News from San Antonio Church – November 12, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin November 12, 2023

by Terrie Evans


We welcome everyone to San Antonio Church on this 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.  This week we celebrate Francis Xavier Cabrini on Monday, November 13th.  Her life and work were much like that of our beloved Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God.  Maria Francesca Cabrini was born in Italy and journeyed to the United States to aid the Italian Immigrant Population along with six other Sacred Heart Sisters.  She first went to see the Pope for his approval to establish missions in China.  Pope Leo XIII told her “go to the U.S.  my child, there is much work awaiting you there”.   For 28 years she traveled throughout the U.S. establishing 4 hospitals along with 50 orphanages, convents, and schools.  Just as Sr. Blandina did, Francis Xavier Cabrini organized catechism and education classes for those newly arrived Italian Immigrants while caring for the needs of the many orphans under her care.  She founded the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum in West Park, New York later named Saint Cabrini Home and established Columbus Hospital in Chicago in the heart of the city’s Italian neighborhood.  She went on to found 67 missionary institutions that served the sick and poor before government agencies were developed.  They were in New York, Illinois, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver and Golden Colorado, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, countries in Latin America and Europe.  There are also 30 churches dedicated to her with 2 in Ohio (Conneaut and Lorain).  She died on December 22, 1917, from complications of malaria in Chicago and after her death, her convent room at Columbus Hospital in the Lincoln Park neighborhood became a popular destination for those seeking personal healing and spiritual comfort.  Nine years after her passing in 1926, the Missionary Sisters achieved her goal of becoming missionaries in China.  She was beatified on November 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI and was Canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 7, 1946.  Pope Pius XII named Frances Xavier Cabrini the Patron Saint of immigrant in 1950 for her work. The Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Samuel Stritch commissioned a large National Shrine in her honor within the hospital complex after her canonization with the dedication taking place in 1955.  Mother Cabrini was the 1st American citizen to become a Saint. 

On Tuesday, November 14th we will have our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for our “Lunch on the House” meal.  A complete turkey dinner with all the sides and deserts will be served starting at 11:30 AM everyone is welcome. 

On Wednesday, November 15th we honor St. Albert the Great (1206-1200) who joined the Dominican Order when he was a student at the University of Padua.  While at the University he received instruction on the writings of Aristotle while developing a scientist’s natural curiosity and respect for methodical thinking.  He studied the heavens and the earth making observations for astronomers, biologists, botanists, and geologists. He was a student who learned Greek and Arabic and taught Theology to Thomas Aquinas.  Albert molded the curriculum for all Dominican students while introducing Aristotle to the classroom.  Albert died on November 15, 1280, at the Dominican Convent in Cologne Germany and was beatified in 1622.  In 1931 Pope Pius XI canonized him making St. Albert the Great a Doctor of the Church and the Patron saint of Natural Scientists in 1941.  In Santa Paula, California Albertus Magnus Science Hall at Thomas Aquinas College is named after him, and the Academy for Science and Design located in New Hampshire named one of its four houses Magnus House.  There are numerous Catholic elementary and secondary schools named after him located in Toronto, Calgary, Cologne and in Dayton, Ohio.  His Major Shrine is in St. Andrew’s Church in Cologne. 

On Thursday, November 16th we celebrate two saints, St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Gertrude the great.  St. Margaret of Scotland was an English Princess and Scottish Queen who was married to Malcolm III of Scotland in 1070.  She was known for her charitable works serving the orphans and the poor in the early morning hours before she took a meal.  She invited the Benedictine Order to find a Monastery in Dunfermline, Fife in 1072.  To assist those pilgrims journeying from south of the Firth of Forth to St. Andrews in Fife, she established ferries at Queensferry and North Berwick.  Margaret lost her husband and son in the Battle of Alnwick in 1093 and suffering from severe grief, died 3 days later.  She was remembered for interceded for the release of fellow English exiles who had been forced into serfdom by the Norman conquest of England.  St, Margaret was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1250 for her personal holiness, fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church, her work for ecclesiastical reform and her charity.  One of the oldest churches dedicated to St. Margaret in St. Margarets Chapel in Edinburg Castle in Scotland that was founded by her son King David I.  We also celebrate St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) who was an early devotee to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  As a young child Gertrude studied not only Scripture but also the Church Fathers.  She was seen as a Mystic and Visionary who wrote prolifically while spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart.  Her feast day was declared in 1677 although she has not been formally canonized.  There is the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Idaho and at present is the home to a community of 50 professed Benedictine Nuns.  She was declared Patroness of the West Indies due to a petition from King Philip IV of Spain and in New Mexico, the town Santa Gertrudis de lo de Mora was built in her honor.  The parishes dedicated to St. Gertrude are located in Washington, Missouri, Cincinnati, Ohio, Kingsville, Texas, Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, Franklin Park, Illinois; Vandergriff, Pennsylvania and in Chicago, Illinois. 

