News from San Antonio Church – February 11, 2024

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

Weekly Bulletin February 11, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On Sunday, February 4th our San Antonio Church Community learned of the passing of Fr. Fred Serraino C.S.C. at the age of 93 while in Hospice care in the nursing care unit at the Holy Cross House near Notre Dame University.  Fr. Fred grew up in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount on 2008 Queen City Avenue with his two best friends, Buddy LaRosa, and the late Ralph Minella.  He was ordained into the Holy Cross Order on December 21, 1968, and celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 1, 1969, at San Antonio Church before serving as a missionary in Peru.  He served at many posts before retiring in South Bend, Indiana.  He was the son of the late Anthony and Philomena Serraino and leaves his brothers Frank and Wayne and sister Carmella “Cumi”, many nieces and nephews, friends from San Antonio Church and the LaRosa Family who kept in close contact with him throughout his life.  We send our prayers and condolences to his family, friends and those Holy Cross Priests and Brothers who served with him and were there at his bedside until his passing.  Fr. Fred Serraino C.S.C. will be laid to rest in the Holy Cross Cemetery at Notre Dame in St. Joseph County, Indiana.  San Antonio Church will hold a Memorial Service to be scheduled at a later date.

On Friday, February 9th San Antonio Church held the funeral of our organist, Paul Wenzel with Fr. Mike Savino presiding.  Paul passed away suddenly on January 25, 2024, at the age of 74.  He grew up on the west side and attended Little Flower Elementary and La Salle High School, class of 1967.  Paul graduated Magna Cum Laude from U. C. with a B.A. in Economics in 1971 and later studied at the College Conservatory of Music all while helping his father run their family business, the Western Hills Marathon Station.  Paul played at many church and school events within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and was well known not only for his musical skills, but for his years at Music Hall and at the Reds games where he was a popular usher and ticket taker.    Paul was the son of the late George and Anna (Paul) Wenzel and the beloved brother to the late Bill Wenzel.   Paul leaves daughters Christy Hodge and Lisa (Brian) Wells his grandchildren Jordan and Julia Hodge, Braden and Jackson Wells, many friends from San Antonio Church, Hidden Valley Lake, and his cherished canines, Molly, and Moose.  We send our prayers and condolences to the members of the Wenzel families and to all those who knew Paul throughout his music career. 

On this Sunday before Ash Wednesday, we highlight World Marriage Day, established after the apostolate, Worldwide Marriage Encounter with the mission to help couples celebrate the husband and wife as the foundation of the family and sees the family as the basic unit of society.  World Marriage Day began in in 1981 when married couples in Baton Rouge, Louisiana asked the Mayor, Governor, and the Bishop to proclaim February 14th We Believe in Marriage Day.  The event was a success and adopted by the National Leadership of Worldwide marriage Encounter.  In 1982, there were 43 Governors who gave their approval and in 1982, Military Bases in foreign countries joined in with the name being changed to World Marriage Day.  In 1993, Saint Pope John Paul II approved this day and gave it his Apostolic Blessings for World Marriage Day in the Catholic Church.  Each year, World Marriage Week takes place from February 7-14.  World Marriage Day honors the beauty of nuptial faithfulness, devotion, sacrifice, commitment, and joy.  In the Catholic Church, married life is considered the foundation of humanity and the cradle of civilization.   This day asks all parish couples to conduct their married lives with joy and faith and to make their family life the biggest priority for their lives.  A Prayer for Married Couples: “Father as we prepare for World Marriage Day, we thank you for your tremendous gift of the Sacrament of Marriage.  Help us to witness its glory by a life of growing intimacy.  Teach us the beauty of forgiveness so we may become more and more One in Heart, Mind, and Body.  Strengthen our dialogue and help us become living signs of your love.  Make us grow more in love with the Church so we may renew the Body of Christ.  Make us a sign of unity in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Brother.  Amen.”

This Sunday is also set aside for all of us to remember “It is not good that man should be alone”.  The World Day of the Sick was established in 1992 by Pope John Paul II a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  He chose the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes as the date of the observance as many visitors journeyed to Lourdes, France and had been healed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.  The World Day of the Sick is an observance of the Catholic Church for prayers and sharing of ones suffering for the good of the church and to see the face of Christ in the sick.  Pope Francis asks us to care for those who suffer and are alone and cast aside and for us to tend to the wounds of solitude and isolation.  For all of us to enable the growth of a culture of tenderness and compassion. Pope Francis who spoke in Rome at Saint John Lateran on January 10, 2024, said: “The sick, the vulnerable and the poor are at the heart of the Church; that they must also be at the heart of our human concern and pastoral attention.  May we never forget this!  And let us commend ourselves to Mary Most Holy, Health of the Sick, that she may intercede for us and help us to be artisans of closeness and fraternal relationships.”  

