that many of his converts used as a teaching tool and “Introduction to the Devout Life” written for lay persons and especially for women.    He said, “I want to go everywhere to look for the poor and the sinners so that I may win them for Jesus.”  Francis de Sales motto was “ask for nothing, refuse nothing”.  He founded the Order of the Visitation, with Jane Frances de Chantal, and the Visitation Sisters.  He died on December 28, 1622, and just before his death, a nun asked him to write down the virtue he most desired and Francis wrote one word “Humility”.  Francis de Chantal was Beatified in 1661 and Canonized in 1665 by Pope Alexander VII. 

In 1838, the Missionaries of St. Frances de Sales was the 1st Religious Congregation to adopt his spiritually.  In 1877, Pope Pius IX declared St. Francis de Sales Doctor of the Church and in 1923, Pope Pius XI named him Patron of the Catholic Press, Writers, Journalists and the Deaf.  St. Francis developed a sign language to teach a deaf man about God.   There are 9 Churches, 33 Schools, 5 Colleges, 2 Seminaries, 1 Hospital and a Broadcast Center in the Philippines named in his honor.  He has been called the “Gentlemen Saint” because of his patience and gentleness. 

On Thursday, January 25th, the Catholic Church honors the Conversion of St. Paul; an event in the life of Saul/Paul the Apostle that led him to be a follower of Jesus.  His feast day is the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Before his Conversion Saul intensely persecuted those who were followers of Jesus.  Saul was present when St Stephen, the 1st Christian Martyr was stoned to death.  Saul never participated in his death but took part in ravaging the church and entering homes of Christians to put them in prison.  He wanted to travel to Damascus in an attempt to bring those Christians back to Jerusalem for punishment.  On the way there, Saul was struck down by a sudden flash of light when a voice cried out, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”?  Saul cried, “Who are you Lord” the voice said, “I am Jesus, who you are persecuting”.  Saul had been blinded by the light but when Jesus ordered Saul to journey to Damascus and visit a Christian named Ananias, Saul agreed to go.  When Saul arrived in Damascus, he spoke with Ananias and learned about the Christians and their faith.  He now believed Jesus to be the Son of God and after learning the truth about Christianity, his eyesight was restored.  To symbolize his new life, he took the name of Paul. The collect in the Roman missal: “O God, who taught the whole world through the preaching of the blessed Paul, draw us, we pray nearer to you through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today, and so make us witnesses to your truth in the World.” 

On Friday, January 26th we honor the Sts. Timothy and Titus who were loyal co-missionaries of St. Paul.  In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI praised these early bishops who went forth and used “their readiness to take on various offices” in difficult times.   Pope Benedict XVI said of Timoty and Titus that they “taught us to serve the Gospel with generosity, realizing that this also entails a service to the Church herself”.  Timothy was born to a Jewish mother and pagan father and when Paul passed through the area of his birth, he chose Timothy as a companion because, “He was highly esteemed by the brethren of Lystra and Iconium.”  He accompanied Paul to Athens and continued on to Corinth where they established a Church.  Timothy went on to become the 1st Bishop of Ephesus and had oversight of the Churches of Macedonia.  Timothy was warned by Paul of the dangers of false teachers and the erroneous doctrines preached about the Laws for Christians.  St. Timothy is the Patron Saint of Church members and leaders of the Church.  

Titus was called to Jerusalem and witnessed the preaching of Christ.  After the Conversion of Paul and with the start of his ministry, the Apostle Paul Baptized calling Titus his “True child in our common faith”.  Titus had the responsibility for the Church of Corinth and assisted Paul as he was concerned with the influence of false teachers who tried to subvert the Gospel he preached.  Titus often traveled with Timothy preaching the Gospel to the early Church.  In 1239, some of the relics from Timothy were sent from Constantinople to rest in the Cathedral of Termoli in Molise, Italy.   St. Titus was ordained the Bishop of Crete and is credited with leading the Church of Crete into is 90’s. They were both canonized pre-congregation and in 1969, the Catholic Church assigned January 26th the Feast day for Sts. Timothy and Titus, Disciples of St. Paul.  St. Titus is the Patron Saint of the United States Army Chaplain Corps.  There is the tradition in the military for The Chief of Chaplains to present the “Order of Titus” a non-denominational award in recognition of exemplary performance by chaplains and chaplain assistants.  The only award presented by the Chief of Chaplains is to recognize the importance of delivering religious support to the American Soldier.  The award for this year was presented on January 6,2024, at Fort Jackson South Carolina to Lt. Col Gary Hensley to highlight: “The great importance of realistic, doctrinally guided combat ministry training in ensuring the delivery of prevailing religious support to the American Soldier.” 

On Saturday, January 27th, we celebrate the feast day for the Italian religious educator who worked to teach poor children in Italy about Christianity.  Angela Merici was born in 1475 in Lombardy, Italy and after the death of her parents and sister, she joined The Third Order of St. Francis as a Tertiaries (Third Order) at the age of 15.  With the help of the Franciscan Order, Angela started a school for girls.  Her school was very successful and with the dowry left to her if she chose to marry, Angela started the Ursuline Order with 12 companions, named for the English Queen and Martyr, Ursula who is considered the ideal example of Christian Virginity.  In 1535, twenty-eight young women along with Angela Merici consecrated themselves to the service of God.  While living among their own families, these women lived a holy life and came together for classes and spiritual exercises.  They also carried out duties that were assigned to them.  Angela Merici was chosen their Superior, the office she held for the last five years of her life (died 27 January 1540).  She spent her life living in the world seeking Christian perfection in accordance with the spirit of her religious order.  Angle Merici said: “If any person, because of his state of life, cannot do without wealth and position, let him at least keep his heart empty of the love of them.” She was Beatified in Rome on April 30, 1768, by Pope Clement XIII and Canonized on May 24, 1807, by Pope Pius VII in Rome.  St. Angela Merci parishes are located in California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio Missouri, Texas and in Ontario, Canada.  Schools around the world dedicated to her are in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Missouri, New York, Philippines, United Kingdom, United Sates, and Texas.  In Cincinnati, the Ursuline Sisters follow the teachings of St. Angela Merici at their schools, St. Ursula Villa School Pre-K – 8th Grade and Ursuline Academy college prep school for young women.  Follow the words of St. Angela Merci “Never cease to cultivate this vine which has been entrusted to you.”   There is also the Ursuline Network (http://www.angelamersi.it/index_eng.php)

News from San Antonio Church – January 14, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 14, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and during the next week, we celebrate the feast days of St. Anthony Abbot, St. Fabian, St. Sebastian and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that runs from January 18-25.  St. Anthony Abbot is known as the Father of Monasticism, for the form of life followed by those who withdraw from society in order to devote themselves totally to God through prayer, penance, and solitude. He is also known as a Father of All Monks and for his importance among the Desert Fathers who were small communities that began as Christian Monasteries.  They lived as hermits while spending time in the Egyptian Desert with a strict regime of Discipline, Obedience, Manuel Labor, Silence, Fasting, and spending long periods in Prayer.    He was born in Egypt in 251 and died in 356 with his feast day also celebrated among Eastern Orthodox Churches who went on to found monasteries for his many disciples.  He is credited with being invoked in a number of miraculous   healings particularly skin diseases such as ergotism, erysipelas and shingles which were referred to as St. Anthony’s Fire.  Anthony the Great was credited with assisting two local noblemen recover from the disease and for their cure, they founded the Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony in his honor to specialize in skin diseases.  A center of veneration and pilgrimage known as Saint-Antoine-Abbaye in Isere, France was erected in 1297 to house is remains.  There are many depictions of St. Anthony such as the Torment of St. Anthony by Michaelangelo and the Four Tales of St. Anthony the Great by Vitale de Bologna.  A Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot: “St. Anthony, you spoke of the importance of preserving in our faiths and our practice.  Help us to wake up each day with new zeal for the Christian life and a desire to take the next challenge instead of just sitting still.  Amen.” 