On November 17th we honor the feast day of Elizabeth of Hungary, a princess in the Kingdom of Hungary known as Elisabeth of Thuringia.  Her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Anglican Communion, Lutheran and Episcopal Churches.  She married Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia in 1221 and became the symbol for Christian charity until her death at the age of 24.  Elizabeth became dedicated to the Franciscan Friars after they arrived in 1223 and followed the life and times of Francis of Assisi.  Because of the support she gave the Friars, St. Francis of Assisi would send her a personal message for all her kindness.  With the death of her husband, Louis from the plague after joining Emperor Frederick II’s Crusade, she felt her life was over.  Elizabeth said, “The world and all that was joyful in the world is now dead to me”.  Following her husbands, she made solemn vows similar to those of a nun and became a member of the Third Order of the Franciscans adopting their religious habit to start her new way of life.  She built a hospital in Marburg to care for the poor and sick where she and her companions cared for them.  Elizabeth died in 1232 the age of 24 with her las words “O, Mary come to help me.”  Elizabeth of Hungary was Canonized on May 27, 1235, by Pope Gregory IX in Perugia, Italy with Major Shrines located in Slovakia and Marburg, Germany.   She is remembered in the Church of England with a Festival on November 18th and in the Episcopal Church on November 19th.  On the 700th Anniversary of her death in 1932, Hungary issued a set of four stamps in her honor.  In 1938, Czechoslovakia issued a stamp with the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Kosice where in 2019 she would be declared the patron Saint.  In 2007, the City of Marburg declared the year Elizabeth Year to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of her birth on July 7th.  The events and festival commemorated her life and works with pilgrims journeying from all over the world with many attending the special service held at the St. Elizabeth Church.  Many of the Third Order of St. Francis, friars, and sisters from the Third Order Regular along with the Secular Franciscan Order joined in the celebration.  There were two programs that studied her life conducted throughout the Order that was held across the globe as many held religious ceremonies to mark this milestone event.  She is considered the Patron Saint of young brides. 

On Saturday, November 18th we have the liturgical feast day of the Dedication of the Basilicas of the Apostles Peter and Paul which were bult during the 4th Century by Emperor Constantine the Great.  St. Peter’s Basilica and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls were on the sites that had been visited by pilgrims for many centuries where the apostles were believed to be buried.  When the Basilicas were built, they were joined by a colonnade even though there was a several mile distance between them.  In the Catholic Church, it was an obligation on Catholic Bishops to make a Quinquennial visit ad limina a requirement that they are required to go “To the tombs of the Apostles” in Rome every 5 years to report on status of their Diocese or Prelatures.  This requirement was established in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V in his Papal Bull with the rules for these visits.  In 1909, Pope Pius X set out another decree stating that a Bishop would need to report to the Pope on the state of his diocese once every five years, with this taking effect in 1911.  On Saturday, November 18th we also have the feast of Rose Philippine Duchesne, a French religious sister and educator, the only fully canonized female Roman Catholic saint to share a feast day with the Dedication of Saints Peter and Paul.  In 1788, she entered the Visitation of Holy Mary religious Order until revolutionaries closed the Monastery in 1792 during the French Revolutions Reign of Terror.  It was not until 1801 when the Catholic Church was allowed to operate openly in France under Napoleon tried to re-establish the Visitation Monastery.  Despite all her work trying to restore the monastery, the living conditions were served and only three companions were left.  In northern France, Madeline Sophie Barat founded the new Society of the Sacred Heart and invited Rose to merge the Visitation Community as both had a similar religious mission to educate young women.  In 1815, Rose Philippine Duchesne would go on to establish a Convent of the Sacred Heart in Paris where she became the Mistress of Novices and also opened a school.  In 1817, the Bishop of Louisiana traveled to Paris seeking a congregation of educators to evangelize the Indian and French children in his diocese.  In 1818, she journeyed to the United States on a voyage that took 10 weeks to arrive in New Orleans.  On her arrival, the Archbishop had no plans for the 5 sisters so, they made plans to travel on to St. Louis, Missouri.  She was an early member of the Society of the Sacred Heart establishing the congregations first communities in the United States along with Madeline Sophie Barat.  She taught and served people in the Midwestern region and also educated Indigenous American survivors during the time of the United States Indian removal programs.  She died on November 18, 1852, at the age of 83 in St. Charles, Missouri where she did most of her work.  Beatified on May 12, 1940, in Vatican City by Pope Pius XII and Canonized on July 3, 1988, in Vatican City by Pope John Paul.

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