News from San Antonio Church – January 21, 2024

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Weekly Bulletin January 21, 2024

by Terrie Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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