On Thursday, January 18th we welcome the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity an annual event between Ascension day and Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere and between January 18-25 in the Northern Hemisphere.  Established in 1908 as the Octave of Christian Unity, lasting 8 days to focus on prayer for church unity.  Father Paul Wattson from the Graymoor Franciscan Fathers proposed the week beginning on the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter and ending with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.  In the 1920’s, Protestant leaders proposed an annual Octave of prayer for unity among Christians leading up to Pentecost, on the traditional commemoration of the establishment of the Church.  In 1935, “The father of spiritual ecumenism”, Abbe Paul Couturier of Lyons, France proposed naming the observance “Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” and by 1948, this week became recognized by different churches throughout the world.  By 1968, the Faith and Order Commission and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity which represents the entire Catholic Church, came together to prepare materials for the Week of Prayer.   In 2008, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity celebrated its Centennial creating a theme for every year.  The theme for 2024, is “You shall love the Lord your God”.

On January 20th, the Catholic Church honors Pope Fabian, the Bishop of Rome during the years 236-250.  It is said he was chosen by the Holy Spirit to be the next Pope when a dove descended upon his head, marking him as the next Holy Father.  When this happened, it made many recall the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at the time of His Baptism by John The Baptist.  The whole congregation assumed the dove was a sign and with that, Fabian was then proclaimed the Bishop of Rome, the next Pope.  During the 14 years Pope Fabian reigned, there was a lull in the persecutions that resulted in many being exiled.  He divided the Christian communities of Rome into 7 districts with each one being supervised by a deacon.  Pope Fabian sent out the 7 Bishops of Rome to preach the Gospel to Gaul naming them “Apostles to the Gauls”.  Pope Fabian cataloged the deeds of the martyrs and did considerable research on the catacombs where some honored Christians were interred.  When Pope Fabian died on January 20, 250, he was interred in the catacomb of Callixtus in Rome at the entrance of the Apian Way, the first great highway of the Roman World linking Rome to the Port of Brindisi.  All Roman catacombs were located outside the city walls as it was illegal to bury the dead in the city.  Pope Fabian was buried among scores of martyrs with the inscription on his tomb: “Fabian, Bishop, Martyr”.  His remains were later reinterred by Pope Clement XI at San Sebastiano fuori le mura where the Albani Chapel is dedicated to him.  In 1936, the Church of Santi Fabiano e Venanzio a Villa Fiorelli was named in his honor.

January 20th is also the feast of St. Sebastian, born in the Roman Empire in 255 to a wealthy family.  Sebastain went on to become a Captain of the Soldiers who guarded the Roman Emperor who was not accepting of the Christian population.  He kept his views secret during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian fearing for those who would be martyred for their faith.  The Emperor finally found out about Sebastian and was disappointed that a soldier so close to him had been a believer in God.  Sebastian suffered cruelly being shot with arrows. A sentence from the Emperor.  He survived and appeared publicly to call on the cruelty of the Emperor to Christians.  Diocletian then sentenced Sebastian to death by clubbing.  His body was cast in a sewer until Christians buried his body on the Apian Way among other Christian Martyrs and 16 Popes are buried.  The Catacombe di San Sebastiano extend beneath the 4th Century Basilica of the same name.  He is celebrated among the Catholic Community in India and in Manila, Philippines, the San Sebastian College is located next to the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian.  He is the Patron of the Knights of Columbus Council #4926 in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose California, and the St. Sebastian River in Florida is named in his honor. Due to his physical strength, St. Sebastain is the Patron of Athletes and is intercession his sought for cures against many afflictions and was formerly one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers who was a protector from the bubonic plague.  King Sebastian I of Portugal was born on the saint’s feast day and was named after him.

News from San Antonio Church – January 7, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 7, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, January 7th, we honor the Epiphany of the Lord to commemorate the manifestation of Christ to the whole world as represented by the Magi from the East (Mt. 2:1-12). It is also referred to as Three Kings Day and is sometimes celebrated as Little Christmas.  In some Western Churches, the eve of Epiphany is known as Twelfth Night with the Monday after the Epiphany known as Plough Monday.  The Feast of the Epiphany is part of Christmastime that extends from the First Vespers of Christmas on the evening of December 24th and up to the Sunday after Epiphany.  In some parts of Europe, the priest will bless Epiphany water, frankincense, gold, and chalk that will be used to bless churches and homes.  The water is blessed and then taken home to be used with prayers as a blessing as they bless their homes and themselves.  The blessed chalk will be used for marking homes with the initials of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar written over doors saying the Latin Phrase, Christus Mansionem Benedicat (May God Bless this House).  We will bless chalk on this Sunday to take bless our own homes and that of our family members for 2024.  

In ancient times, the priest would announce the date of Easter Sunday on the feast of the Epiphany.  At a time when calendars were not available, the church would then need to announce the date of Easter since important dates on the liturgical calendar needed to be publicized.  The date would be sung or proclaimed by a reader after the reading of the Gospel or after the post communion prayer.  In Italy, Epiphany is a national holiday and celebrated with the figure of La Befana, the broomstick riding elderly woman who had missed the opportunity to bring a gift to the child Jesus when the Magi invited her on their journey.  She was too busy doing her chores and now uses her broom to visit all the good children on the night before the Epiphany.  On the Feast of the Epiphany, greenery and nativity scenes are taken down with king cakes and gifts given as the celebratory close to the Christmas season.  The famous carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written about the days between December 25th and the Epiphany. 

On the Monday, January 8th, following the Epiphany, we commemorate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord celebrated in the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches.  In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated as an integral part of the Epiphany.  In many Methodist Churches, it is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in January. The Baptism of the Lord was originally one of three Gospel events marked by the feast of the Epiphany until Pope Pius XII instituted a separate liturgical commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord in 1955.  Later, Pope John XXIII revised the calendar keeping the Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ as a rank of a second-class feast with Pope Paul VI later setting the date as the first Sunday after January 6th or, if in a particular country the Epiphany is celebrated on Sunday January 7th.  There is the custom initiated by Pope John Paul II where on this feast, the Pope will Baptize babies in the Sistine Chapel. 

On Tuesday, January 9th the Catholic Church begins Ordinary Time which will continue until February 13th, Shrove Tuesday, and the beginning of the Liturgical Season of Lent on Ash Wednesday on February 14th.   On January 13th, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Hilary of Poitiers (310-367) also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican Communion, Lutheran and Oriental Orthodoxy Churches.  He became Bishop of Poitiers and a Doctor of the Church who was referred to as the “Hammer of the Arians” when Arianism was a threat to the Western Church.  The Arians did not believe in the divinity of Christ and at that time, had a lot of power and the support of Emperor Constantius.  Hilary summed up the problem with the Arian heretics when he said, “they didn’t know who they were.”  Hilary felt he knew very little about the whole Arain controversy when he was banished. Many persecutions resulted when there was condemnation of St. Athanasius and there was no exception for Hilary who was exiled from Poitiers.   Saint Jerome said of the spread of the heresy: “The world groaned and marveled to find that it was Arian.”  Arianism was the heresy propagated by the monk Athanasius claiming that Jesus Christ was created and not divine. 