On Monday, February 12, we celebrate the Anniversary of Abraham Lincolns Birthday.  He was born on February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky, 215 years ago.  Lincolns Birthday is celebrated in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indians, New York, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.  This observance was brought to the attention of the United States Congress by a Buffalo, New York druggist, Julius Francis in 1874.  He petitioned to honor the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865) who was slain on April 15, 1865.  There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic site in Hodgenville, Kentucky and at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

On Tuesday, February 13th we observe Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and 47 days before Easter Sunday.  Shrove Tuesday is seen as the last day before Lent and the time to right the wrongs in our life; adjust and consider what sacrifice you could practice after Fat Tuesday.  When making a Lenten sacrifice, it is customary to say a prayer that you will follow through as well as others with “May God Bless My and Your Lenten Sacrifice.”  Many Christians and the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches see this day as a time of Confession and absolution.  In some parishes, a popular tradition on Shrove Tuesday is the ringing of the church bells, the toll is known as the Shriving Bell “to call the faithful to confession before the solemn season of Lent”.  Churches will burn the palms distributed during the previous Palm Sunday on Shrove Tuesday for the ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday.  In some Christian countries, this day is called Mardi Gras or carnival day, the last day to gorge before the fasting period of Lent.  The tradition of Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations and the Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia.  When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders incorporated the traditions of Mardi Gras into the new faith for a celebration as a prelude to Lent. 

The 1st American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when French explorers landed in New Orleans.  They held a small celebration at their landing spot they named “point du Mardi Gras”.  Over the years, New Orleans and other French settlements marked the holiday with lavish dinners, masked balls and street parties until the Spanish took control of New Orleans and banned these rituals.  In 1812, Louisiana became a state, and the bans were lifted.  The 1st recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade was held in 1837 and 20 years later, in 1857, a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and floats organized by a secret society of New Orlean businessman set the tone for the annual public celebration.  Louisiana is the only state where Mardi (French for Tuesday) Gras (French for Fat) is a legal holiday.  Along with new Orleans, Brazil and Venice, Italy hold some of the most famous public festivals.  In Italy, tourists come from all over to Venice’s Carnival that dates back to the 13th Century and is known for its masquerade balls.  In Brazil, the weeklong festival Carnivale is held with a blend of European, African, and Native American tradition.

On Wednesday, February 14th we will have our traditional Ash Wednesday Mass at 12:00 Noon.  This marks the 1st day of Lent and 46 days before Easter Sunday.  It is a day of prayer, fasting and repentance.  In the Roman Catholic Church, on this first day of Lent, ashes will be placed on the heads of the faithful as a sign of penitence and mortality. 

On Saturday, February 17th we honor The Seven Servites who formed their Order on August 15, 1233.  The seven wealthy businessman from Florence joined together to give up pleasures of the world they knew to devote themselves to God through particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They decided to live away from Florence during the time that the city was torn with political strife and filled with immorality.  When they were founded in 1233, they took the Gospel to the streets, preaching, hearing confessions, and ministering to the lost.  As the Servites worked to establish their ministry, they depended on the charity of others to continue their work.   They obeyed the dictates of the Bishop of Florence and for the next seven years they fasted and prayed while not allowing new recruits to their group.  In 1240, the Bishop of Florence insisted they welcome others who wished to follow their simple life.   The Bishop gave them rules for their order, they were to adopt the black habit of Augustinian monks and were to live in the tradition as mendicant friars.  They became known as The Servants of Mary, under the title Mother of Sorrows (Madonna Addolorata) because they meditated on the Passion of Jesus and the sorrows in the life of the mother of Jesus.  The members adopted her virtues of hospitality and compassion and took a form more like that of mendicant friars who rely on God’s providence and the faithful’s generosity, than that of the older monastic orders who withdraw from society.  So many men wanted to join, new groups were set up in neighboring Tuscan cities.  In 1250, the seven founders built their grand church the Mother Church of the Servite Order, the Santissima Annunziata in Florence.  The Servite Order continued to attract men and women devoted to the Blessed Virgin for the education of children and the care of the poor and sick.  

In 1256, Pope Alexander IV favored a plan for all orders to follow the rules of St. Augustine but later issued a change for the Servite Order that would allow them to elect their own General, the highest superior of a religious institute under the authority of the Pope.  In the United States, Servite priests and brothers serve in Chicago where Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica is located in Denver, Portland Oregon and in Anaheim, California where a Servite High School is located.  There are also institutions and schools in Quebec, Canada, Servite College, in London, U.K., Our Lady’s Catholic High School, in Perth, Australia, Servite College, in St. Louis, Missouri, Seven Holy Founders Elementary School, and Marianum College in the Philippines.  There are Delegates in Australia and in Zululand South Africa with more than 880 Servite Priests and Brothers serving in 27 countries in Asia. Europe, and in South and North America.  The Servite religious family also consists of Friars, Contemplative Nuns, Congregations, of Active Sisters and groups of Lay People. The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order were:  Sts. Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Manettus, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostene, and Alexis who were canonized on 15, 1888, by Pope Leo XIII.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.