News from San Antonio Church – June 23, 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 June 23, 2024

by Terrie Evans

This is the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time as we thank all the ladies of San Antonio Church for hosting our annual Father’s Day Brunch in our Hall.  Many thanks to Linda Panaro for organizing the event and to all the ladies who contributed to the breakfast.  Our next big Sunday event to be held in our Hall will be the celebration of the Feast of San Francesco di Paola and the annual breakfast prepared by our crew at San Antonio for the La Femminile Fuscaldese Society.

Our San Antonio Church Community sends condolences and prayers to the family of Phyllis (Macaluso) Seger who passed away on June 9, 2024, at the age of 84.  Phyllis was born on February 20, 1940, to Phillip and Mathilda (Minella) Macaluso, the youngest of two sisters, the late Dorothy (Macaluso) Williams and the late Joann (Macaluso) Beckman.  Phyllis was the devoted wife of the late Henry “Butchy” Seger and they welcomed children Julie (Ben Garcia) Seger, Anthony (Lynn) Seger, and Timothy (Lisa) Seger, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  San Antonio Church parishioners who have family ties to Phyllis are cousins, Vic Minella, Rita (Schiesz) Miller and nephews Steve Beckman and Jeffrey Williams.  Phyllis (Macaluso) Seger’s service was held on Friday, June 14, 2024, at the Arlington Memorial Gardens Lakeside Mausoleum Chapel.  Please keep all the Seger Family and all their extended family members in your prayers.   

San Antonio Church also lost one of our dedicated parish members Nancy (Novello) Bailey on the morning of June 12, 2024, at the age of 76.  Nancy (Novello) Baileys’ parents were the late Anthony Novello (1919-2017) and Vivia Marie (Adler) Novello (1928-2005) who were members of Sacred Heart Church and the United Italian Society.     Nancy was the beloved wife of our church volunteer, Charles “Chuck” Bailey, and proud mother to Anthony “Tony” (Cori) Bailey and the late Thad Charles Bailey who passed away on April 22, 2024, at the age of 52 in North Carolina.  Nancy was the cherished Grandmother of Sarah (Keith Krallman) Bailey, Rachel Bailey, and Laurel (Travis Wagerman) Bailey.  She was the dear sister of the late Frank Novello (1953-2017) and Anita (Scott) Bigley, sister -in-law of Mike (the late Pam and the late Gail) Bailey and aunt to Carin and Nicole Bigley.  Nancy (Novello) Bailey’ s Visitation and Blessing Service were held on Thursday, June 20th, 2024, at the Dalbert, Woodruff & Isenogle Funeral Home with Fr. Mike Savino saying the final blessing.    Please keep the Bailey, Bigley, Novello, Seta, and Gargan Families in your prayers at this difficult time. 

On Monday, June 24th, we honor the Nativity of John the Baptist, also known as the Birth of John the Baptist, one of the highest ranked liturgical feats honored in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. It is one of the oldest festivals of the Christian Church, listed in 506 as a day of rest celebrated with 3 Masses, a Vigil, at dawn and Midday.   This Biblical account of the Birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke with his birth foretold by the Angel Gabriel.  The Virgin Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was married to a priest of the Jerusalem Temple, Zachariah, while he was in the Temple, an angel appeared to him and promised that Elizabeth would bear his son.  The angel told Zachariah that their son would prepare people for the Lord.  The Nativity of John the Baptist comes 3 months after the celebration of the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was now in her 6 month of pregnancy, and 6 months before the Christmas celebration of the Birth of Jesus.  When Mary journeyed to visit Elizabeth, Luke’s Gospel recounts that the baby “leapt” in the greeting of Mary (Luke 1:44).  The Nativity of John the Baptist has been celebrated as a Solemnity since 1970 and was seen as a way to prepare people for the coming of Jesus.  Our Lord said of John: “Among those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.”  On the eve of the feast, there will St. John’s Fires lit on hills and mountain tops all over Europe as St. Jon’s Day is considered one of the great “charmed” festivals according to ancient folklore and is one of the patronal feasts of the Order of Malta.  A Prayer to St. John the Baptist: “O God, You raises up St. John the Baptist to prepare a perfect people for Christ.  Fill Your people with joy of possessing Your grace and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of peace and salvation.  Amen.”  

On Thursday, June 27th we celebrate the feast day of Cyril of Alexandria in the Catholic, Coptic and Lutheran Churches who was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412-444.  He is also remembered in the Church of England as they commemorate his life on June 27th and was considered a scholarly Archbishop who wrote several exegetical documents so extensive that his opponents could not match.  While Cyril held his influential position, there were violent conflicts between the city’s pagan, Jewish and Christian inhabitants.  Cyril became well known for his dispute with Nestorius who disbelieved the divinity of Jesus and refused to call Mary the Mother of God and wanted to draw a line between the human Jesus and the Divine Word of God.  Cyril of Alexandria held that this made it impossible to be certain that Jesus preached the truth about God the Father.  Cyril helped to keep the Christian Faith in its integrity at a time when men like Nestorius were trying to water it down and insisted on two essential facts about Jesus:  1). That Jesus was begotten by God the Father before all ages; 2).  Jesus was also begotten in the flesh of the Virgin Mary.  St. Cyril is the patron saint of Alexandria. 

On Friday, June 28th, we honor Irenaeus, a Greek Bishop from Smyrna who was known for his role in guiding and expanding Christian Communities in France.  He is celebrated in the Catholic Church, Church of England, the Episcopal Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church on August 23rd.   Born in 130 A.D. in Smyrna and brought up in a Christian Family, he became a Disciple of Polycarp who was at one time, a student of St. John the Evangelist.   He left Asia Minor, journeyed to Gaul, and visited Rome in 177, as a priest in the Church of Lyon.  At that time in Lyon, many clergy were being imprisoned for their faith.  When he went to Rome, Irenaeus was sent as a messenger with a letter for the Pope concerning the heresy of Montanism, whose followers claimed to be oracles of the Holy Spirit possessing charismatic qualities.  While Irenaeus was in Rome, persecutions were taking place in Lyon, and on his return, he became the 2nd Bishop of Lyon.  Many Christians at that time had different preferences as to which Gospel they preferred. Christians in Asia Minor chose the Gospel of John with the Gospel of Matthew for others being their favorite.   Because Irenaeus treasured his connections with the Apostles, he became dedicated to teaching the doctrines that were handed down from them. He said, “Hold in suspicion those who depart from the primitive succession, Christians should especially shun those who put forward their own compositions, boasting that they possess more Gospels than they really are.”  Saint Irenaeus was one of the first to insist that our four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – are the ones we may trust, and no others.  St. Irenaeus became the most considerable theologian of his age with his theological work written against the heretics seen as a highly regarded expression of Christian Doctrine comparable to the works of St. Augustine and of St. Thomas Aquinas.  A Prayer to St. Irenaeus of Lyon: “Give perfection to beginners, O Father; give intelligence to the little ones; give aid to those who are running their course.  Give sorrow to the negligent; Give fervor of spirit to the lukewarm.  Give to the perfect a good consummation, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” 

On Saturday, June 29th we honor the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul to observe the anniversary of their deaths, a Holy Day of obligation in the Latin Church, and in England, Scotland, and Wales although, in the United States it was a day of obligation up until 1840.   The Catholic Church celebrates the two Apostles Saints Peter and Paul with Peter seen as the most impetuous of the Apostles and thought of as their leader.  St. Peter, known as Simon, was a fisherman when his brother Andrew who already knew Jesus introduced Simon.  After their meeting, Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter, which means “a Rock.”  Jesus then picked 11 others to become Apostles or “Fishers of Men” to bring people to God.  One day Jesus said to them, “Who do you think I am?  Peter answered, “You are Christ, the Son of God.”   Jesus said to him “You are Peter, a rock and I will build My Church upon you.  I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”   He gave them this power to help people get to Heaven.  After His Resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love Me?”  Three times Peter answered, “Lord, You know that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.”  With His words, Jesus made it clear that Peter was to be the First Pope.  St. Peter wrote at least the first of the letters attributed to him in the New Testament.  The First Letter of St. Peter: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” He was thought to have been martyred under the reign of Nero by being crucified upside down.  Peter was crucified downward as he felt he was not worthy to die the same way Jesus did.  St. Peter was martyred in 67 and there is a spot below the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome which tradition honors as his grave.  He is the Patron of the Papacy.  A Prayer in Honor of St. Peter the Apostle: “O God, You were glorified by the martyrdom of Your Apostle St. Peter.  Grant that Your Church may in all things follow the teaching of him whom the Savior made the Head of His Church.” 

On this day we also honor Saint Paul the Apostle who also died in 67.  St. Paul born Saul was a Roman Citizen and Jew who was a tent maker and fanatical opponent of Christians.  He despised Christians so much that he would urge bystanders to stone St, Stephen and bring as many Christians as possible to their deaths.  On his way to Damascus, Saul was thrown from his horse after a light shone around him with the voice of Jesus’ confronting him saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  Saul asked, “Who are You, Lord?”  The voice responded, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” Saul asked, “Lord what do You want me to do?”  Still blinded by the light the voice told him to: “Go into the city where you will be told what to do.”  His companions led him into the city and after three days, a man named Ananias visited Saul/Paul and told him, “Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on your journey, that you may get your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  His vision restored, Saul was converted, baptized, and now called Paul.  He preached his faith and reached out to spread the word of Jesus to the pagan world.  Paul evangelized in Cypress, Greece and throughout Asia Minor and when he was shipwrecked, imprisoned and on trial, he never lost his faith.  The supreme gift Paull preached was love when he said, “If I speak in the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I deliver my body to be burned but have not love, I gain nothing.”  He was martyred in Rome for his faith and is the Patron Saint of Malta.  A Prayer to Saint Paul the Apostle: “O God, by the preaching of St. Paul, the Apostle, You taught the multitude of the Gentiles.  Grant that we who venerate his example may also share in his prayers.  Amen.”

News from San Antonio Church – June 16, 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 June 15, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we honor all Fathers as we wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the men from San Antonio Church who continue to work and support the mission that was started by the founding fathers in 1922.  We also appreciate all the Priestly Fathers who have served our parishioners since the beginning of our parish started by our beloved Sister of Charity, Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God.   We can never forget their sincere dedication and that of all our Great Grandfather’s, Grandfathers, and Fathers, who raised their families in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount and established our church in honor of their patron St. Anthony of Padua.  We are blessed to be the next generations of those raised in the Catholic Church who are able to attend Mass, hold family Baptisms, celebrate Weddings, and when it is our time be buried from the same church of our grandparents.  The present-day roster of men from our church have stepped up to do their part so our traditions may continue.  They are present on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month for Lunch on the House, on Sundays for coffee and pastries after Mass and especially for the Spaghetti Dinner, Pizza Party, and fundraiser events held annually in the Hall.  The men from San Antonio Church are an all-volunteer group who deal with many problems on a weekly basis.  Every Sunday, they pick up the pastries, open the Hall, make the coffee, and bake the bread that is sold to our guests.  They also cook and serve for our Mother’s Day Breakfast and every July, prepare the Hall, cook, and serve a breakfast for the La Femminile Fuscaldese Organization in honor of their patron, San Francesco de Paola.    

On May 31st– June 2nd, our summer fundraiser, the Cincitalia Fest took place at Harvest Home was handled by our esteemed San Antonio Church Father, Buddy La Rosa and his Family who donated all the Bruschetta Bread, and everything need for our Bruschetta Booth.  Church volunteer, Harry Panaro took care of scheduling the workers, setting up the booth space and overseeing the quality of each bruschetta served.  They worked extremely hard to make the weekend a successful fan favorite, and a profitable fundraiser for St. Catherine of Siena School.  We appreciate Buddy, Mike and Mark LaRosa and thank the men from San Antonio Church and their families who assisted at the Cincitalia Fest for the 3-day event. 

On Friday, May 31st, the crew consisted of Ted & Lisa Arthur, Earl & Rose Einhaus, Donald & Kristy Macke, Charles & Carla Rice, Mike & Janet Rieff.  On Saturday June 1st, the workers were Ted & Lisa Arthur, Ron & Connie Dalessandro, Fred Jeannet & Maria Jeannet, Harry & Kristy Macke, and Melissa, Stephanie, and Tony Panaro.  On Sunday, June 2nd, the crew consisted of Dan Armstrong, Matt Farrell, Dave Guidugli, Scott Maier, Tom Matthews, Joe & Sally Olding and Harry Panaro who closed down the booth.  Our Church Community sends their gratitude to you all! 