When Emperor Constantius ordered all the bishops of the West to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the great defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia.  Eventually he was called the “Athanasius of the West.”  While banished, Hilary researched everything about what the Arians said and he wrote: “Although in exile we shall speak through these books and the word of God, which cannot be bound, shall move about in freedom.” He spent time in exile writing on the Trinity, “For one to attempt to speak of God in terms more precise than he himself has used-to undertake such a thing is to embark upon the boundless, to dare the incomprehensible.  He fixed the names of His nature:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Whatever is sought over and above this is beyond the meaning of words, beyond the limits of perception, beyond the embrace of understanding.” After three years in exile, the emperor allowed Hilary to return to Poitiers as the emperor was tired of having to deal with the troublemaker, “a Sower of discord and a disturber of the Orient”.  Hilary did not hurry back but took his time traveling through Greece and Italy and preaching against the Arians.  On his return to Poitiers, Hilary risked death continuing his role as Bishop in the 4th Century.  Hilary is considered the 1st Latin Christian hymn writer and according to St. Jerome, three hymns are attributed to him.  He died in 367 and canonized pre-congregation and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851.  St. Hilary’s symbol are three books and a quill pen.  A Prayer: “Saint Hilary of Poitiers, instead of being discouraged by your exile, you used your time to study and write.  Help us to bring good out of suffering and isolation in our own lives and see adversity as an opportunity to learn about or share our faith. Amen.”   The city of Poitiers, home of St. Hilary is an important geographic crossroads between France and Western Europe.  The Battle of Tours in 732 took place in the area around Poitiers and in 1356, the city was one of the key battles fought in the Hundred Years War.  It is a city of art and history and is known as Ville Aux Cent Clochers, City of 100 Bell towers with the 4th Century Baptistere Saint-Jean, the oldest church in France. In the United Sates, there are schools and churches dedicated to St. Hilary of Poitiers in Fairlawn and Akron Ohio, in Tiburon and Pico Rivera California, in Chicago, Illinois, Rydal, Pennsylvania and in Raceland, Louisiana.

News from San Antonio Church – December 31, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin December 31, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, New Years Eve, we celebrate the religious holiday the Feast of the Holy Family.  It honors the sanctity of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, The Holy Family and celebrates the family unit.  The devotion to the Holy Family grew around the 15th century when venerated them in many works of art that depicted them   as the ideal Christian Family.  Since 1921, the Feast of the Holy family has been a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church when it was added to the liturgical calendar by Pope Benedict XV.  In 1969, the Feast of the Holy Family has been celebrated during the season of Christmastide.  A Prayer: “O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards.  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.  Amen” 

On January 1st, New Years Day there will be no MASS AT SAN ANTONIO CHURCH.  This is the Feast Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we honor her on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  We celebrated Mary being the mother of Jesus on the 8th day after his birth.  Under Levitical Law, Mary would have had him circumcised on this day and according to Luke 2:21 was then given the name of Jesus.  In Rome around the 14th Century, it was celebrated as the Feast of The Circumcision and the Octave of the Nativity.  In 1960, Pope John XXIII removed the mention of the Circumcision of Jesus from the General Roman Calendar.  In 1969 with the revision of the liturgical year and the calendar of the Roman Rite stating:  January 1st, the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. 

Pope Paul VI would explain: “This celebration.  Laced on January 1st is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation.  It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the holy Mother through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of life.  It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels and for imploring from God, through the Queen of peace, the supreme gift of peace.”  A Prayer for this January 1st: “O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.  Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  AMEN.” 

On Tuesday, January 2nd we celebrate the feast day of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church who met while studying in Constantinople and at the University of Athens.  Both were well educated, smart and holy who during their lives became the model for monasticism in the East.  Monasticism is followed by those who withdraw from society in order to devote themselves totally to God through prayer, penance, and solitude.  They lived at a time of Arianism (heresy claiming that Jesus Christ was created and therefore not divine) and with their teachings, helped the Church to heal, eradicate the heresy, and restore the unity of faith to the church in the East.  They would spend years in solitude praying to prepare them for their common mission.  Basil and Gregory were ordained Priests and were consecrated as Bishops.  Basil opened a school of Oratory for religious communities and was known as a brilliant speaker.  Basil and Gregory wrote books and always worked to defend the Church.  Basil drew up riles for men who wished to live together as Monks.  These rules are still the basis of every Monastic Community in Eastern Churches.    A Prayer to Sts. Gregory and Basil: “You were called by God to be a light in the midst of darkness during a time of great turmoil within the Church.  Please pray for me, that I will never live, enveloped in the darkness of this world but will always carry the light of Christ to scatter falsehood and sin, so that God may be glorified, and souls may be saved, Saints Basil and Gregory, pray for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.  AMEN.” 

On Wednesday, January 3rd we honor The Holy Name of Jesus first celebrated in Germany, Belgium, England, and Scotland that came to be observed universally during the reign of Pope Innocent XIII (1721-1724). Since Vatican II and under Pope Paul VI this day is no longer celebrated as a feast although the idea behind it is still valid.  Since we love and respect the name of Jesus, it is proper that we pay homage to it.  The spirit of this is captured by St. Paul: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father “(Phil2:10-11). The Franciscan Bernadine of Siena promoted the devotion to the Holy Name who asked the faithful to “Adore the Redeemer of mankind,” while displaying the trigram HIS on a tablet in gold letters.  In Italy, the devotion to the Holy Name became very popular with the HIS trigram inscribed over the doorways of houses.  The tablet used by Bernadine is now venerated at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli In Rome.  A very old and popular prayer, The Litany of the Holy Name began in the 15th Century was formally approved by Pope Pius IX in 1862 while the Novena in Honor of the Name of Jesus and the Chaplet of Our Lord are some of the many devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus that are promoted by the Society of the Holy Name.  The Little Sachet, associated with the Holy Name is a religious article used by Catholics and bears the statement “When Jesus was named, Satan was disarmed.” 

On January 4th we honor and celebrate St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton a wife, grieving mother and widow who would find her calling after becoming a Catholic after her husband William Magee Seton passed away on December 27, 1803.  She was received into the catholic Church on March 14, 1805, by Fr. Matthew O’Brien. Pastor of the St. Peter’s Church, the only Catholic Church in the city of New York.  In 1806, she received the Sacrament of Conformation from the only Bishop in the nation, the Bishop of Baltimore, John Carroll.  When she converted to Catholicism, Elizabeth tried to establish an academy for young ladies with little success until she met a Sulpician Father, Louis William Valentine Dubourg wanted to start a religious school located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Fr. Louis had taken refuge in the United States from religious persecution during the Reign of Terror in France.  Elizabeth accepted his offer and in 1809, moved to Maryland where she established the St. Jospeh’s Academy and Free School dedicated to the education of Catholic Girls.  She would then establish a religious community dedicated to care for children of the poor by the 1st Congregation of Religious Sisters founded in the United States and their school was the 1st free Catholic School in America.  The congregation was then called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph and Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was lovingly known as “Mother Seton”.  The Sisters adopted the rules of the Daughters of Charity in 1811, which were co-founded in France by Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. In 1812, there were 19 Sisters in the small community when it was accepted as an official Order with Mother Seton becoming the 1st Superior.   She died on January 4, 1821, at the age of 46, nine years after losings Anna Maria (1795-1812) and five years after the death Rebecca Mary (1802-1816).    Elizabeth Ann Bayley and William Magee Seton’s other children were William II (1796-1868), Richard (1798-1823), Catherine (1800-1891) who was the 1st American to join the Siters of Mercy.   

