News from San Antonio Church – April 28, 2024

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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.”

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