On Wednesday, June 19th we honor the feast of St. Romuald (951-1027) born in Ravenna, Italy.  He came from the aristocratic Onesti Family who enjoyed all the trappings and pleasures of wealth and position.  When he was 20, Romuald witnessed his father, Sergius kill a man over a property dispute.  He was devastated, went to the Basilica Sant’ Apollinare in Classe to reflect, pray and do 40 days of penance where he stayed and went on to become a monk.  He then practiced a life of extreme severity, took the habit of St. Benedict, and erected a hermitage for the contemplation of God through silence, penance, and prayer.  For the next 30 years, Romuald founded Monasteries, became an advisor to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III and named Abbot to Sant ’Appolinare in Classe, Ravenne, Italy.  He held the position for one year with the Monks resisting his reforms and with him going back to practice monasticism and withdrawing from society.  In 1012, after arriving at the Diocese of Arezzo, Romuald was given land and built “cells” for hermits, later becoming part of the mother house of the Camaldolese Hermits of Mount Corona.  St. Romuald’s Rule: “Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole behind you and forget it.  Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish.  The path you must follow is in the Psalms-never leave it.”  He developed new theological and practical understanding of the ideals of monasticism and provided spiritual direction to existing ones in need of reform.   He established other monasteries and hermitages throughout Italy including the Monastery of Val di Castro where he died on June 19, 1027.   St. Romuald was canonized by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and is invoked for reformation of the Church and monastic life.   A Prayer to St. Romuald: “God called you to a new and glorious vocation, which He wanted to gift to the Church through you. You responded in generosity and left a legacy of holy men who followed.  Please pray for me, that I will more fully commit myself to a life of silence, solitude, and prayer.  In that way, I will discover the beautiful life that you discovered so as to prepare my soul more fully for Heaven.  St. Romuald, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You. AMEN.” 

On Friday, the 21st of June we celebrate the feast of St. Aloysius of Gonzaga. Schools named after him are Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania and Gonzaga University located in Spokane, Washington.  Born in northern Italy, the eldest of eight children to a noble family his father was a Marqis, with his mother, a Lady in waiting to Isabel, the wife of Philip of Spain.  At the age of 8, he was sent along with his younger brother to serve in the court of the Grand Duke, Francesco I de Medici to continue his education.  While there, he suffered from kidney disease and while bedridden, spent time in prayer and reading about the lives of saints.  On his return home, Gonzaga met with Cardinal Charles Borromeo and on July 22,1580, made his 1st Communion.  While researching the lives of saints, Gonzaga felt the call to become a missionary.  He was considering joining the Capuchin Monks or the Jesuit Order even though his father denied his request.  His father hoped he would become a soldier in the service of his country’s military.   Being the oldest Gonzaga, he would inherit his father’s estate but if becoming a Jesuit, he would have to renounce any right to his inheritance.  His family tried to steer Gonzaga to join the priesthood, which would put the family’s wealth to good use for the establishment of churches.  Gonzaga still desired to become a Missionary and in 1585, he gave up all his rights of inheritance that had to be confirmed by the Emperor.  On November 25, 1585, he was accepted into the Society of Jesus as a Jesuit.  Two years later, on November 25, 1587, Gonzaga took three religious vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and in March 1588 received minor orders to start theology in preparation for his ordination.  In 1591, there was a plague that took over Rome with the Jesuits opening a hospital for those stricken ill.  Gonzaga donated alms for the stricken, washing, feeding them, and making sure they received the sacraments.  Many of the younger Jesuits became infected with the disease but Gonzaga kept returning to the hospital until it became too much of a risk for him.  He was sent to another hospital where no contagious disease patients were admitted called Our Lady of Consolation.  He became seriously ill and was bedridden on March 3, 1591, right before his 23rd birthday.  His heath declined for many weeks, given Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) as he spoke with his confessor, Robert Bellarmine who gave him the last rights on June 21, 1591.  He was buried in the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation (now the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola) in Rome where his remains rest in an Urn in the Lancellotti Chapel.  He was Beatified 14 years after his death on October 19, 1605, by Pope Paul V.  Gonzaga was Canonized by Pope Benedict XIII along with Jesuit Novice, Stanislaus Koska on December 31, 1726, and in 1729, he was declared the patron saint of youth and students by Pope Benedict.  In 1926, Pope Pius XI declared St. Aloysius Gonzaga the patron of all Christian Youth and later named patron of incurable disease. 

Also on June 21st, the Catholic, Anglican Communion, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches celebrate the life of Paulinus of Nola.  He was born Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus in the year 352 in Bordeaux, France into a noble family with estates in France, northern Iberia and in southern Italy.   When he was a young boy, Paulinus would visit the Shrine of St. Felix of Nola, near Naples, the minor saint whose tomb had been built just outside the town of Naples.   In 377, when Emperor Gratian succeeded his father Valentinian, Paulinus was appointed Governor of the southern Italian Province of Campania in the year 380 at the age of 28.  Paulinus noticed the Campanians deep devotion to St. Felix of Nola with many pilgrims visiting the shrine and while Governor, built a road for the faithful and a hospice to aid the poor.  He would marry Theresia, a Christian noblewoman from Barcelona, Spain and welcome a child who would only live for eight days.  After their loss, they moved from Iberia and withdrew from the world to live a secluded religious life in Nola. When Theresia died, Paulinus received ordination without receiving minor orders first and was then chosen Bishop of Nola, a position he held for twenty years. 

During the 4th and 5th Centuries, many aristocrats chose to enter the clergy rather taking on administrative careers in the imperial service.  While Bishop of Nola, Paulinus spent a great deal of his money on the church and city of Nola.  He and Theresia rebuilt a church in honor of St. Felix of Nola, which was great in size and richly decorated with Christian art, porticoes and fountains supplied with water from nearby Avella.  Paulius, the Senator, Bishop and Theologian died on June 22, 431 and is credited for introducing the use of bells in church services and writing an annual hymn to honor St. Felix on his feast day to welcome the procession of pilgrims to Nola.  In the 11th Century, the relics of St. Paulius rested at the Church of St. Bartholomew in Rome.  In 1908, Pope Pius X permitted them to be transferred to the new Cathedral at Nola in 1909.  There are many people in Nola and the surrounding regions of southern Italy devoted to St. Paulinus with his feast day celebrated annually at the La Festa dei Gigli (The Feast of the Lilies).  The lilies are tall thin wooden obelisks in the form of lilies adorned with red paper, gold, silver, and covered with flags in honor of the saint are placed on the shoulders of local men to be carried the procession.  In Brooklyn, the descendants from Nola and Brusciano continue this tradition as they do in East Harlem on Giglio Way, held by the Giglio Society.  On Long Island, in West Hempstead, New York, the Sons of San Paulino di Nola hold special events to honor the saint from the area where they emigrated from. 

On Saturday, June 22nd we also celebrate John Fisher, (1469-1535), Bishop of Rochester in the Kingdom of England who refused to accept Henry VIII’s claim to be head of the Church and Thomas More (1478-1535), English lawyer, judge, theologian who refused to acknowledge Henry VIII’s annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  John Fisher was an academic and at the age of 13 entered Cambridge and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1487 and his Master of Arts Degree in 1491, the same year was ordained into the priesthood.  In 1494, he became proctor of the university and chaplain and confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort, his patroness and mother of King Henry VII.  Under his guidance, Lady Margaret founded St. John’s and Christs Colleges at Cambridge the lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity at Oxford and Cambridge.   In 1516, he opened St. John’s College and later consecrated their chapel.  John Fisher was considered the first theologian to diagnose the justification through faith alone as the founding dogma of the Protestant Reformation and in 1526, he preached a sermon against Martin Luther at the open-air pulpit outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  When Henry VIII tried to annul his marriage to Catherin of Aragon, John Fisher became the chief supporter of the Queen and appeared in court on her behalf.  In 1535, newly elected Pope Paul III made Fisher Cardinal Priest of San Vitale in hopes of easing the King’s treatment of Fisher, but he was treated as a commoner, tried by a jury, and sentenced to be beheaded on June 22, 1535.  He met his death because he refused to accept Henry VIII’s claim to be head of the Church.  John Fisher said, “I do not condemn any other men’s conscience.  Their conscience may save them, and mine must save me.”   He met death with dignity and courage and said he was “the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”   He spent 15 months imprisoned in the Tower of London before being put to death.  He was Beatified on December 29,1886 and canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935.  John Fishers Motto:  Faciam Vos Fieri Piscatores Hominum: “I shall make you fishers of men.” 

We also celebrate the life of Thomas More on the feast day of John Fisher.  Born in 1478, he was the son of a successful lawyer and judge; educated at St, Anthony’s School and became a household page to the Archbishop of Canterbury.   In 1492, More began his studies at Oxford and became proficient in Latin and Greek leaving after two years to study law.  He became an accomplished lawyer although he wondered if becoming a monk would become his calling.  More admired their lifestyle of piety and sacrifice joining the monks in their spiritual exercises.  Even though he continued in his law career, elected to Parliament in 1504, More continued to live in the tradition of the Third Order of St. Francis.   He married in 1505 and had four children before the death of his wife Jane in 1511.  Thomas More served on many positions in the public servant sector before undertaking diplomatic missions to the Holy Roman Empire, Calais, and Bruges, Belgium.  In 1521, More was knighted and chosen as the treasurer of the Exchequer before becoming the personal advisor to King Henry VIII welcoming foreign diplomats and drafting official documents.   More was able to use his law skills to judge in the lower court while serving as the liaison between the King and his court.  He was in service to Henry VIII as Lord High Chancellor of England from 1529-1532.  As the Chief Government Minister More was responsible for equity and common law, contracts, royal household cases and appeals.  Thomas More was a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church and thought the Protestant Reformation was a threat to not only the church but to all society at that time.  It was at this time that the conflict between the Papacy and the King took place when More refused to sign a letter asking Pope Clement VII to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  A royal decree required the clergy to acknowledge the King as Supreme Head of the Church of England.  In 1532, the Convocation of Canterbury agreed to sign the Oath only after these words were added: “As far as the law of Christ allows”.   Many of the clergy along with Cardinal John Fisher refused to sign and on May 16, 1532, Thomas More resigned from his position as Chancellor due to the intense royal threat to the English Church.   Thomas More recognized that as long as he held the office of Chancelor he would be obliged to conform to the law of the King, and More believed capital punishment was immoral, reprehensible, and unjustifiable.  In 1533, Thomas More declined an invitation to attend the Coronation of Anne Boleyn as the new Queen of England and this was seen by Henry VIII as a snub to Anne.  In the next year, More was accused of minor infractions against the monarch and in 1534, was asked to appear before the commission to swear allegiance to the parliamentary.  He refused to take the oath of supremacy of the Crown in its relationship between the kingdom and the Church in England, and he refused to uphold Henry’s annulment from Catherine.  The Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher had also refused to take the oath.  Thomas Moore was arrested and with the evidence from all his enemies, he was charged with treason all the while urging him to take the oath.   The Treasons Act of 1534 declares it is a treasonous offense to speak against the King’s Supremacy with the offending persons to suffer such pains or death and other penalties.  On July 1, 1535, the trial of Thomas Moore was held with a last offering by the King for a gracious pardon if he would reform his opinion.  He never spoke out against the King and assumed he would not be punished but when More refused to sign the oath of Succession confirming Anne’s role as Queen and the right of her children to succession; four days later, More was imprisoned in the Tower of London and at his trial, the jury found him guilty in fifteen minutes.  When he was on the scaffolding before his execution, he declared “That he died the king’s good servant, and God’s first.”  Thomas More was Beatified on December 29, 1886, along with John Fisher and 52 other English Martyrs by Pope Leo XIII and Canonized with John Fisher by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935, along with the 52 English Martyrs.  There is a plaque and small garden to commemorate those executed at the site on Tower Hill and to never forget those religious martyrs.   There is a plaque in the middle of the floor of London Westminster House in honor of Thomas More.  In 1980, More and Fisher were added to the Church of England’s calendar of “Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church to be commemorated as Thomas More, Scholar and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Reformation Martyrs, 1535.   