By 1830, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph were responsible for running orphanages and schools in Cincinnati and New Orleans and had established the 1st hospital west of the Mississippi in St. Louis.  In addition to the original community of Sisters at Emmitsburg, they are also based in Newy York city, Cincinnati, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Convent Station, New Jersey and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  Seton High School in Cincinnati was founded as Mount St. Vincent Academy (Cedar Grove) in 1854 and in 1927, was renamed in honor of Elizabeth Ann Seton.  In 1931, our beloved Sister of Charity, Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God journeyed to Rome and met with the Pope to petition for the canonization of ‘Mother Seton”.  In 1936, her spiritual writings were approved by theologians and in 1940, her cause was formally opened granting her the title, Servant of God.  With the miracle in 1952 of a 4year old girl healed due to the intercession of Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pope John XXIII declared her beatified on March 17, 1963, with him stating: “In a house that was very small, but with ample space for charity, she sowed a seed in America which by Divine Grace grew into a large tree”.  The miracle attributed to her canonization took place in 1963 with the healing of Carl Kalin who was given hours to live after contracting meningitis and encephalitis in his brain.  Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was finally canonized on September 14, 1975, by Pope Paul VI in a ceremony at St. Peters Square:  Pope Paul VI stated: “Eliabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a saint.  St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is an American.  All of us say this with special joy and with the intention of honoring the land and the nation from which she sprang forth as the first flower in the calendar of saints.  Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was wholly American!  Rejoice for your glorious daughter.  Be proud of her. And know how to preserve her fruitful heritage.” 

In 1980, the Daughters of Charity Health Network established Bayley Seton Hospital in Stapleton, Staten Island, new York and is now the Bayley Seton campus of Richmond University Medical Center.  Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg, Maryland, located less than a mile from the original school, Saint Joseph’s Academy enrolls 306 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and has a ratio of 15 students to every teacher.  A Prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton: “O God, You raised up St. Elizabeth in Your Church so that she might instruct others in the way of salvation. Gant us to follow Christ after her example that we may reach You in the company of our brothers.  AMEN.”

On January 5th we celebrate the Feast day of John Neuman born on March 28, 1811, in the Kingdom of Bohemia, Austrian Empire, the only male United States citizen to be named a saint.  His alma mater was the University of Prague and his choices at that time were to become a physician, a lawyer, or a priest.  His father was prepared to pay the tuition for medical school.  John chose the Seminary which he entered in 1831 and while studying theology, he read reports of a need for priests in the United States to serve German speaking communities.  In 1828 Monsignor Frederick Rese, Vicar-General of Cincinnati visited Europe in search of priests.  He was able to secure 3 priests, 13 lay brothers and by 1832, the Redemptorists were a prominent element in North America taking care of German Congregations.  At the same time, John Neumann passed his canonical examinations for the priesthood and told he would not be ordained because the Diocese had more priests than needed.  He would have to journey to America to be ordained, something his family would not be able to see.  He was sorry he would not be able to give the 1st traditional priestly blessing to his parents and he would not have his family in attendance at his 1st Mass.  He departed on the morning of February 8, 1836, with 200 francs ($40) only telling his sister Veronica of his plans to leave Bohemia.  He arrived in Munich on February 18th, and on to Strasburg on the 26th of February, he was told he would not be needed in Philadelphia, where after his ordination would be his first post.  When he arrived in Paris, the money he was promised for the journey was given to other missionaries and was told a rich merchant would give him funds.  The money never materialized, and he decided to continue on leaving on Easter Sunday morning on the largest sailing vessel out of Le Havre, the Europa a 210-foot three mast ship with a 60-foot beam.  The voyage lasted 40 days with the passengers coming within sight of land on Trinity Sunday, May 28, 1836.  On the feast of Corpus Christi, he finally stepped ashore with tattered clothes and $1 in his pocket and looking for a Catholic Church.  Seventeen days after his arrival, John Neumann was finally ordained a priest by Bishop Dubois at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral to the subdiaconate on June 19th, the diaconate on June 24th and the priesthood on June 25th, celebrating his 1st Mass on the morning of June 26th at St. Nicholas Church.  John Neumann became the 1st Redemptorists to profess vows in the United States.  The diocese he would serve was home to 200,000 Catholics with 36 priests, 33churches, several oratories, and 50 homes serving as temporary places of worship.  St. John Neuman would visit his Diocese by foot, canal boat, stagecoach, railway, and on horseback although because of his height (5ft 2 in.) his feet did not fit into the stirrups. In 1840, he asked to be admitted to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and took his vows in Baltimore in 1842.  He became a Naturalized citizen in 1848 and became a pioneer in organizing the parochial school system.  He was committed to providing educational opportunities to immigrant school children.  He would also do missionary work in Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio.   Neumann would become the Provincial Superior of the United States and in 1852, was appointed Bishop of Philadelphia where he established the 1st National Italian Parish in the country.  While he was Bishop, more than 80 churches were built, and he drew many Orders of Sisters and Christian Brothers into the city.   He spoke German, French and was fluent in Italian which endeared him to many communities throughout Philadelphia. While performing his duties St. John Neumann collapsed and died on a street in Philadelphia when he was 48 years old.  His funeral and burial were at St. Peters Church where he was laid to rest beneath the undercroft floor under the high altar.  The cause for his canonization was opened formally in 1896 granting him the title of Servant of God and was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XV in 1921.  St. John Neumann was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and canonized by Pope Paul in 1977.  In 1980, Our Lady of the Angels College was renamed Neumann College and in 2017, the state of New Hampshire established the St. John Neumann Education Trust for the advancement of Catholic Education in the state.  There are 15 schools named for him throughout the United States and in 2011, on the 200th anniversary of St. John Neumann’s birth, the Redemptorist Fathers celebrated the Closing Mass for the Neumann Year on June 23, 2012, in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, January 6th, the Catholic Church honors Andre Bessette (1845-1937) a Canadian lay brother of the Holy Cross Order who was a highly regarded figure of the Catholic Church among French-Canadians.  As a young boy, he developed devotions to St. Joseph and the Pasion of Christ while taking catechism lesson from his parish priest, Andre Provencal.  Years later, the pastor decided to present Andre Bessette to the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal with a note to the Superior, “I am sending you a saint.”  He was finally accepted on behalf of the Archbishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget and in 1872, entered the novitiate of the Congregation.  He entered as Brother Andre and made his final vows at the age of 28 on February 2, 1874.  Brother Andre was assigned the task of porter, laundry worker, messenger, and sacristan at the College Notre-Dame in Quebec.  For 40 years he stayed visiting the sick in their homes and he recommended prayers to Saint Joseph with many claiming cures through the intercession of Brother Andre and Saint Joseph.  He would not take credit for the cures and launched a campaign to have a chapel built to honor Saint Joseph.  In 1924, the construction of a Basilica named St. Jospeh Oratory broke ground on the side of the mountain close to Brother Andre’s Chapel.  He died at the age of 91 in 1937 with one million mourners filling past his coffin to pay their respects with his remains entombed in the church he helped build. The cause for his beatification was opened on July 20, 1950, with the miracle attributed to him was the healing of Giuseppe Carlo Audino’s cure from cancer.  He was then beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982.  In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI there was a decree to recognize a second miracle at Brother Andre’s intercession and in 2010 he was formally declared a saint.  Brother Andre Bessette was the 1st saint of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the same religious order that founded the University of Notre Dame.  Many schools and churches are named for him throughout Canada and in the United States.  St. Edward University, a Holy Cross School located in Austin, Texas is home to the School of Humanities and in Niles, Illinois a program to support student learning at Notre dame College Prep is named the St. Andre Scholars.    Throughout Canada, there is the St. Andre Bessette Secondary School, Brother Andre Catholic School, and St. Andre Bessette Elementary School.  The churches named in his honor are St. Andre Bessette Parish in Laconia, New Hampshire, a city with many residents of French-Canadian Heritage, in Ecorse, Michigan, St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church and in Portland, Oregon the St. Andre Catholic Church located downtown.  In support of Brother Andre’s work, Andre House was established in Phoenix, Arizona to aid those homeless and poor and in Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania, the Epiphany Roman Catholic Church, established a coffee shop, Brother Andre’s Café that employs workers with disabilities.  There is a statue of Saint Andre unveiled on the 50th Anniversary of Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana and Andre Place, the retirement facility sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross is adjacent to the college.  At the University of Notre Dame across the street from Holy Cross College, there are many statues and stained-glass windows depicting St. Andre.

