News from San Antonio Church – June 23, 2024

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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.”

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