Our San Antonio Church Community sends condolences and prayers to the family of Larry Panaro who passed away on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the age of 95.  Larry was the son of the late Frank Panaro and the late Thecla (Gannon) Panaro and brother of the late Frank (Toby) Panaro.   Lawrence was the grandson of the late Lawrence and Josephine (Palmieri) Panaro and grew up with many cousins, aunts, uncles, and relatives from the Little Italy Section of South Fairmount.  Larry married Lois Keen in 1952 who survived, welcoming 7 daughters, Ann (Steve) Florian, Jan (Robert) Pfaffinger, Nancy (John) Kozak, Donna (Gordon) Brown, Paula (James) Cole, Patricia (Scott) Sturgill and Maria (Greg) Pearson.  He leaves 20 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and many family members and friends who will mourn his passing.  His Memorial Mass was held at St. Lawrence Church with Fr. Mark Watkins officiating.  The pallbearers were Larry’s Grandsons:  Bob Pfaffinger, Chris Pfaffinger, Stephen Florian, Rob Florian, John Kozak, Michael Squeri, Tony Squeri, Patrick Sturgill, Robert Pearson, Charlie Pearson. 

News from San Antonio Church – June 9, 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 June 9, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday we celebrate the devotion to our patron St. Anthony of Padua, feast day Thursday, June 13th with our tradition of offering St. Anthony’s Bread to our parishioners.  This act of charity dates back to the 13th century when a mother prayed for the intercession of St. Anthony for a miracle for her child.  When her child recovered, she wanted to return the favor to St. Anthony by giving alms to those families in need.  The Franciscan Order has always encouraged the act of charity as a thanksgiving to St. Anthony to help with their charitable endeavors and all funds received today to be presented to their Order as we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony on this 2nd week of June.  Our Patron Saint was born Fernando Martins de Bulhoes on August 15, 1195, who became known as Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon.  Born to a noble family, Fernando entered the Augustinian Community of Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross at the Abbey of St. Vincent.  In 1212 at the age of 17 he transferred to the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, the capital of Portugal to study Theology and Latin.  After his ordination Fernando obtained permission from church authorities to leave the Canons Regular to join the new Franciscan Order, taking the name Anthony from the chapel located nearby, dedicated to Anthony the Great. Fernando, now Anthony was attracted to the simple lifestyle of the order that had been founded only 11 years earlier as he desired to join them for their mission work in Morocco.  When he arrived in Morocco, Anthony became seriously ill and was set on returning to Portugal when the ship he was on went off course and landed in Sicily.  He made his way to Tuscany and was assigned to the rural hermitage of San Paolo, a short distance from Forli, Romagna.  It was in the town of Forli in 1222 where Anthony became known for his preaching abilities, deep knowledge of scripture and his eloquence in delivering his message that soon made an impression on his audience.  The local minister provincial to the Franciscan province, Brother Gratian called on Anthony to be based in Bologna where he caught the attention of the founder of the Order, Francis of Assisi.  In 1224, Anthony was entrusted with the care of all the friars to guide them in the pursuit of their studies. 

It was in Bologna that the practice of Praying to St. Anthony for help in finding lost or stolen things occurred when a hand copied book, an item of high value and hard to replace, containing Anthony’s notes for use in tutoring his students went missing.  Anthony prayed it would be returned to him and after being located is now preserved in the Franciscan Friary in Bologna.  Anthony went on to teaching positions in the south of France where his preaching was considered to be his supreme gift calling his preaching “The grandeur of Christianity.”  When Anthony returned to Italy, he was appointed Provincial Superior of Northern Italy and chose the city of Padua as his base.  In 1228 Anthony served as envoy to Pope Gregory IX and while preaching at the papal court was hailed as a “Jewel case of the Bible”. In 1231 Anthony went to a woodland retreat while suffering ergotism, the sickness attributed to eating grain products, mostly rye that is contaminated with fungus.  In the Middle Ages the gangrenous poisoning was known as “St. Anthony’s Fire” named for the monks from the Order of St. Anthony who were successful in treating the aliment.   After much suffering, Anthony died on the way back to Padua from a retreat at Camposampiero in the company of two other friars.  He died at the Poor Clares Monastery at Arcella on June 13, 1231, at the age of 35 and at his request, Anthony was buried at the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini near a convent that he founded.  A year after his death because of his popularity, a large basilica was constructed with the smaller church incorporated into the structure as the Cappella della Madonna Mora, the Chapel of the Dark Madonna.  The basilica is known as Il Santo-The Saint with Anthony’s tomb lying behind the altar of his chapel in the north transept of the Basilica that displays 9 reliefs that line the walls.  St.  Anthony is shown holding the baby Jesus or a book and is often depicted saving victims from various accidents.   

Many miracles have been attributed to him with his Beatification and Canonization took place on May 30, 1232, a year after his death in Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX.  Anthony became one of the most important saints in Albania due to the arrival of the Franciscans in 1240 who spread the word of the saint.  The St. Anthony Church in Albania was built in his honor with many making a pilgrimage to his church every year by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Muslim Albanians.  St. Anthony is known as the marriage saint in Portugal, Spain and Brazil and legends exist for his intercession to reconcile couples.   Pope Pius XIII named St. Anthony Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946.   The National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua is located in the Philippines where the Franciscan Order established the first church in the country dedicated to him.  The Shrine Church of St. Anthony, located in Greenwich Village, celebrates his feast day every year with the traditional prayer asking for his intercession, said for 13 Tuesdays.  There will also be a procession held on his feast day with a relic of the saint displayed for veneration.  Since 1919, Italian immigrants in Boston, celebrate the “Feast of all Feasts” to honor St. Anthony, the practice brought from towns near Naples that date back to 1688.  A Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua: “Almighty, ever-living God, you gave Your people the extraordinary preacher St. Anthony and made him an intercessor in difficulties.  By his aid grant that we may live a truly Christian life and experience Your help in all adversities.”   

During this week we also celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas on Tuesday, June 11th.  The Acts of the Apostles describe Barnabas as a good man full of the Holy Spirit and the first to welcome St. Paul who was a former persecutor of the early Church before becoming a believer in Jesus.  Barnabas, John, Mark, and Paul were together on the first missionary journey of the Christian Church in Cyprus.  Barnabas was a man of determination and courage and has been honored as the founder of the Cypriot Church because of his missionary work there.  When a Christian Community began at Antioch, the third most important city of the Roman Empire, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Mother Church in Jerusalem.  Barnabas and Paul were chosen to give instruction in Antioch for the next year to unite its members into the fold of Christ.  They had much success there and were sent on to preach to the gentiles and later Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus and Paul took Silas to Syria as they preached the word, strengthened the churches, as many became followers of the Lord.  Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus during the reign of Nero with his remains placed in a tomb of the church he founded.  He was canonized pre-congregation with his major shrine, the Monastery of St. Barnabas located in Famagusta, Cyprus.  He is venerated in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches.   He is the Patron Saint of Milan, Italy and on the island of Tenerife, Spain where he is invoked as the protector of the fields around the island against drought.  In the Church of England, St. Barnabas the Apostle, is honored with a festival on June 11th, his feast day.    In 1538, the Catholic Religious Order known as “Clerics Regular of St. Paul” was established at the Monastery of St. Barnabas, by the city wall in Milan, Italy.   A Prayer in honor of St. Barnabas: “O God, You commanded that St. Barnabas, who was full of faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to labor for the conversion of the Gentiles.  May Christ’s Gospel which he preached with great ardor continue to be preached faithfully by word and deed.” 

On Friday, June 14th we celebrate our 247th Flag Day in the United States, as we recall the history and meaning of Old Glory during Flag Week from June 9-15, 2024.  During this week, we urge everyone to observe and fly the American Flag to honor the anniversary of the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.  The Flag Resolution by the Second Continental Congress stated, “That the flag of the 13 United States be 13 Stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 Stars, white in a blue field, representing   a new constellation.”  June 14th is also the 249th birthday of the United States Army (1775) when Congress established the American Continental Army that originally consisted of volunteer soldiers with roots to the Army that was formed to fight in the Revolutionary War.     In 1888, William Kerr from Pennsylvania established the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania and proudly served the association for 50 years.  President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that officially established Flag Day on June 14th.   Pennsylvania became the 1st state to celebrate Flag Day in 1937 as a state holiday and in Philadelphia the Betsy Ross House holds a Flag Day observance every year.  In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched the International United Nations Day on June 14th to celebrate the solidarity among the World War II Allies, 6 months after the Declaration by the United Nations and on June 14th for two years, 1942-1944, Flag Day was observed in New York City at the New York War Parade.   On August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed   an Act of Congress establishing National Flag Day making the official statute to be acknowledged at the discretion of the current president.  Also, celebrations will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, the birthplace of the 1813 Flag that inspired the famous poem by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843).

News from San Antonio Church – June 2, 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 June 2, 2024

by Terrie Evans

Today is the final day for the Cincitalia Fest at Harvest Home Park which opens at 1:00Pm and closes at 9:00 PM.  Our Blessed Mother Statue will be the centerpiece of the St. Catherine’s Marian Procession with their 1st Communicants leading the devotion to Mary.  Our San Antonio Church Community will be manning the Bruschetta Booth for the last day of the fest.  We appreciate Harry Panaro for giving up his weekend to support our church for this fundraiser.  

On this Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Christian liturgical celebration to honor the real presence of the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus within the elements of the Eucharist.  Also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, it is observed by the Latin, Western Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican Churches.  The feast was proposed to Pope Urban IV by Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church due to the Eucharist Miracle of Bolsena.  The Pontiff then established the Feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity which was then extended to the whole Roman Catholic Church.  When Mass has ended, there are processions with the Blessed Sacrament that are usually displayed in a Monstrance followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Every year in Rome, the Pope will preside over a procession that begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on the way to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major for the Benediction.  To honor this feast, many of the faithful will adorn their doors, windows, gardens, and fields with Corpus Christi Wreaths.  In the Roman Catholic Church, the Feast of Corpus Christi is one of five occasions in the year which Diocesan Bishops are not to be away from their Diocese.

On Monday, June 3rd, we remember St. Charles Lwanga, born in Uganda, Africa, martyred at age 26 along with 12 Catholics, and 11 Anglicans for refusing to renounce their faith.  In Uganda, it was during the reign of King Mwanga, a violent ruler with evil ways who lived a life of debauchery who distrusted foreign visitors.  The King was fearful he would be reported to the British Government as they had given him his power.  The King discovered that a 14-year-old page had been receiving instruction on becoming a Catholic and then he ordered that every Catholic and Protestant living in the royal enclosure be put to death.  As they were burned to death, the martyrs prayed; “You can burn our bodies, but you cannot burn our souls.”  St. Charles Lwanga was Beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and Canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964 and is the Patron saint of Acra, Ghana.  A Prayer for Martyrs of Uganda: “Pray for the faith where there is danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith.  Give the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed.  And help those of us who live in a place where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecutions in other parts of the world.  AMEN.”

On Tuesday, June 5th, we celebrate the life of St. Boniface, born in 680 in Devonshire, England and educated in the Benedictine Monastery in Exeter.  He became a missionary during the reign of Pope Gregory who made him a regional Bishop in Germany where he worked to organize the Church in Germany.  In 735, Boniface along with his disciple Sturmius founded the Monastery in Fulda, which is now famous.   By 745, he was working to establish a number of dioceses, correct abuses and build religious houses.  In 747, the Pope named him supreme Bishop of Germany and later the Papal Legate to Gaul.  Boniface wrote to fellow churchmen all over Western Europe, including three popes and his close friends in England about subjects concerning church reform, or questions about liturgical or doctrinal matters.  He helped shape the later Church in Europe with the dioceses he helped found that are today still remaining.   Boniface was killed in 755 by people he was working to convert, the bandits that took his life were looking for gold.  After his death, it was not until the 1,050th Anniversary of Boniface’s death in the year 1805 that the celebrations in Germany became widespread Catholic events.  Around 1905, Protestants began to celebrate the importance of Boniface in Germany.  Celebrations became international affairs throughout England, Germany, and the Netherlands in 1954.  In 1980 when Pope John Paul II visited Germany, he celebrated mass outside the Cathedral and in front of a crowd of 100,000; the Pope hailed the role of Boniface for German Christianity saying; “The Holy Boniface, bishop and martyr, signifies the beginning of the gospel and the church in your country.”  St Boniface is known as the Apostle to the Germans and also the patron of Germany.    St. Boniface Church on Chase Avenue in Northside celebrated their 150th Anniversary in 2013.   A prayer to St. Boniface: “O lord, let St. Boniface intercede for us, that we may firmly adhere to the Faith he taught, and for which he shed his blood, and fearlessly profess it in our works.  Amen.” 