As we honor St. Andre Bessette, we also celebrate San Antonio Church’s own Holy Cross Father, Fr. Fred Serraino, C.S.C. He grew up in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount and was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1968, at the Holy Cross Seminary Chapel.  Fr. Fred Serraino came back to San Antonio Church to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 1, 1969, to a church filled with honored parishioners.  On May 25, 2018, he celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ordination at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of Notre Dame and is now a resident of Andre House.  Fr. Fred’s parents were the late Anthony and Philomena Serraino, long-time parishioners of our church.  His brother Frank Serraino and his sister Carmella “Cumi” (Serraino) Berger and their families are still active members of our church.

News from San Antonio Church – December 24, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin December 24, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, San Antonio Church welcomes the last day of Advent with the anticipation of Christmas as we light the last purple candle, Love on our wreath.  On the 4th Sunday of Advent, we wait with joyous expectation for the imminent coming of the Redemer.  The candles on our Advent Wreath tell a Christmas story with the first week symbolizing the Prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, the second week we light the Bethlehem Candle to honor Jesus’s Birthplace, the third week we light the Shepherds’ Candle for those who came to see Jesus and the fourth candle for the Angels who proclaimed Jesus’ Birth to the Shepherds.  The Christ Candle in the middle of the wreath will be lit on Christmas Day to symbolize His Purity and the light Jesus brought to the world through His arrival on earth as a baby.  A Prayer on this Sunday: “We pray to the Holy Apostles of Christ to be with us and to pray for us that we may go forth to meet Him, and say Great is His Dominion, and His kingdom will have no end.  He is God, the Mighty, the Ruler, the Prince of Peace.  Amen.”

On the evening of Sunday, December 24th the entire Liturgy of Christmas Eve will be consecrated to the anticipation of the arrival of the Savior.  On Christmas Eve in Rome, the Vigil Mass of Christmas, the Midnight Mass, and the Christmas Mass during the day will be held at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, considered the Bethlehem to all Romans.  Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) we be held with family gatherings as many an Italians follow the penitential rule of Mangiare Di Magro by abstaining from meat and eating fish on Holiday Eves to purify the body. Their menu will include salted cod, shrimp, squid, octopus, smelts or whatever is available from region to region.  After their meal families will attend midnight Mass, and on their return home, the youngest child in the family will place the baby Jesus (the Bambino) in the Manger as they anticipate Christmas Day.  While children are asleep, Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) will bring gifts for all good little girls and boys. 

On December 25th, all cooks will be preparing many dishes for a meal that will include turkey, ham, side dishes of pasta, vegetables, and lentils.  When all family members are seated around the dinner table, papas may find notes under their dinner plates from the children of the family asking for forgiveness from all the wrongs they have done during the past year and promising to do better in the new year.  After the Christmas Feast, desserts will be served, especially honey balls that originated in the towns and villages around Naples and zapples, the fried pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar or filled with anchovies.  After dinner the Christmas traditions continue by roasting Morini chestnuts and seasoning them with white wine and spices or dipping them in honey and sprinkling them with sugar and cinnamon for all to enjoy.

On December 26th we honor St. Stephen (Santo Stefano) known as a social worker in the Church who devoted his life to feeding the poor.  Stephen, the 1st Christian Martyr, a Jew who spoke Greek who was chosen by the Apostles.  The Apostles would choose seven men who would be named deacons while living a holy life to help in care of the poor with Stephen being named the 1st of the deacons.  Stephen was ordained by the Apostles to go on to a life of courage working for the good of those who needed help.  Stephen was seen as “Full of grace and Power’ as the Acts of Apostles described him.  He would be one of the seven men who would look after the needs of widows and dependents of Greek converts who were neglected in the daily distribution of charity.  He was martyred about 33AD being stoned to death by his enemies who resisted the Holy Spirit.  As they were stoning Stephen, he prayed “Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit” and before he died “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”  The Church of Jerusalem retrieved his body and deeply mourned him with his Canonization taking place in the 1st Century.   He was venerated as the Patron saint of horses, the most useful servants of man.  Horses are still blessed in front of churches on St. Stephens Day and to celebrate his feast day, bread in the shape of a horseshoe are served.  He is also the patron of stone masons.  A prayer to saint Stephen: “O God, grant that we may imitate the saint we honor and learn to love our enemies.  For today we celebrate the feast of St. Stephen who knew how to pray even for his persecutors.”  Amen. 

On Wednesday, December 27th we honor the Feast of Saint John, the youngest at the age of 20 of the 12 Apostles and the only Apostle not martyred.  He is referred to in the Gospel as “the beloved Disciple” was a Galilean and fisherman along with his brother James were called by Jesus to be disciples while mending their nets by the Sea of Galilee.  Out of the 12 Apostles, Jesus chose three-Peter, brothers James and John to be his most faithful companions who were witnesses of the Transfiguration.    John was the only Apostle who did not forsake the Savior and stayed with Jesus during His Passion and Death and was there to console Mary at the foot of the Cross.  St. John founded many churches in Asia Minor wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Book of Revelation.  In the Book of Revelation, we find the invitation of Jesus to the world.   When John was too old to preach while visiting the churches of Asia, he would tell people, “Love one another.  If you keep this command of the Lord, it is enough.”  He was about 94 years old when he died around 100AD.  St. John’s symbol is the eagle for it soars above earthly things and speaks of the divine nature of Christ. He is the patron of friendship, publishers and Asia Minor and canonized by popular acclaim. 

On December 28th, Thursday we remember the massacre of young children in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great on the Feast of The Holy Innocents.  Those slain children were regarded in the early Church as the first Martyrs.  King Herod ordered the massacre of all boys who were two years old and under in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus.  Even though the Holy Innocents did not know Jesus although they died in his place, they are recognized as the first Martyrs and Pro-Life Saints.  Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia said: “Herod did the unthinkable and murdered Holy Innocent Babies.  In our age, infants are killed daily through the horror of abortion.  In honor of the Holy Innocents, whose feast we celebrate on December 28th, we pray for an end to abortion and for the protection and safety of all children.”  On December 29th we celebrate the feast day of Thomas Becket of Canterbury, King Herny II’s Chancellor from 1155-1162 and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162-1178.  Thomas was born on December 21, 1120, on the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle and ordained a Priest on June 2, 1162, and the next day June 3rd he was consecrated as an Archbishop.  Thomas was challenged by King Henry II who was hoping Thomas would continue to put the royal government ahead of the policies and rights of the Church.  There were soon threats against Thomas Becket with edicts against him, his friends, and supporters.  Becket would flee to France with King Louis VII offered him protection.  When Becket returned to Canterbury, Henry II said of Thomas “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest.”  As four Knights were sent out by the King to confront him.  As they drew their swords, Thomas said “For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.”  When the Monks were preparing his body, they found a hairshirt, a rough undergarment, under his Archbishops garments, worn as a sign of penance based on disciplinary practices as an aid to realize Christian perfection.  St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury was declared a Saint by Pope Alexander III in 1173 and is venerated as a saint and martyr by the Catholic and Anglican Communion Church.

There is recent news of Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  The Board of Directors of the St. Josephs Children’s Home that Sr. Blandina founded, journeyed to Rome to petition Pope Francis for the Cause of Canonization of Sr. Blandina.  This is what Sr. Blandina did herself at the age of 81 to petition for the Canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the founder of her Order, the Sisters of Charity.  As more news is released, we will inform our San Antonio Parishioners.

News from San Antonio Church – December 17, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin December 17, 2023

by Terrie Evans

   On this 3rd Sunday of Advent, we anticipate Christmas on Joy or Gaudete Sunday that is celebrated in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic, the Anglican Communion, Lutheran and other mainline Protestant Churches.  It is also called Rejoice Sunday as the rose candle is lit, rose altar cloth and vestments used while we await the joyous event of the Lord’s coming.  Pope Francis said in his homily on the Sunday of Joy, Gaudete Sunday in 2014, that we should “Think of all the good things life has given you” and focus on the real meaning of this time of year and forget all the little things that distract us from the true meaning of Advent and Christmas.  On this Sunday, we Bless the Baby Jesus’ figurines from our home mangers a tradition that was originated by Pope Paul VI in 1969.  The Blessing by Pope Francis will take place in at St. Peters Square in Rome during the Angelus.  

In Italy, many cultural festivals will take place leading up to Christmas Day.    The winter solstice ritual, Saturnalia will take place from December 17-25, held when the sun is at its lowest. Dating back to Ancient times when people were fearful that the sun would never return, they held ceremonies hoping that the light from the sun would then grow stronger and brighter. The 7-day feast of festivals is also a time spent with loved ones as prayers are said for the protection of winter crops.  The Ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia and the winter solstice traditions continue with some holiday decorations we use within our own homes, the Yule Log, Evergreens and Mistletoe.   

On December 21st we honor the feast of St Peter Canisius born in Holland in 1521 who went on to attend the University of Cologne, obtaining his master’s degree at the age of 19.  He became entranced by the study of theology and inspired by Blessed Peter Faber (1506-1546) a Jesuit Priest, the 1st Disciple of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Theologian and Co-Founder of the Society of Jesus.  St. Peter Canisius joined the Society of Jesuits in 1543 and developed a reputation as a strong supporter of the Catholic Faith at a time of Protestant Reformation in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Switzerland, and the British Isles. He practiced a routine he started at an early age of study, reflection, prayer and writing throughout his life.  He worked for the restoration of the Catholic Church in Germany while he led the Society of Jesus and became known as the Second Apostle of Germany.  His finest work was a Catechism of 211 Questions and Answers that was published in 1555 which went on to 130 editions.  St. Peter Canisus wrote Catechism for Middle School age students with a different virtue for each day of the week.  For younger children, he wrote a shorter Catechism version with prayers for Morning and Evening and prayers before meals to develop the habit of praying.  He died in Switzerland in 1597, was Beatified in Rome by Pope Pius IX in 1864, Canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI with his Major Shrine College of St. Michael in Fribourg, Switzerland.  In Jakarta, Indonesia, there is the St. Peter Canisius International Parish for the International Catholic Community residing in Jakarta.  Their Parish Community includes the Church of St. Theresia and the Canisius College Chapel with a congregation of 2,500 for Sunday Mass and on feast days the congregation welcomes 3,500 churchgoers for the English Liturgy.  A Prayer: “St. Peter Canisius, you saw the good in even the most troublesome of people.  You found their talents and used them.  Help me to see beyond the behavior of others that may bother me to see the gifts that God has given them. AMEN.” 

On December 23rd, we have the feast day of John of Kanty (1390-1473) born in Poland who went on the University at Cracow where after graduation, was given the post of a lecturer in the study of the Bible. He earned his Doctorate in Philosophy and studied Theology for 3 years.  When John was ordained a Priest, he was stationed at the Most Holy Sepulcher about 25 miles north of Krakow.  He loved the academic life but being a dedicated Priest, he worked for 8 years as a curator of souls at the humble post.  He was then recalled as a teacher at the University where he became a Professor of Sacred Scripture.  He left an impact on the parishioners he had mentored to for all those years, and they would never forget the man who was a kind, humble, generous Priest who led an austere penitential life.  He taught this Philosophy to his students: “Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love.  Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.”  St. John of Kanty was Beatified in Rome by Pope Clement X in 1676 and Canonized in 1767 by Pope Clement XII.  He is the Patron of Poland, considered the Benefactor of the Poor and worker of Miracles.  The St. John Parish Community located in Buffalo, New York was founded by Polish Immigrants in 1892 and the Christian Community is still dedicated to those early settlers.  A Prayer: “Saint John Kanty, though you were a great intellectual, your humility and deep faith, coupled with your genuine love for those whom you ministered to, had a lasting effect upon the people of your community, and upon all of Poland.  Please pray for me, that I will learn from your life and imitate your virtues so that I, too, will one day be counted among the Saints.  Saint John of Kanty, pray for me.  Jesus, I trust in You. AMEN.” 

Our San Antonio Church Community send condolences to the Franciscan Community on the passing of Fr. Reynolds Garland who passed away on November 30, 2023, at the age of 89.  He entered the Franciscan Order in 1952, Professed Simple Vows in 1953, and made his Solemn Profession in 1956.  He was Ordained to the Priesthood in 1961 at St. Leonard Church in Centerville, Ohio.  His ministry included Fr. Reynolds serving at Roger Bacon High School as an Instructor, Chaplain, and Counselor.  He was Treasurer at St. Francis Seraph, Associate Pastor at St. Clement Parish in Cincinnati while ministering as a Child Psychologist with Catholic Charities.  In Carville, Louisiana he was a Chaplain at the Hansen’s Disease Center and as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary and Holy Rosary/St. Lucy in Houma, Louisiana.  He was stationed in Jackson, Kentucky, an Eastern Kentucky town of 2,000 named after former President Andrew Jackson where he served as a Parish Priest at Holy Cross Friary.  When returned to Cincinnati, Fr. Reynolds served as a Chaplain at Mercy Community at Winton Woods.  In 2023, he celebrated his 70th Anniversary while expressing his deep gratitude to God for his Franciscan Vocation.

News from San Antonio Church – December 10, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin December 10, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 2nd Sunday of Advent (Latin – for Arrival), the Bethlehem Candle will be lit as we prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus and ready ourselves for His 2nd coming.  These flames symbolize the celebration of light in the middle of darkness with the purple candles representing the penitential spirit of humility, solemnity and suffering with the pink or rose candle signifying the joy of Christ’s birth.   Advent is thought to be in existence since 480 and was introduced by the Council of Tours in 567 as a way to order monks to practice a fast every day during the month of December until Christmas Day.  It was associated with the penitence fasting known as St. Martins Lent or the Nativity Fast.  In the 5th Century, Bishop Perpetuus started Advent with St. Martins Day on November 11th fasting three times a week until Christmas.  Advent was then called the Lent of St. Martin in the diocese of Tours, a practice that was in existence until the 6th Century.  Eastern Orthodox Churches will mark the time before the start of Advent with a Nativity Fast from November 15th until Christmas Eve on December 24th.  The traditional color used for Advent is violet although some Christian denominations now use blue as an alternative color.  The custom for using the blue color for Advent has been traced back to the 8th Century in the Church of Sweden.  The Second Sunday of Advent Prayer: “Father in Heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world, and will send him again to be our judge.  Give us the grace to imitate Him in the humility and purity of His first coming that, when He comes again, we may be ready to greet Him with joyful love and firm faith. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.” 