On Thursday, June 6th we the Catholic Church honors St. Norbert of Xanten, the son of a Count who was known to exploit the Church for his own profit.  He had a conversion when he heard the commands of his Lord when Jesus said, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.   When he was ordained as a deacon and while he was preaching, he was still practicing the pleasurable and luxurious life that he did not want to give up.   The Council of Fritzlar denounced Norbert as a hypocrite but it was not until he had a brush with death when the horse, he was ridings threw him due to a lightning strike.  He traveled on foot to have an audience with Pope Gelasius II to plead his case.  He begged to continue preaching and the Pope granted Norbert permission to preach wherever he wished throughout France.  Norbert gave his possessions to the poor, settled in the French region of Aisne, and soon became the most famous missionary of his time.  In 1120, Norbert and 13 followers formed the first group of Monks known as Premonstratensians Canons, The third Order of St. Norbert.  His order became popular, and it was invited into dioceses throughout Northern Europe.   

On Friday, June 7th the Catholic Church honors the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated for the first time in 1672 by a priest from Normandy, Father Giovanni Eudes to be a symbol of the love of Christ for the human race.  St. Maragret Mary Alacoque promoted the devotion when she had visions of the Sacred Heart between 1673 and 1675 and the 12 promises to those devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by her communication with Christ.  The 12 promises revealed to St. Mary Alacoque in a private revelation:  1) All graces necessary to their state of life; 2) Peace in their homes; 3) Comfort in all afflictions; 4) Secure refuge in life and death; 5) Abundant blessings in all their undertakings 6) Infinite mercy for sins; 7) Tepid souls turned fervent; 8) Fervent souls mounting in perfection; 9) Blessings everywhere a picture or image is honored; 10) Gift to priests of touching the most hardened hearts; 11) Promoters names written in His heart; 12) The grace of final penitence to those who receive Holy Communion on 9 Consecutive First Fridays.  A Prayer: “Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer you through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, a union with the Eucharistic Sacrifice, my prayers, actions, joys, and sufferings on this day in reparation for sins and for the salvation of all people, in the grace of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Heavenly Father.  AMEN.”  

On Saturday, June 8th we practice the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This day refers to the life of Mary; what joys, sorrows, virtues, and imperfections she holds in her heart.  This feast shows her maternal love for her son Jesus Christ, and also the motherly love and compassion she has for all mankind.  Devotion to the Heart of Mary began in the Middle Ages with pious meditations on the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina by St. Gertrude the Great and St. Bridget of Sweden and by the early Christians who remembered the agony and sorrows the Blessed Mother experienced as she stood at the Cross watching the Crucifixion of her Divine Son.  In the history of the Church, Catholics have associated the 7 Dolors showing the sorrow and pain of the Mother of God who is often depicted with 7 swords to represent the 7 Sorrows piercing her sinless heart.  The 7 Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary are: 1) The Prophecy of Simeon, 2) The Flight into Egypt, 3) The Loss of Jesus for Three Days, 4) The Carrying of the Cross, 5) The Crucifixion of Jesus, 6) Jesus taken down from the Cross, and 7) Jesus Laid in the Tomb.  Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 and in 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the feast to the third Saturday after Pentecost to be strongly associated with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The Miraculous Medal displays   the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced by a sword with the Sacred Heart of Jesus who also appears on the medal crowned with thorns.  A Prayer as Jesus was laid in the Tomb: “I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus.  Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.  Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the Hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion.  Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.  Amen.”   Pope John Paul II made an act of entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 8, 2000, for the new millennium.  On October 13, 2013, Pope Francis renewed the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with a celebration in Rome as part of the Marian Day celebration.

News from San Antonio Church – May 26, 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 May 26, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this 1st Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate Trinity Sunday, the celebration of the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  The dedication to the devotion of the Blessed Trinity started with private devotions in homes during the Middle Ages.  The feast for the entire Church was established by Pope John XXII (1316-1334) for the entire Church on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost.  In 1911, Pope Pius X raised the feast day to the dignity of a primary of the 1st Class.  This Sunday is officially known in the Roman Catholic Church as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (Jn.3:16-18).   

Monday, May 27th, Memorial Day, Americans will pay tribute to the soldiers who died protecting our freedoms by praying for those lost and decorating their graves.  Many cemeteries will hold memorial ceremonies for those who sacrificed their lives while in service to our country.   The location of the first Civil War grave to be decorated was in 1861 in Warrenton, Virginia, for the 1st soldier killed during the Civil War, John Quincy Marr.  In 1865, the women of Jackson, Mississippi placed flowers on the graves of Confederate and Union Soldiers as a way to never forget the loss to their families.  In 1866, four women in Columbus, Mississippi decorated the graves of the Confederate and Union Soldiers buried at the Friendship Cemetery, some say as the inspiration for Memorial Day.   There were more than 600,000 soldiers lost on both sides with these memorials taking on a new cultural significance with the federal government establishing the United States National Cemetery System for the Union war dead.  In 1868, Gen. John Logan gave an official order for May 30th as a day to remember those who died in the Civil War as Decoration Day.  With that proclamation, 20,000 graves at Arlington Cemetery were decorated as future President, James Garfield spoke on honoring the war dead.    The 1st Parades for Decoration Day, later to be named Memorial Day were held in Rochester, Wisconsin in 1867 and in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1868.  In 1873, New York recognized the day as an official holiday and by 1890, all Northern States followed.  After World War I, Memorial Day honored all American soldiers who died in all wars, not just the Civil War.  In 1915, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force authored the poem “In Flanders Fields” referring to the fields of poppies growing among the soldiers’ graves in Belgium.  We must never forget the United States Military deaths in Vietnam: over 58,000, in Korea over 36,000, in Iraq 4,500, in the war in Afghanistan 2,459 and in 2021, the 13 U.S. service members from the US Marine Corps, US Navy and US Army who were killed during the evacuations at the Kabul Airport.                               

On Monday, May 27th we honor the Christian Monk who became the 1st Archbishop of Canterbury in 597.  Augustine of Canterbury was the Prior of St. Andrew’s Monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him for a Mission to Christianize King Ethelberht and his Kingdom of Kent in Britian from paganism.  Pope Gregory sent French priests along to aid the mission with Augustine when they arrived in England in 597.  Being pleased for their hard work, the King did convert to Christianity allowing the missionaries to preach freely and gifting them with a plot of land for a monastery.  In 597, on Christmas Day, Augustine held a mass Baptism for thousands after he converted the King on Whit Sunday, along with many of his subjects.  Augustine soon founded the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul which was later named, St. Augustine’s Abbey.  In 601, Pope Gregory supported the work of Augustine by sending more missionaries, encouraging letters and gifts for the churches for what was then called the Gregorian Mission.  Augustine collaborated with Pope Gregory on issues of the church, the punishment for those who commit robbery in the church, guidance on who could marry, and the consecration of Bishops.  He also worked on relationships between churches, the rules regarding baptisms, who is to receive Communion and when is a priest allowed to celebrate Mass.  Augustine was consecrated the Archbishop of the English, established his See (diocese) at Canterbury and founded two more bishoprics at London and Rochester.  Augustine was sent special gifts from Rome, a pallium for sacred vessels, vestments, relics, and books, all a symbol of a metropolitan status.  He became the influence in Christianity in many areas of the British Isles and due to his example, the great missionary efforts of the Anglo-Saxon Church were attributed to Augustine of Canterbury.  He died on May 26, 604, seven years after his arrival to England and was buried in St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury.   St. Augustine was canonized pre-congregation and in 1884, with St. Augustine’s Cross, a Celtic Cross erected in East Kent on the exact spot where the newly arrived Augustine met and preached to the awaiting King Ethelberht. 

On Wednesday, May 29th we remember the life of Pope Paul VI, born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (1897-1978) head of the Catholic Church from 1963 until his death on August 6, 1978.   His feast day is actually the day of his ordination, May 29th.   He established the Second Vatican Council, improved relations with the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Churches with the reforms he established after the Second Vatican Council were among the widest and deepest in the Church’s history.  He named Mary the Mother of the Church and called her the ideal of Christian perfection with “Devotion to the Mother of God as a paramount importance in living the life of the Gospel.”  He started his journey of service to the Catholic Church when he entered the Seminary in 1916 and was ordained on May 29,1920 in Brescia, where he would celebrate his 1st Mass at the Santa Maria della Grazia.   He received his Doctorate in Canon Law and continued his studies at the Gregorian University, the University of Rome, and at the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles.  Montini was never assigned a parish and in 1923 served in the Diplomatic Service as the Secretary in the Office of Papal Nuncio to Poland.  After he became Pope, the Communist Government of Poland refused his scheduled visit to Poland for a Marian Pilgrimage.  He then held high ranking positions in Rome and by 1938 was appointed to Protonotary Apostolic, to sign or notarize papal documents, the highest honorary title accorded to a priest.  When he was appointed Pro Secretary of State, he assisted fugitives hidden in Catholic Convents, Parishes, Seminaries and Schools during World War II and helped distribute over 2 million meals of free food in 1944.  In Rome, Castle Gardolfo, the Papal Residence and Vatican City took in 15,000 refugees.  When he became Archbishop of Milan in 1955, Pope Pius XII presented Montini “as his personal gift to Milan”.  Archbishop Montini was now in charge of the Cathedral of Milan, a diocese that had 1,000 churches, 2,500 priests and 3,500,000 souls.  While in Milan, his goal was to re-introduce the faith to a city without much religion “If only we can say Our Father and know what this means then we would understand the Church’s Faith.”  During that time, 7,000 sermons were delivered by priests, bishops, cardinals and lay people in churches, factories, meeting halls, homes, schools, hospitals and wherever people congregated.    In 1958, he was appointed Cardinal after his friend Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII.    In 1961, Cardinal Montini was appointed to the Central Preparatory Commission and requested to live in the Vatican as a member of the Commission of Extraordinary Affairs.  In 1963, when he was elected the next Pontiff, he took the name of Paul to show his intention of making Paul the Apostle as a model for his papal ministry.  At his coronation, the Archbishop of Milan presented him with a tiara to be worn on this momentous day.  After he descended the steps of the Papal Throne at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Paul VI laid the tiara down as a sign of renunciation of human glory in keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.  The tiara was sold for charity and the purchasers arranged for it to be gifted to the American Catholics.  It is now displayed in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  In 1965, he established the Synod of Bishops to be a permanent institution of the Catholic Church and as an advisory body to the papacy.  In 1966, Pope Paul VI asked all bishops to submit their resignations to the Pontiff by the age of 75 and also asked that cardinals relinquish their offices in the Roman Curia by their 80th birthday to make way for younger prelates.  When asked if he should apply those rules to himself at 80, Pope Paul VI replied” Kings can abdicate, Popes cannot.”  He became the 1st pope to visit 6 Continents working to turn the Eurocentric Church into a church of the world and to integrate bishops from all continents in its government and also in the Synod where he convened.  Pope Paul VI was the 1st Pontiff to travel on and airplane and journey outside of Italy in a century.   In 1965, he was the 1st reigning Pontiff to address the United Nations in New York where he pleaded for peace during the Vietnam War, his diamond ring and cross were later donated to the U.N.   He became known as the “Pilgrim Pope” when he visited the Holy Land, India, and Colombia in 1966.  In 1967, he visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on the 50th Anniversary of the apparition.  He was the 1st Pope to receive Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsy in an official audience and opened the Anglican Center in Rome to increase mutual knowledge of their faiths.  They both signed a common decree to end the disputes of the past and outlined a common agenda for the future.  Pope Paul VI Beatified 38 individuals, Canonized 84 Saints in 21 causes.  He sent a Goodwill Message to NASA for the historic Apollo 11 landing writing “To the Glory of the name of God who gives such power to men, we ardently pray for this wonderful beginning.”  Pope Paul VI’s message still rests on the lunar surface.  Before his death in 1978, Pope Paul VI wrote reflecting on Hamlet: “What is my state of mind?  Am I Hamlet? Or Don Quixote? On the left? On the right?  I do not think I have been properly understood.  I am filled with ‘great joy’ with all our affliction, I am overjoyed.”  He died on August 6, 1978, at the Papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo and is buried in a grave beneath the floor of St. Peters Basilica near the tombs of other Popes in the Vatican Grottoes. The process for the Beatification of Pope Paul VI was opened in 1993 with him being declared Venerable in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.  On October 14, 2018, he was Canonized at St. Peter’s Square by Pope Francis, making him the Patron of the Archdiocese of Milan. 