On Monday, December 11th we celebrate the life of Pope Damasus I, the Bishop of Rome from 366 until his death in 384.  He presided over the Council of Rome in 382 establishing the official list of Sacred Scripture.  He worked to reconcile relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch while feeling a deep responsibility to work for the veneration of Martyrs.  Damasus I became active in defending the Catholic Church against (schisms) the deliberate break from ecclesiastical unity.  In the two Roman synods of 368 and 369, Pope Damasus I sent legates (ambassadors of the Pope) to the First Council of Constantinople to addresses the heresies against the teachings of the Church.  During his 18 years as a Pope, Damasus worked to restore and create access to Christian Martyrs tombs in the Catacombs of Rome by setting up tablets and composing verses and inscriptions in honor of those martyrs.  He rebuilt the church of his father, San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (St. Lawrence Outside the Walls) which became a station on the itineraries of the graves of the Roman Martyrs.  Pope Damasus I’s life mission coincided with the rise of Emperor Constantine I with the reunion of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires and the legitimization of Christianity.  In 380, Christianity was later adopted as the official religion of the Roman State.  On December 12, we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared in 1531, before St. Juan Diego, an Aztec who converted to Christianity. When the Virgin appeared in a vision, she requested a church be built on the site.  The Virgin of Guadalupe was named the Patroness of Mexico in 1737, of the Continental Americas and venerated by Native Americans.  There are religious images of Our Lady of Guadalupe in many Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist Churches due to her popularity.  She has been described as a representative of the Immaculate Conception “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars.” In 1754, Pope Benedict XIV approved her patronage over the New Spain and granted her a proper feast for December 12th.   In 1910, Pope Pius X named Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of Latin America and in 1935, Pope Pius XI approved her as Patroness of the Philippines. During Mexico’s Independence, her image became associated with the movement after Father Miguel Hidalgo united insurgents under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe and many women throughout the world have developed a strong devotion to her. The National Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe has received visits from many dignitaries from all Christian Denominations with Pope John Paul II visiting in 1979,1990, 1993,1999 and in 2002 for the Canonization St. Juan Diego.  In 2016, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the main altar of the Basilica of Guadalupe.  Her significance as a religious national symbol is practiced by the hundreds of thousands who visit her Shrine every year.  In the suburb of Maderia in Cincinnati, women meet every month for the Las Guadalupanas Spanish Rosary Group at St. Gertrude Church to represent our Lady’s patronage of the Americas.   On December 13th we celebrate the feast of St. Lucy (Lucia) (283-304), who is seen as a bearer of light in the darkness of winter.  She is one of 8 women along with the Virgin Mary who is commemorated by Catholics in the Canon of the Mass.  St. Lucy is one of the more known Virgin Martyrs among Agatha of Sicily, Agnes of Rome, Cecilia of Rome, and Catherine of Alexandria.   Since her feast coincides with the Winter Solstice, her feast day has become a festival of light as a Catholic -celebrated holiday with its roots traced to Sicily.   There is a legend in Sicily that a famine ended on her feast day when ships loaded with grain entered the harbor.  It is a tradition to eat whole grains on her feast day to honor her and in   areas throughout Italy, large traditional feasts will take place with homemade pasta and a special dessert called Cuccia made of wheatberries, butter, sugar, chocolate, and milk will be served.  The large grains of soft wheat represent Lucy’s eyes and are only served once a year on her feast day.  An old Hungarian custom is to plant wheat in a small pot on her feast day and by Christmas, green sprouts, a sign of new life will appear.   The wheat will be added to the manger scene as the symbol of Christ in the Eucharist.  There are 83 churches throughout the world named in her honor with 16 schools, and 30, towns, villages, mountains, islands, and malls bearing St. Lucy’s name.  There is also a country, St. Lucia and a railway station Venezia Santa Lucia in Venice, Italy named for her.   A prayer to St. Lucy to invoke the protection of our eyes:  “Relying on Your goodness, O God, we humbly ask You, through the intercession of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, to give perfect vision to our eyes, that they may serve for Your greater honor and glory.  Saint Lucy, hear our prayer and obtain our petitions.  AMEN.”  

On Thursday, December 14th, we celebrate the feast of John of the Cross (1542-1591), a 16th Century Spanish priest, Mystic, and a Carmelite Friar.  He joined the Carmelites at Medina and in 1567, worked with St. Teresa of Avila to reform the Carmelite Monasteries of Spain and went on to establish the 1st reformed house for men. He became known for his writings, the Spiritual Canticle and The Dark Night of the Soul considered masterpieces of Spanish poetry, rich in symbolism and imagery.  He also wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel about a soul seeking a perfect union with God and all the mystic events he encounters along the way, the journey of the soul from its bodily home to his union with God.  Between 1574-1577 John of the Cross had visions of the Crucified Christ which led him to create a drawing of Christ from above.  The drawing was kept in a small monstrance in Avila that would later inspire Salvador Dali to create the work Christ of Saint John of the Cross in 1951.  John of the Cross born Juan de Yepes y Alvarez died on December 15, 1591, was beatified by Pope Clement X in 1675 and was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.  He wrote: “Seek in reading and thou shall find meditation”.  And “Where there is no love, put love and you will find love.”  His major shrine is the Tomb of Saint John of the Cross in Segovia, Spain.  He is the Patron of Spanish Poets, one of the 37 Doctors of the Church who is known as the “Mystical Doctor. 

Friday, December 15th is the Last day of Hanukkah (Zos Hanukah) a special day that encapsulates all of Hanukah as all candles are lit to symbolize Jewish Piety.   St. Francis Seraph Church at the corner of Liberty and Vine Street in Over the Rhine is celebrating a Franciscan Christmas displaying Nativities from Around the World, a Live Nativity, and other Christmas Displays.  The live Nativity is open from 1-7PM Daily and Nativities from other countries with Christmas Displays that will be open Monday -Thursday 9:00AM-5:00PM, Fridays 4:00-7:00PM, Saturdays Noon-7:00PM, and Sunday Noon-5:00PM.  This event is open until January 6th with free admission as donations will be accepted in support of St. Francis Parish and School.  There will be free parking in the lot behind the school at 14 East Liberty Street.  This is a wonderful Holiday event provided by the Franciscan Order who have supported San Antonio Church since its founding in 1922.  

Next Sunday, December 17th, the Catholic Church celebrates Gaudete Sunday, the halfway point of Advent when we light the rose hued candle.  On December 24th, the last Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve, San Antonio Church will bless the baby Jesus’s from our home mangers on Bambinelli Sunday.  Please bring in your baby Jesus’s for this special blessing. This is an annual Papal tradition that will take place in St. Peters Square on this last Sunday of Advent.

News from San Antonio Church – December 3, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin December 3, 2023

by Terrie Evans

  Our San Antonio Church community welcomes everyone on this 1st Sunday of Advent.  In Western Christianity, Advent is the beginning of the Liturgical year as we anticipate the “Coming of Christ.”  In the Catholic and Lutheran Churches, Advent signifies the preparation for the threefold coming of Christ:  First if the Incarnation at Bethlehem, Second, in the perpetual sacramental presence in the Eucharist and Third, at His Second Coming and the Final Judgement.  The readings for Advent relate to Jesus Christ as a Savior and to his Second Coming judge during the weeks in Advent.  The candles on our Advent wreath symbolize the stages of salvation, Creation, the Incarnation, our Redemption from sins, and the Last Judgement as we await the messiah.  As the Candles are lit, we anticipate the Christmas light approaching that will bring us hope and peace while we make the journey through darkness.  The first candle we will light today on our Advent Wreath is the Prophets Candle that symbolizes Hope. The Advent Wreath comes from ancient symbols with the round form symbolizing victory, the greenery a sign of hope and life and the four candles highlight the four Sundays in the season of Advent.  