On Friday, May 31st we honor the Feast of the Visitation centering around the charitable act of Mary traveling the 81 miles to a town in the Judean Hills to visit her pregnant relative, Elizabeth.  They are both pregnant, Mary with Jesus and Elizabeth with John the Baptist, a scene that represents the cycles in the Life of the Virgin and the role Mary plays in the Christian Church.  In the Catholic Church, the Visitation is the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.  Mary declared her willingness to cooperate with God’s word and go to the assistance of Elizabeth, with whom she spends three months, leaving right before the birth of John the Baptist.   This Medieval Feast was established in 1389 by Pope Urban VI on the urging of the Archbishop of Prague, maintain that the purpose of the visit was to bestow diving grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child.  The visitation is the first encounter between the two unborn sons, Jesus, and John the Baptist.   While still in his mother’s womb, John felt the presence of Christ, was cleansed from original sin, and filled with divine grace with Elizabeth recognizing the presence of Jesus.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth blesses Mary: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”   Mary became the mediator for the first time between God and man with our Church honoring her role with special feasts and devotions as “From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”   There is a statue of the Visitation at the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Israel where the Franciscan Order bough the plot of land from an Arab Family in 1679.  There is a “fresco” (painting in fresh plaster) showing Mary approaching Judaea with the Franciscan local Superior presenting her with the model of the Church and also showing the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem at that time behind the altar of the Church of the Visitation. 

On Saturday, June 1st we celebrate Justin the Philosopher (AD100-AD165), who became a bold defender of Christianity, regarded as the first great Christian philosopher.  When studying philosophy and the teachings of Plato, he said to embrace the teachings of Jesus.  At the time, Christians were subject to persecutions by state authorities, and he defended Christianity to Emperor Antonius Pius.  On his visits to Rome, his public writings brough attention to the authorities: “Is this not the task of philosophy to enquire about the divine.”  He became a gifted evangelist bringing many Romans from all levels of society to conversion.  Justin’s early Christian expressions on the Eucharist: “This food is called among us the Eucharist.  For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ Our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”  He was martyred during the persecution of Maximus and canonized pre-congregation with his relics placed at St. John the Baptist near Rome, and at the Church of the Jesuits in Valletta, Malta.  In 1873, a noble Italian Family in possessions of Justins remains sent them to a priest in Baltimore, Maryland to be displayed at St. Mary’s Church.  In 1989 his remains were given a proper burial with the Vatican’s approval.  

On Friday, May 31st the St. Catherine of Siena Parish and School will sponsor the Cincitalia Fest at Harvest Home Park in Cheviot.  Many delicious Italian specialty dishes will be offered for this 3-day event.   San Antonio Church will have their popular Bruschetta Booth with major help setting up the refrigeration and prep table by Andy Ciolino and the LaRosa Pizzeria Family.  They also supply all the bruschetta mixture, breads, and paper products to help our church have a successful fundraiser.  Harry Panaro and his large extended family and close friends will supply their expertise to make us all proud, but there are always volunteers needed so, consider working a shift at our booth.  The Cincitalia Fest runs from May 31st Adults Only (6PM-12AM), Saturday June 1st (3PM-11PM), and Sunday June 2nd (1PM-9 PM).

News from San Antonio Church – May 19, 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 May 19, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, 50 days after Easter, we honor the day as promised by Christ, the Holy Spirit descended onto Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Apostles, and Disciples in the form of tongues of fire while in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. The presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Pentecost highlights her role in the divine concession of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles.  The image of Pentecost is of the Virgin Mary seated in the center among the Apostles with flames resting over the tops of their heads.  Pentecost is the culmination of the Paschal Season that began in Holy Week the time to strengthen the Lord’s followers to believe in and to proclaim the Gospel.  On the vigil of Pentecost, it is custom to bless flowers, fields, and fruit trees.  Also called Whitsunday in Ireland and the United Kingdom.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is referred to as Trinity Sunday.  In Italy, the feast Pentecost is called “Pasqua Rosatum,” referring to the rose petals that are scattered from the ceilings of churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues.  The red vestments used on this Sunday are known as Pasqua Rossa.  In many churches trumpets will be blown during Mass to recall the sound of the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit as it descends.   In the early days of the Church, Pentecost was a day set aside to celebrate Baptisms and later was a day to celebrate Confirmations.  In the tradition of Christian Churches, Pentecost represents the fulfillment of the promise that Christ will Baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit.  There is the legend that King Arthur would call on his Knights for a feat at the Round Table on Pentecost and in Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare mentioned Pentecost in Act I Scene V.    

On Monday, May 20th we honor the special relationship Mary has with the Holy Spirit.  Each year since 2018, Pope Francis has designated the Monday after Pentecost the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.  With this feast Pope Francis said he wished to “Encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful as well as a growth of genuine piety.”   Mary pondered the many mysteries of Jesus’ life that were brought into her heart at Pentecost.   She was bestowed the title because she gave birth to Christ, the Head of the Church and became Mother of the Redeemer before her Son gave up his spirit on the Cross.   In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Mother of God has a special from of veneration called HYPERDULIA, extended praise, and respect for the Blessed Mother.  A Prayer to Mary:  “O God, Father of Mercies, whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, to be our Mother also, grant we pray, that with her living help your Church may be more fruitful day by day and, exulting in the holiness of her children, may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.  O Mary, Mother of Christ, and Mother of the Church, pray for us that we might be made worthy of the promises of your Son!” 

On Tuesday, May 21st we have the feast of Cristobal Magallanes Jara (1869-1927) ordained at the age of 30 who served as the Chaplain of the School of Arts and Works of the Holy Spirit in Guadalajara.  He was then chosen to be the Parish Priest for his hometown of Totatiche where he founded schools, carpentry schools and participated in planning the dam of La Candelaria.  He worked evangelizing the indigenous people of Azqueltan where he founded a mission.  In 1914, the government closed the seminary in Guadalajara. He then opened an auxiliary seminary and within a year welcomed 17 students.  Over the next years, he wrote and preached against armed rebellions and was arrested on May 21, 1927, while traveling to say Mass at a nearby farm.  He was killed 4 days later saying to his executioners, “I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren.”  He was Beatified on November 22, 1992, and Canonized on May 21, 2000, both by Pope John Paul II.  In the 2012 movie, Far Greater Glory, the fictional character “Father Christopher” shown in the last sequence portrayed by Peter O’Toole was based on Cristobal Magallanes Jara.

On Wednesday, May 22nd we celebrate the feast day of Margherita/Rita Ferri Lotti (1381-1457), Rita of Cascia, an Italian widow who became a member of the Augustinian Community after the death of husband, Paolo Mancini, a rich short-tempered man who had many enemies.  Margherita/Rita and Paolo were married for 18 years until he was stabbed to death over a feud with the Chiqui Family.  They had 2 sons, Giovani Antonio and Paolo Maria who died of dysentery a year after they retaliated the murder of their father.  With the death of her husband and sons, Margherita/Rita, desired to join the nuns at the Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene in Cascia but was not permitted to enter their convent.  They knew of her good character and pious nature but as result of the scandal of her husband’s death the nuns were afraid of being associated with her.  Because she was married and not a virgin, she had many obstacles in her way.  She persisted for her cause and was accepted on one condition, she had to reconcile with her husband’s murderers and restore peace with the hostile families of Cascia.  Margherita/Rita then called on three saints, John the Baptist, Augustine of Hippo, and Nicholas of Tolentino for assistance her in ending the feud between the Mancini and Chiqui Families.  She was able to end the conflicts between the families and at the age of 36, she was able to enter the Monastery where she would remain until her death from tuberculosis on May 22, 1457, at the age of 75.  At the time of her death, the small wound that appeared on her forehead when she was 60 years old meditating before an image of the crucified Christ, considered to be a partial Stigmata was still present on her.  Margherita/Rita was bedridden at the convent and asked a cousin to bring her something from her old home, a rose.  Even though it was January, a single rose was in bloom in her garden and Rita received her rose.  She is often depicted with roses and on her feast day, churches and shrines provide roses that are blessed by the priest during Mass.  She was Beatified by Pope Urban III in 1626 and Canonization of St. Rita took place on May 24, 1900, with the title, Patroness of Impossible causes, abused wives and women whose hearts were broken due to conflicts within their family.  St. Rita’s Major Shrine is the Basilica of Santa Rita de Cascio in Italy.  A large Sanctuary was built in honor of St. Rita has become a regularly active place for pilgrims along with the home where she was born.  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there is the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia built in 1907, that has now become a popular pilgrimage and devotional site.  In Kerala, India, the Church of St. Rita is the only Catholic Church in Kerala named after her and the only church in Asia to have relics of her.  In 2000, on the 100th Anniversary of her Canonization, Pope John Paul spoke of her remarkable qualities as a Christian woman: “Rita interpreted well the “feminine genius” by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood.” 

On Saturday, May 25th we celebrate the feast day of St. Bede the Venerable, (673-735), English Monk, Author, Scholar who is considered one of the greatest teachers and writers in the Early Middle Ages.  His famous work, the “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” written around 731, gave him the title, “The Father of English History”.  St Bede was thought to be the most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I and the coronation of Charlemagne, King of the Franks (Germans).   Bede is a name taken from the Old English name meaning   to bid or command.  When he reached the age of 7, Bede was sent to the monastery to be educated by Abbott Benedict Biscop, a common practice for young boys of noble birth.  He studied the Latin and Greek Fathers of the Church in the Monastic Library while researching books by theologians.  When he was 19, he was ordained a deacon and in 702 at the age of 30 he was ordained to the priesthood.  Becoming a skilled linguist and translator, Bede made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers easily accessed by his fellow Anglo Saxons which then contributed to English Christianity, a few were lost but most survived.   He also wrote homilies for significant events in the Church and for Advent, Lent, and Easter.  Bede on Thursday, May 26, 735 during the “Feast of The Ascension”, sang “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit”.  By the 9th century he became known as Bede the Venerable because of his holiness and by the 10th Century the cult of St. Bede became popular and around the 14th Century the cult to honor him spread to many Cathedrals throughout England.  In 1062, Bishop Wulfstan of Worchester dedicated a Church in St. Bede’s honor and later it became the Bede College in Rome, Italy.  Pope Leo XIII declared him Doctor of the Church on his Canonization in 1899, the only Englishman named a Doctor of the Church, and seen as an example for all monks to follow.  St. Bede is the patron saint of writers and England where his Major Shrine, the Durham Cathedral is located. 

Also, on Saturday May 25th we recognize Pope Gregory VII (1015-1085) born Hildebrand or in Italian “Ildebrando di Sovana”, in central Italy, now Tuscany, the son of a blacksmith.  He was sent to Rome as a young boy to study at the Monastery of St. Mary of the Aventine, choosing to be a monk.   After being sent to Germany, Hildebrand returned to Rome with Abbot Bruno, later Pope Leo IX who would name him a Deacon and Papal Administrator and sent him to Tours France as his Legate.  After the death of Pope Leo IX, the new Pope Victor II named him Legate.  Hildebrand was named Archdeacon of the Roman Church between the years 1058-1059, becoming the most important figure in the Papal Administration who worked for the election for Pope Alexander II in the Papal Election of 1061.  He played a big part in the reconciliation with the Norman Kingdom of southern Italy, the anti-German alliance in Northern Italy giving Cardinals exclusive rights when electing a new pope. Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) was elected pope on the death of Alexander II it was said: “We chose then our Archdeacon Hildebrand to be Pope and successor to the Apostle, and to be henceforward and forever the name of Gregory.”  When he was consecrated a Bishop and enthroned as Pope on June 29th, 1073, on the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair he was seen as a devout man with divine knowledge and a distinguished love of equity and justice.  Pope Gregory VII was the 1st Pope that introduced the policy of obligatory celibacy for the clergy.  Up until that time, they were allowed to marry.  One of the decrees enacted by Pope Gregory VII that only the Pope could appoint or depose bishops or move them from See to See.  Pope Gregory VII the Confessor died on May 25, 1085, in Salerno, Italy and was beatified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584 at St. Peter’s Basilica and Canonized in the Papal States by Pope Benedict XIII on May 24, 1728.  “He was seen as a man of good behavior, blameless, modest, sober, chaste, given to hospitality, and one that ruleth well in his own house.” In 1965, Pope Paul VI said Gregory VII was instrumental in affirming the tenet that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament. 

On May 25th we also celebrate the Italian Carmelite nun and mystic, Mary Magdalene de Pazzi.  Born Caterine Lucrezia de Pazzi in Florence, Italy to devout parents who became a saintly child who would meditate on Christ’s Passion.  While still a young child she taught other girls to pray and shared what she learned in catechism with her friends.  In 1580, at the age of 14 she was sent by her father to be educated at the Monastery of nuns at the Order of Malta until she was chosen to wed a young man of noble breeding.  Caterina told her father she wanted to live a monastic life and he relented to her wishes, and she soon entered the Carmelite Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence.  In 1583 she became a novice taking the religious name of Sister Mary Magdalene.  She suffered many ailments, severe headaches, fever, bodily pains as she lived in what St. John of the Cross called “the dark night of the spirit.”  She became terribly ill while having revelations about the sufferings of Christ as she offered up her own pain to God and accepting her suffering as sweet and pleasant.  Over the next 6 years, she recorded her experiences in volumes focused on consoling Jesus’ Heart and making reparations for all the sacrileges committed against Him.  She was the great mystic who was able to fulfill her duties with great care training novices, doing menial chores as she communicated with Jesus whom she considered her closest friend and companion.  She died in 1607, four years after being bedridden at the age of 41.  Two years after her death, Jesuit Vincenzo Puccini, her confessor published the life of the Carmelite nun.   Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was beatified in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII and Canonized by Pope Clement X in 1669 with her Major Shrine, the Monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena de Pazzi in Florence.  She is revered throughout Italy where many visit the statue of her in the shrine dedicated to her and where her relics are located.   There is also a statue of her in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and many works of art and paintings of her likeness.  A Prayer to Saint Mary Magdalene de Pizza: “You were wise beyond what any book could teach.  You came to know the deepest truths of God and life through your free embrace of every suffering for the love of God.  Please pray for me, that I may love God as you loved Him, and be devoted to Him as you were devoted.  May my life become a living sacrifice of love, poured out for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.  Saint Mary Magdalene Pray for us.”

News from San Antonio Church – May 12, 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 May 12, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this 2nd Sunday of May, we honor all Mothers for their dedication, love, their contributions to their families, and society.  Their maternal bonds have saved and promoted peace at difficult times in our country.  In the history of our country, before Mother’s Day became what it is today, many women joined together to establish a time to come together to make a change.  After the American Civil War, groups of mothers met from opposite sides of our country to reach out to the mothers who had sons who fought in or died in the Civil War.  Many of those young men from both sides were away from home for up to 4 years as 2 million served in the North with 750,000 fighting in the South with 820,000 casualties on both sides.   Since that time, Mothers have met to assist their families, aid those in need and have been the glue that holds everyone together.  Please join all our San Antonio Church Families in our Hall after Mass for a delicious breakfast prepared by the men of parish.  A Prayer for Motherhood: “Good Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before the throne of God, Wonder Worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your aid.  You who on earth always fulfilled God’s design, help me to do the Holy Will of God.  Please ask the Master of Life, from Whom all parenthood proceeds, to render me fruitful in offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life and heirs to the Kingdom of His glory in the world to come.  Dear Mother Mary, please speak to Jesus for me.  Amen.”  God Bless all Mothers!               

On Monday, May 13th, we honor Our Lady of Fatima and the 6 appearances she made to the 3 peasant children in the village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.  This area near Fatima has become a site for many pilgrims seeking some sort of healing and over the years millions have journeyed to this holy site.  On the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Vision, over a million-faithful gathered at Fatima to hear Pope Paul VI say Mass and pray for peace.  On the 100th Anniversary of the vision in 2017, Pope Francis canonized as saints the pious siblings who saw the visions – making them the youngest non martyred children to become saints.  A prayer to recite for special graces from God: “O Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message.  We implore you, inspire our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary.  By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.”   

On Tuesday, May 14th, we honor the Apostle Mathias chosen as an Apostle after Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus.  As followers of Jesus gathered together, they prayed and drew lots to see who the new apostle would be.  Peter proposed to the 120 assembled disciples to pick Mathias as the new Apostle who had been with Christ from the beginning of His public ministry.  Peter said: “He was one of the men who accompanied us during the time Jesus was among us, beginning from the Baptism of John until the day Jesus was taken from us with Mathias being a witness to Christ’s Resurrection.”   St. Mathias is said to have planted the seeds of faith around Cappadocia and along the coasts of the Caspian Sea as he preached the Gospel into the interior of Ethiopia.  He showed himself worthy of being an Apostle being included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th Century.  In 1969, in the revision of the General Roman Calendar, his feast day was changed to May 14th so as not to celebrate it during Lent.  It was moved to be near the Solemnity of the Ascension, when the Acts of Apostles recounted Mathias be ranked with the 12 Apostles.  He died in AD 89 in Jerusalem, was canonized pre-congregation, and is considered the patron saint of Great Falls-Billings, Montana, perseverance, and hope.  Mother of Emperor Constantine, Empress Helena is said to have brought St. Mathias the Apostle’s remains to Italy and interred them in the Abbey of Santa Giustina, Padua.

On Wednesday, May 15th, we celebrate St. Isadore the Farmer, a Spanish farmworker, revered as the Catholic Patron Saint of Farmworkers or Labrador’s, those who work the land.  He was named in honor of St. Isadore of Seville, Isidro de Merlo y Quintana.  He worked for landowner, Juan de Vargas, who treated him like a brother and trusted Isadore enough to make him a Bailiff for his entire estate.  He became the broker and representative providing many services to keep Juan’s land fruitful.  Isadore would marry Maria Torribia (Santa Maria de la Cabeza) and they welcomed a son who would die as a young child.  After their son’s passing, Isadore, and Maria both practiced abstinence and chose to live apart in separate homes feeding and caring for the poor.  Every morning, Isadore attended Mass before working on the farm with legends portraying angel helpers and oxen doing his chores, so his work was not neglected while he was in church.  He died on May 15, 1130, at the age of 59 with over 438 miracles attributed to him especially those   members of the royal family who sought his intercession for cures.  Isadore was Beatified on May 2, 1619, and Canonized on March 12, 1622.  In 1769, the remains of St. Isadore and his wife Maria were relocated to the San Isidro Church in Madrid in a sepulcher that has nine locks with only one master key held by the King of Spain.

Opening of the locked sepulcher can only be performed by the Archbishop of Madrid on the authorization of the King and has not been opened since 1985.   On May 15th towns in Spain venerate St. Isadore and his wife, Blessed Maria Torribia with blessing of the fields as many celebrations are held with a carnival atmosphere of floats, women in flamenco dresses, and caballeros on dancing horses while festival goers drink a mixture of brandy and energy drink that is named for him.  On the feast day of St. Isadore, the home of his master, Juan de Vargas, “Casa de San Isidro”, now a museum will be visited by devotees who revere the Saint.  There is also a chapel built on the exact site where the Saint lived and died that honors those important events in the history of Spain. 

On Saturday, May 18th we honor the feast day of St. John I, the 1st Pope named John in the history of the early Church.  Born in Tuscany, Italy he became the Bishop of Rome in 523 and is known for being sent to Constantinople to negate the treatment of Arians. He was frail when he was elected Pope and at that time, the Church had only 7 Deacons; men of the Jerusalem Christian Community ordained to help the Apostles distribute provisions to the widows of the Greek speaking Jews.   During his Papal Reign, Italy was under the rule of a king who adhered to the Arian heresy that Christ was a created being rather than the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.  The Arian King expected Pope John to accept his stance and then intercede with the Eastern emperor on behalf of the heretics which would lead to his imprisonment, starvation and to his being martyred.   Pope John I was the Bishop of Rome from August 13, 523 until his death on May 18, 526 and is venerated in Ravenna and Tuscany.  He became canonized by pre-congregation (without the lengthy process of qualification) and is credited in the Liber Pontificalis (book of Popes) for making repairs to the cemeteries of the earliest Martyrs, and especially those in the cemetery of Priscillia.  His body was taken to Rome and is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. 

Also On Saturday, May 18th, we celebrate Armed Forces Day to honor the men and women who at present are on active duty, serving in the Military.  This 3rd Saturday closes Armed Forces Week, the week-long event that starts on May 11th -May 18th to show appreciation for the contributions of the members of the Armed Forces, for their service, past and present.  Military Appreciation Week addresses   the challenges that military communities face and the experiences of those service members, veterans, and their families.  A consolidated Armed Forces Day was established in 1950 to honor those serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and later the Space Force, and National Guard as a way to highlight their service, the sacrifices of their spouses and families, as they respond when called to deploy to defend our freedom.  As a way to expand public awareness of the military role in civilian life, many Military bases hold special events, open houses, and flyovers, and air shows to show   the importance of a strong military presence in our ever-changing world.

On Sunday, May 19th, Elder High School Gym located at 3900 Vincent Ave in Price Hill will welcome all families for the 17th Annual Family Rosary Rally and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.   Sponsored by the Purcell Council 2798-Knights of Columbus beginning at 1:30 PM with handicap parking by Schaefer Center and at Seton High School parking Garage.  A good friend and benefactor, to our church, the late Guy Langenbrunner introduced this wonderful event to our San Antonio Church community so, please considered joining friends from other parishes for this wonderful Sunday afternoon of prayer and reflection.

Our next big event at San Antonio Church is the Cincitalia Fest schedule for Friday, May 31st, Saturday June 1st, and Sunday June 2nd, sponsored by St. Catharine of Siena Parish at Harvest Home Park on North Bend Road in Cheviot.    Our San Antonio Church Community will operate our popular Bruschetta Booth under the direction of chairman, Harry Panaro and the La Rosa Pizzeria Family who donates the many gallons of the delicious tomato mixture and the thick ciabatta that is always sells out to benefit the students at St. Catharine of Siena School and San Antonio Church. We will need volunteers for this fun event that includes live music, many food booths, the Fuscaldese Society Cookie and Cannoli Booth, Gaby’s Cafe Booth, La Rosa’s Pizza and Rondo’s Booths, the United Italian Society Booth and the many Cincitalia Booths offering many regional Italian dishes, wine, beer, and games for all ages.  Please check out the sign- up sheet in the Hall after Mass to cover the many shifts for this 3-day event.

News from San Antonio Church – May 5, 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 May 5, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we send our condolences to the Panaro, Nugent, Werle, Carroll, and Marckesano Families on the passing of Mary Josephine (Panaro) Nugent on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at the age of 98.  She was the oldest of the Panaro siblings born to the late Rose Marckesano and John Panaro who were married at San Antonio Church in 1924.   Mary Josephine’s father, John (1903-1986) was one of the first generation of Italian American siblings along with the late Dena (Panaro) Minella, Eugene, Frank, Anthony, Mary (Panaro) La Rosa Frank, Lawrence, and William born to Josephine Palmieri and Lawrence Panaro who resided at 1998 Queen City Avenue.  Mary Josephine’s mother, Rose (Marckesano) Panaro was one of 10 siblings.  They are the late Jimmy, Anna, Louise, Ralph, Philomena, Jeannie, Nellie, Mary, Susie, born to Maddalena Dalessandro and Pasquale Marckesano.  The Panaro and Marckesano Families were founders and strong supporters of San Antonio Church established in 1922 and celebrated the marriage of their children, with the first wedding held in their first new church building in 1924 (current church was built in 1941).  Josephine Panaro Nugent named for her grandmother Mary Josephine Panaro, grew up in the Little Italy area of the South Fairmount neighborhood near her Panaro, Palmieri, Marckesano, Minella, Dalessandro, Grieco, and Guerrera cousins at the John Panaro homestead on 1926 Horton Street.  Her mother Rose died on April 3, 1947, at the young age of 39, leaving Mary Josephine and her siblings the late Shriley, Delores, Gilda, Joanie, Larry, John, and the youngest Toni (living) and her father to cope without a mother and wife.   

Mary “Mae” Josephine enjoyed bowling with her aunt, Louise Marckesano Studt and was on various teams including her uncle Larry Panaro’s, who sponsored her team when his fruit market was located in Hartwell.  She was a big part of all the Panaro reunions and attended all the monthly Daughters of Josephine (named after Grandma Josephine Panaro) Luncheons with her cousins.  While raising her three children, Judy Werle, the late Raymond Nugent and Diane Carroll, Josephine supported her family working many jobs later retiring from Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company.  She was the revered typical Italian Grandma to Jeff (Julie) Werle, Jenny Camardo (Nick), Jamie Hughes (Brad), the late Dena Nugent, Nicole Carroll, and Courtney Main (Will) and Great Grandma to 13.  She was a member of San Antonio Church throughout her life and many of our current parishioners remember her from attending our events.   Besides her brothers, Larry and Johnny and sister Toni, she also leaves many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who are present-day members of our church. 