Also, on this 1st Sunday in Advent, Mt. St. Joseph University will host the Westside Community Band for a Christmas Concert.  Many talented west side musicians will perform all the popular   holiday favorites at this free event.  They will be collecting new unwrapped toys to bring Christmas Joy to children on the west side.  The performance starts at 2:00 PM with the Nutcracker Suite and ends at 4:00 PM with everyone’s favorite, Sleigh Ride.  This is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, so bring your family for this enjoyable afternoon. 

On Monday, December 4th, we celebrate the feast of St. John of Damascus (675-749) venerated in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches born to a Christian Arab family in Syria.  He is considered as one of the Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church who was known for his strong defense of icons.  In the Catholic Church, he was given the title Doctor of the Assumption due to his writings on the Assumption of Mary.  He is the patron of theology students and is known as the “Last of the Greek Fathers in Catholic Theology.  John of Damascus was also known to compose hymns for the Byzantine Rite Liturgies.  He was canonized Pre-Congregation and was added to the General Roman Calendar in 1890 when Pope Leo XIII declared John of Damascus a Doctor of the Church. 

On Wednesday, December 6th, we honor St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (270-343) an early Christian Bishop of Greek descent during the Roman Empire.  St. Nicholas Church was built on the orders of Theodosius II 200 years after his death on the site where he had served as Bishop.  He is the Patron saint of all of Greece and its Hellenic Navy and is also a favorite of all Italians especially sailors, fisherman, sailors, and cities who maintain harbors.  Saint Nicholas is sometimes shown in a boat rescuing drowning sailors.  On his feast day, St. Nicks Day, secret gift giving will take place, and, in some places, coins will be left in the shoes that are left out for him.  He is venerated in many churches:  The Eastern Orthodox Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Finland, with his Major Shrine, the Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy where his relics are enshrined.  In 2000, a bronze statue of St. Nicholas was placed in front of the medieval church dedicated to him by the Russian Government.  A Prayer to St. Nicholas:  We call upon Your mercy, O Lord. Through the intercession of St. Nicholas, keep us safe amid all dangers so that we may go forward without hindrance on the road to salvation. 

On Thursday, December 7th we honor the 82nd National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to recall the surprise military attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.  There were 2,403 Americans killed along with 1,178 wounded on “a date which will live infamy.”  The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese Aircraft with all U.S. Navy battleships damaged along with cruisers, destroyers, anti-aircraft training ships and a minelayer.  More than 180 of our aircraft were lost along with the USS Arizona.  We will never forget the attack at 7:48 Hawaiian Time that led the United States to formally enter World War II on the side of the Allies on the following day.   Many 1sts generation Italian American men from South Fairmount answered the call to duty with those sons, brothers, and husbands fighting overseas for many months or years.  We can never forget the sacrifices they made to defend our great country.     

On December 7th we also honor St. Ambrose (339-397) known as a theologian and statesman who was the Bishop of Milan from the years 374-397 at the age of 34.  He converted St. Augustine to Christianity by his sermons, Baptizing him in 386.  St. Ambrose wrote important doctrines and is considered one of the greatest Doctors and Defenders of the Church.  The Ambrosian Rite, the rite of the Mass and Divine Office in practice for centuries in the territory of the Archdiocese of Milan is attributed to him.  The Ambrosian Chant, melodies ascribed to St. Ambrose were used by his followers used in the Ambrosian Rite.  St. Ambrose is often depicted holding a Church in his hands. 

December 7th is also the first day of Hanukah that begins at sundown and continues to Friday December 15th.  Hanukah is the Jewish feast recalling the rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. and the miracle of the oil when one day’s supply lasted for eight days.  It is custom to eat foods cooked in oil, so many fried foods are prepared for Hanukah, which is also called the “Feast of Lights”.  Families will come together to recite blessings and at sunset, light the first candle in the Menorah, the eight branched candelabrum.  The next night of Hanukah, two candles will be lit until all are aglow for the 8 days of Hanukah.  Many will exchange gifts such as books or games as they prepare dishes for the festival of lights.  Popular recipes are cheese latkes, warm pasta salad, and mint stuffed zucchini with ricotta.   Families will pick an organization to donate to or volunteer their time for a good cause.  They will perform a good deed, a Mitzvah as an individual act of human kindness as “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  A good deed is one of the Torah’s 613 Divine Commandments. 

On Friday December 8th we honor the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary affirming that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved at her conception by a singular grace and privilege of God free from all stain of Original Sin as stated by Pope Pius IX in his declaration of his Dogma on December 8, 1854.  She who was to bear the Savior of the world should herself be preserved by Him from sin and its consequences and so be the first to benefit from what He would obtain for the whole human race.  In 1847, the Catholic Bishops of the United States petitioned Pope Pius IX to declare the Blessed Mother the Patroness of the United States under the title of the Immaculate Conception.  With the approval of the Holy See, plans were made to erect a monumental church to be named the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The cornerstone was laid in 1920 and formally dedicated on November 20, 1959.  It is the largest Catholic Church in the United States covering 77,500 square feet raised to the rank of a Basilica in 1979 by Pope John Paul II. 

On Saturday, December 9th we honor Juan Diego, the first Catholic saint who is indigenous to the Americas.  He was born in 1474 in modern day Mexico who developed a strong dedication to the Virgin Mary while caring for a sick uncle.  When Franciscan Missionaries arrived in Mexico in 1524, and after his baptism was granted apparitions of the Virgin Mary and became regarded as a Marion Visionary.  Mary is said to have appeared in Juan Diego on December 9th & again on the 15th in 1531.  When she appeared, Mary requested a Shrine be built on the spot where she appeared to him but, no one would believe him not even the Pope who requested a sign.  On the second visit from Mary on the 15th of December, he was told to collect roses.  When the Pope had an audience with Juan Diego, when he opened his cloak, the roses fell from his cloak with the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak.  This image is now venerated in the Basilica of Guadalupe where the shrine to the Virgin has existed on the site since 1556.   It is thought she chose Juan Diego as a way to draw the peoples of the New World to faith in Jesus Christ.  The movement for the canonization of Juan Diego became stronger 500 years after his birth in 1974. 

Pope John Paul II opened the Cause for Canonization of Juan Diego in 1987 when he was declared Venerable and was Beatified on May 6, 1990, during Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico city.  He was then declared “Protector and Advocate of the Indigenous Peoples” with December 9th established as His feast day. Pope John Paul II praised his virtues when he said “His simple faith nourished by catechesis and open to the mysteries; his hope and trust in God and in the Virgin; his love, his moral coherence, his unselfishness, and evangelical poverty.“   In the 1942 movie, Ramon Navarro portrayed Juan Diego in The Saint Who Forged a Country and in 2013, a documentary, The Blood and The Rose portrayed the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a way to bring the story of the apparition to North American audiences. Juan Diego is known as The Messenger of Guadalupe.

San Antonio parishioners have been asked to donate hats, gloves, and socks for children and adults.  We will be collecting these items during the month of December.  Please bring your donations to the hall after Mass.  If you have any questions, please see Janet Reiff or Connie Dalessandro.