In January of this year, Mary Josephine (Mae) was interviewed by Bob Herzog from Channel 12 for the next instalment for the canonization of Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God where she recalled the memories of our beloved Sister of Charity working among the Italian immigrants in the early days of our church.    Mary Josephine (Panaro) Nugent’s Funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Victory Church on April 29, 2024.   Please keep her family and many friends in your prayers.                                                   

We also send our sincere condolences to the Ellerhorst and Pugil Families on the passing of Julie Ann Ellerhorst, MD, PhD (1954-2024), one of 7 children born to the late Robert and Marian (Reck) Ellerhorst.  She graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 1972 before moving to Houston, Texas where she attended St. Thomas University, graduating with a BS in Biology.  Before her 30th birthday, Julie received her Medical Degree from Baylor College of Medicine while doing her residency at Baylor.  Julie completed her Ph.D. studies at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston in 1998, one of the 1st physicians to achieve this milestone working full-time in patient care and cancer research.  Her research involved being a mentor to international colleagues and writing manuscripts for publication.   After the diagnose of Parkinson’s Julie and her husband Gerry relocated back to Houston where she died on April 20, 2024, with her loving husband, Gerry, and beloved rescue dog Hannah at her side.  Beside her loving husband Gerry Pugil, Julie’s siblings Jan (David)Stockton, Cindy (late Daryl) Reed, Gary (Robin) Ellerhorst, D. Peter (Jenny) Ellerhorst, Brian (Rosario) Ellerhorst, and our parishioners, Gregg, and Lisa Ellerhorst.  All of our parishioners from San Antonio Church send their condolences and prayers to the many members of the Ellerhorst Family at this difficult time.                                     

When we celebrate the Month of May, we will be honoring Mary as May is dedicated to her.  Many families will honor her with a special altar set up in their homes, or by saying Rosary or attending May Crownings or Marian Consecrations to honor her.  Pope John Paul II called Mary the “Woman of the Eucharist” because of her important role from the Annunciation to the Cross and to the Resurrection.  When Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that “Mary, living Tabernacle of God made flesh, is the Ark of the Covenant, in whom the Lord visited and redeemed his people.  She was filled with the Holy Spirit when the presence of Jesus was within her, a joy which only he can give. When we welcome Jesus and bring Him to others, this is also the joy of the of Christians and the Church.”  We all hope and pray that Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist, intercedes for us, welcoming her Son into our lives; that we may follow Him and conform ourselves ever more to His holy will.  As we celebrate the month of Mary at San Antonio Church, please remember the May Crowning to be held next Sunday May 12th just before our 9:00 AM Mass.  We are asking for children to participate in the procession and crowning on that morning.  All school-age children, boys and girls are welcome to take part in this yearly tradition that started in the 1930’s.   Please introduce your children or grandchildren to this lovely ceremony at our church; a sign- up sheet will be in the Hall after Mass today.  We will also celebrate Mother’s Day next Sunday with our annual breakfast in the Hall that is open to everyone. 

On Thursday, May 9th we honor the Ascension, one of the great solemnities on the Christian liturgical calendar.  It commemorates the bodily ascension of Christ’s risen and glorified body 40 days after His Resurrection.  This tells us that He exists in corporal form with the father outside time and space, thus the concluding work of redemption and the pledge to all of us our own eventual ascension into heaven.  This is one of the Ecumenical Feasts that is celebrated universally and ranks with the feasts of Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost. 

On Friday, May 10th we have the feast of John of Avila, Priest, Doctor of the Church, and Apostle of Andalusia.  The Spanish priest was also a scholastic author, religious mystic, and renowned preacher for his extensive ministry throughout the region of Andalusia.  At a crossroads in his life, John was inspired by a Franciscan Friar taking his advice to resume his studies in philosophy and theology.  While at the University, John met the noted Dominican Friar Domingo de Soto who also helped him find his life work.   John was ordained in 1526 and celebrated his 1st Mass in the Church where both his parents were buried from.  In 1527, John desired to do foreign missionary work and prepared to travel into Mexico, accompanied by the 1st Bishop of Tlaxcala, the Dominican Friar, Julian Garcia.   While in Seville on his way to his destination, John showed such devotion with his preaching skills while celebrating Mass, he attracted the attention of a local priest who told the Archbishop of Seville of this exceptional young priest.  The Archbishop saw the talents of this young priest and felt John could use his preaching as a powerful tool bringing the faith into Andalusia, persuaded by the Archbishop he decided to stay and preached his first sermon on July 22, 1529.  From that day on crowds filled the churches for all his sermons and for nine years John dedicated himself to missionary work in Andalusia reforming the clergy, establishing schools and colleges in cities, Granada, Baeza, Montilla and Zafra.  John of Avila also served as the first rector at the University of Baeza that was founded in 1538.  John lived with about 20 disciples hoping to establish an order or a formal foundation of apostolic priests. 

When John’s health started to decline, his dream never became a reality and he encouraged his disciples to join the Jesuits with the group of men now totaling 30 joining the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus.  John of Avila spent the last years of his life in the Province of Cordoba where he died on May 10,1569, and was laid to rest there.  The Jesuit Church of the Incarnation is his Major Shrine with the sanctuary dedicated in his honor.  He has been revered by the Jesuits for the work he started and his support for the Society of Jesus.  He was Beatified on November 12, 1893, by Pope Leo XIII and Canonized by Pope Paul VI on May 31, 1970.  On October 7, 2012, on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church before many thousands of the faithful at St. Peters Square.  During his homily, Pope Benedict said John of Avila was a “Profound expert on the sacred Scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit.  He knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.  A man of God, he united constant prayer to apostolic action.  He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.”

News from San Antonio Church – April 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 April 28, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we extend our condolences to the Grome, Hartmann, Oaks, and Hubbard Families on the passing of Elizabeth “Betty” (Grome) Hartmann on April 12, 2024, at the age of 93.  Loving Matriarch of Anna Bee, Bill, Angie, and mother- in- law to Shelby, Lois and the late Brenda and Darrell.  Cherished Grandma to 14, Great Grandma to 12 and beloved sister to Robert Grome.  She was a dedicated parishioner of St. Leo the Great and was a regular member of the Rosary and Communion Service every Tuesday at San Antonio Church.  Her funeral was held on April 20, 2024, at St. Leo the Great Church.  Please keep Betty’s family and friends in your prayers. 

We send our thanks to all the men from San Antonio Church for hosting the annual Mussie Fest and Lick Run Reunion on Friday, April 26th in our Hall.  The yearly event was started to keep men from the old neighborhood connected and over the years, brothers, sons, nephews, grandsons, and friends have shared their old and new memories at the evening of good food while supporting San Antonio Church.  We appreciate all the hard work of the men from our church who have shared their dedication to the future of our Little Mission Church. 

On Monday, April 29, we celebrate the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) known as an Italian mystic and laywoman who became an advocate not only for the Pope but also in the politics of Italy.  At the age of six, Catherine had a vision of our Lord who appeared and gave her a blessing and from then on, she felt that He wanted her to do something special with her life.  She began to pray for an answer.  Catherine chose to not marry but became a member of the” Mantellates,” a group of holy women devoted to Dominican spiritually.  Catherine decided to give her life to care for the poor, called the Third Order of the Dominicans.  She loved working among the sick and cared for those with the most repellent diseases such as leprosy, at that time incurable.  When a devasting plague broke out, Catherine worked to aid them, even digging the graves, and burying the dead.  Her sound advice and wisdom were sought by civic leaders and the Pope.  At that time, the Popes had been living in France instead of Rome for many years due to unsettled times.  Catherine went to France for a special visit with Pope Gregory XI and when speaking to him said: “Holy Father, God wants the head of His Church to live in Rome.  I pray you will go there as soon as possible.”  Rome again became the home of all future Popes.  When Pope Gregory XI died in 1378, Catherine supported Pope Urban Vi against his opponents and was very loyal to him, even writing letters to princes and cardinals to promote obedience to him.  She tried to convince nobles of his legitimacy meeting with individuals at Pope Urban’s court.  Catherine lived an active and prayerful life following the model of the Dominicans.  On April 21, 1380, Catherine suffered a massive stroke and died 8 days later on April 29th with her last words “Father, into Your Hands I commend my soul and my spirit.”  She was beatified on December 29,1460, and Canonized by Pope Pius II on June 29, 1461.  She is considered one of the outstanding figures of medieval Catholicism because of her strong influence in Church matters and her extensive writings.    Pope Pius IX declared on April 13, 1866, Catherine of Siena co-patroness of Rome and on June 18, 1939, Pope Pius XIII named St. Catherine a joint patron saint of Italy along with Francis of Assisi.   On October 4, 1970, Pope Paul VI named Catherine a Doctor of the Church along with Teresa of Avilia (September 27, 1970) becoming the first women to receive this honor.  St. Catherine is considered the patroness of the Catholic American woman’s fraternity, Theta Phi Alpha and Pope John Paul II made her one of Europe’s Patron Saints along with Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and Bridget of Sweden in 1999.  A prayer in memory of St. Catherine: “O God, You caused St. Catherine to shine with Divine love in the contemplation of the Lord’s Passion and in the service of Your Church.  By her help, grant that Your people, associated in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of His glory.  Amen.”

On Tuesday, April 30th, we celebrate the life of Pope Pius V (1504-1572) born Antonio Ghislieri, ruler of the Papal States from 1566-1572.  He was given the responsibility of getting the Catholic Church back on its feet after being shaken by the reformation causing dissension that was rampant during those years.   Pope Pius V had the task of conducting sweeping reforms called for by the Council of Trent and for the next 18 years, he ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests, published a new missal, Breviary, and Catechism.  He stablished the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) class for young Catholics.  In the Papal Bull of 1570, Regnans in Excelsis, Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for crimes against Catholics during her reign when she persecuted English Catholics.  After being elected Pope, Pius V wearing his Dominican white habit, canonized one saint, Ivo of Chartres and created 21 Cardinals, including Felice Piergentile who would later become Pope Sixtus V.    He died on May 1,1572 was beatified in 1672 by Pope Clement X and Canonized on May 22, 1712, by Pope Clement XI.  Pope St. Pius V’s Motto: “Oh that my ways may be directed to keep thy justification.” 

On Wednesday, May 1st we celebrate the Memorial of St. Jospeh the Worker in the Catholic Church.  Joseph’s description has been described as an artisan or carpenter working in wood, iron, or stone.   He is also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches and is regarded as the patron saint of workers and the protector of the Catholic Church.  St. Jospeh is the spouse of the Blessed Virgin, the legal father of Jesus and guardian of the Holy Family.  His role in the Catholic Church is explained by German Theologian, Friedrich Justus Knecht: “St. Joseph’s high place in the Kingdom of God comes from this, that God chose him to be the guardian and protector of His Son, entrusting him with what was greatest and dearest to Himself, singling him out and especially blessing him for this office.”  The Church celebrates a Feast in honor of St. Joseph on 19 March and desires that all the faithful should honor him, ask for his intercession, and imitate his virtues.  St. Joseph is the special patron of the Church.  Even as he was the protector of the Child Jesus on earth, so, we believe, is he know the protector of the mystical Body of Jesus, His Holy Church.  We also seek his intercession for a good death, because, having died so blessedly, in the presence and with the assistance of Jesus and Mary, he should be supplicated to obtain for us from Jesus the grace of a happy death.  Churches, monasteries, and many other institutions are dedicated to him including St. Joseph’s Oratory, the largest Catholic church in Canada with the largest dome of its kind in the world-after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 

On Thursday, May 2nd we have the feast day of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria in the year 328.   He was a Church Father and noted Egyptian Christian leader of the 4th Century born into a Christian Family in Alexandria.  He was a Bishop at a time when the Church was split with his enemy’s   accusing him of all kinds of crimes, even murder. He was driven into exile three times, returning only to accept his see once more. He became known as Athanasius Contra Mundum Latin for “Athanasius Against the World.”  After returning to Alexandria, he spent his final years repairing the damage done during those years of violence, dissent, and exile.   His writings were well regarded by Church Fathers in the West and in the East with him being considered one of the 4 Great Eastern Doctors in the Catholic Church.  In Coptic literature, he is the 1st Patriarch of Alexandria to use Coptic as well as Greek in his writings.  His most notable writing is his Festal Letter, written to his Church in Alexandria while in exile when he could not be with them.  “I know moreover that not only this thing saddens you, but also the fact that while others have obtained the churches by violence, you are meanwhile cast out from your places.  For they hold the places, but you the Apostolic Faith.  They are it is true, in the places, but outside of the true Faith; while you are outside the places indeed, but the Faith, within you.  Let us consider whether is the greater, the place or the Faith.  Clearly the true Faith.  Who then has lost more, or who possessed more?  He who holds the place, or he who holds the Faith.”  On May 2, 373 after consecrating Peter II, as his successor, Athanasius died in his bed surrounded by his clergy and many faithful supporters.  It is thought the Athanasian Creed was compiled using his ideas and from his own writings. 

On Thursday, May 2nd is also the 73rd Anniversary of the National Day of Prayer.  Created in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman for a national observance to pray for the Nation.   There were other attempts to establish a National Day of Prayer by the 1st Continental Congress in 1775, by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, and amended in 1988 by Ronald Reagan who designated this day for the 1st Thursday in May.  Every President since 1952 have signed a proclamation for a National Day of Prayer.  Since 1775, there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for a National day of Prayer with more added every year.  This day belongs to all Americans as a way to bring citizens together from all backgrounds.  NDP Chairman Mrs. Shirley Dobson states: “We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep.  I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom too.”  The Theme for 2024, Lift up the Word-Light up the World with the Prayer: “For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness.  For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God-his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.” 

On Friday May 3rd we celebrate the Feast of Sts. Philip and James, the Less both Apostles who are honored on the same day because their relics were transferred to the Church of the Apostles in Rome. Their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.  St. Philip of Bethsaida was called on by Jesus himself to become His 8th Apostle and was called on soon after the Baptism in the Jordan River.   Philip worked to convert others and had the gift of raising issues that were on everyone’s mind and was remembered for playing a distinct part in the companionship of the Apostles.  At the last Supper, Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us.”  Philip traveled to Asia Minor where he preached the Gospel and was crucified there in the year 80.  St. James the Just so was called by the nickname so there would be no confusion with the other St.  James the Great who became an Apostle before him.  St. James the Just was a “brethren” or cousin of Our Lord and was a brother of the Apostle Jude and was considered an outstanding figure who then was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem where he was later martyred.  From an incredibly young age he led a life of penance and prayer.    James was given one of the first visions of the Risen Christ and was sometimes referred to as the Brother of Jesus.  After Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, St. James the Just became head of the Church in Jerusalem.  He was martyred at the age of 86 for honoring Christ as the Son of God.  A Prayer in honor of St. Philip and St. James the Less: “O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James, grant us, through their prayers, a share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, so that we may merit to behold you for eternity. 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.”

News from San Antonio Church – April 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 April 21, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the 61st Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, a day for all of us to promote and invoke special prayers for vocations.  The purpose of this day is to fulfill the Lord’s instruction: “The harvest is abundant that the laborers are few; so, ask the Master of the harvest to send our laborers for his harvest” (Mt 9:37-38).  We hope that our young people receive the call to become followers of Jesus, possibly using their gifts and talents for the priesthood or a religious vocation.  God’s call to a distinctive state of life, married, single, religious life   with the Sacrament of Matrimony and Holy Orders that are designated Sacraments of Vocation.  On this day, we pray for the communities of men and women who have professed solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and for all those young Seminarians who are candidates for the Priesthood. These young men are working to prepare themselves spiritually, intellectually, and apostolically before becoming sacred ministers for the worship of God and for the sanctification of all people.  When receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders, one of the Seven Sacraments, the Bishop will pray over those men to confer spiritual power and grace to conduct their ordained ministry of the Church, to be sacred ministers for the worship of God and for the sanctification of all people.  A Prayer for Vocations: “Bountiful Father, your Son Jesus, urged us to pray for laborers for your harvest.  We pray for an abundance of priests and consecrated men and women to care for the needs of your Church.  Through the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, pour out your Holy Spirit upon our families.  May we encourage each person to discern and follow the vocations to which you have called them.  We ask through Christ our Lord.  AMEN.”             

On Monday, April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day, the annual event that was established on April 22, 1970.  The Theme this year is Planet vs. Plastics to promote and support the protection of the environment and for all of us to get involved in community service.  There is also an unofficial Earth Flag “The Blue Marble” taken from a photo taken by the crew of Apollo 17.  On Earth Day, many schools, communities and garden clubs plant trees, flowers, and shrubs in their communities. 

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, the 55th Annual Earth Day will be celebrated in Cincinnati at Summit Park in Blue Ash.  The free event will run from Noon until 5:00PM with over 125 exhibitors highlighting local music, local vegetarian foods, activities, and presentations.  

On Tuesday, April 23rd, we honor the legend of St. George, also known as George of Lydda, venerated as a saint in Christianity who lived during the 3rd Century.  The legend about St. George occurred when a dragon caused panic in the city of Silene, Libya.  To keep the dragon at bay, 2 sheep were sacrificed and when they were not enough, then 4 were sacrificed.  Humans were then offered to calm the dragon with the citizens choosing who would be offered up.  The King’s daughter was then chosen to be sacrificed until George saved the girl by slaying the dragon with a lance.  For his efforts in saving the girl, the King offered George treasures which he used to help the poor.   The legend of the dragon changed the hearts of the town with the residents so appreciative and thankful at what they had witnessed, were baptized, and became Christians.  When George slayed the dragon, his lance was referred to as Ashkelon after the Levantine city in Israel.  During World War II, Winston Churchill used the name Ashkelon for his personal aircraft.  St. George has been venerated as a Military Saint since the Crusades and is highly respected by not only the Christians, the Druze and within some Muslim Communities.  He is considered the patron saint of England, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Ukraine, Malta, Ethiopia, cities in Spain, and Moscow, Russia and is renowned throughout the Middle East with Arab Christians seeking his intercession for an illness or problem at his shrine at Beit Jala in the Christian Quarter in Jerusalem.  He is also the patron saint of Lebanese Christians, Syrian Christians, Lebanese Christians and those Christians in Israel and Palestine.  The Church of Saint George in Lydda, Israel contains a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of St. George.  George is honored by the Eastern Orthodox Church where he is hailed as a Great Martyr and in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt where he is called the Prince of Martyrs.  In the Church of England George is remembered with a festival on April 23rd every year.  He was beaten and tortured for many years until his martyrdom, and it is said 40,000 pagans converted to Christianity during this time and also, the Empress Alexandra.

On April 23rd we also celebrate Adalbert of Prague a Czech Missionary to the Hungarians, Poles, and Prussians, becoming Bishop of Prague, and a Christian Saint.  He is venerated in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church and is the patron saint of Poland and the Czech Republic.  He was terribly ill as a child and after he survived this serious illness, his mother and father dedicated him to the service of God.  In 982 at the age of 26, Adalbert was ordained a Catholic Priest and when the Bishop of Prague died, Adalbert was chosen as his successor despite being under canonical age.  He devoted his life to preaching and evangelizing while opposing those Christians who participated in the slave trade.  Adalbert proposed reforms and was met with opposition from those who rejected any reference to God or religion (secularism) and the clergy.  He was forced into exile and for five years he lived as a hermit in the benedictine Monastery of Saint Alexis in Rome.  In 993, Pope John XV requested his return to Prague as a Bishop.  On his return from Rome, Adalbert brought a group of Italian benedictine monks and then founded the Monastery in Brevnov, now the second oldest Monastery on Czech territory.  There was a lot of controversy between Bohemian clans and when Adalbert tried to protect a noblewomen accused of adultery hiding her in a convent.  When she was killed, Adalbert excommunicated the killers and knew he had to flee his archdiocese.  He requested to be an itinerant missionary and set out to preach to the families near Prussia.  He was not well received because of his style of preaching, reading from a book.  The group of Prussians had a society where communication was face to face when conversing.  Adalbert, reading from a book, came off as an evil action and the chieftain of the village struck him on the back of the head with an oar.  When he tried to preach at the next village, the locals called for the death of Adalber and his companions.  Wherever they went they received the same resistance with pagan mobs attacking them.  After saying Mass on April 23, 997, Adalbert along with his companions were attacked and killed by a pagan priest.  He was canonized as Saint Adalbert of Prague a few years after he was martyred with two shrines dedicated to him, the Prague Cathedral, and the Royal Cathedral of Gniezno.  The 1,000th Anniversary of Adalbert’s martyrdom was held on April 23, 1997, in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia and many other nations.  To celebrate his life and work, there were representatives from the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical Churches who made the journey to visit Adalbert’s tomb in Gniezno.  There were heads of seven European Nations when Pope John Paul II visited the Cathedral and celebrated the liturgy as 1,000,000 faithful who attended also participated. 

On Wednesday, April 24th the Catholic Church celebrates the life of Mark Rey who became known as Fidelis of Sigmaringen.  Born in a town in Germany (1577-1622) went on to attend the University of Freiburg teaching philosophy before going on to earn his law degree and   wanted to use his knowledge to help the poor.  He developed a deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, visited hospitals and churches all while offering his services as a counselor or advocate to those in need.  Serving those who could hardly pay him Mark- Fidelis became known “as the lawyer of the poor”.  He was a man of high morals and was regarded as a modest and meek man who soon learned that the law profession was not for him.  His brother George was a member of the Capuchin Friars and soon he entered the order taking the religious name Fidelis, Latin for faithful.  After studying for the priesthood, he presided over his 1st Mass at the Capuchin Friary on October 4, 1612, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the order.  He became Guardian of the Capuchin Friary Weltkirchen, present day Austria where he not only preached and heard confessions but cared for the sick when an epidemic hit the city.  Because of his good works, many people were converted, especially the Calvinists.  The other Calvinists became incensed and threatened his life and those of his companions were with him in his missionary efforts.  He knew his life would end soon and signed his letters to his closest companions “P. Fidelis, prope diem esca vermium “Father Fidelis, in days ahead to become food for worms”.   While he was preaching to those who wanted to convert to Catholicism, Father Fidelis was told to flee for his own safety but was soon confronted by 20 Calvinists who demanded he renounce the Catholic faith Fr. Fidelis said: “I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy.  The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death.”   When Fr. Fidelis refused, he was beaten with his last words “Pardon my enemies, O lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do.  Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.  Mary, Mother of God, succor me!” After he was slain, Fr. Fidelis was buried the next day.  He was Beatified by Pope Benedict XIII on March 24, 1729, and Canonizes on June 29,1746, by Pope Benedict XIV with his Major Shrine located at the Capuchin friary in Austria. 

On Thursday, April 25th we celebrate the feast day of Mark the Evangelist venerated in all Christian Churches that venerate saints.  Mark who was not an Apostle, was born in Cyrene, in North Africa now Libya.  He was one of the servants at the Wedding Feast at Cana who poured the water that Jesus turned into wine.   Mark was converted by Peter and accompanied him to Rome as an interpreter and wrote about the accounts of Peter’s talks on our Lord’s life and wrote down the sermons of Peter, composing the Gospel according to Mark.   He became the voice of St. Peter reflecting the views of the great Apostle.  His Gospel showed the demands of Jesus on his followers and how Jesus had suffered.  But it also showed that those who can endure such sufferings will be greatly rewarded.   Mark wrote the second Gospels in Greek for those Gentile who converted to Christianity.   Mark the Evangelist was sent on a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabus throughout the island of Cypress, after the Council of Jerusalem and would later be sent to Egypt to establish the Church of Alexandria and later set up the first Christian School.  He was seen as a brilliant Christian who was the first person to write a Gospel and was known to invent this form of religious writing.  He is often depicted writing or holding his Gospel and symbolized by a winged lion and is the patron saint of Notaries.    He died at age 66 in Alexandria, Egypt with his Major Shrine, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.  There is also a Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral located in Alexandria, Egypt.  A Prayer to St. Mark the Evangelist: “God, our Father, You helped St. Mark the Evangelist with Your grace so that he could preach the Good News of Christ.  Help us to know You well so that we may faithfully live our lives as followers of Christ.” St. Mark The Lion, Pray for us!

Today is the last day to make your reservation to “The Mussie Fest”.  Those interested in attending call Dave Sabatelli at 513-405-6444 or email SAQUEENCITY@Gmail.com to reserve your seat $20 per person.