News from San Antonio Church – November 19, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin November 19, 2023

by Terrie Evans

 On this 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, our Church community thanks all those dedicated volunteer workers who prepared a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner on Tuesday, November 14th, to serve all those very appreciative guests in our Hall.  This annual event is a prelude to our own holiday dinners that we cook and serve for our own families.  The “Lunch on the House”, kitchen crew looks forward to the opportunity to cook a meal every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.  Also, thank you to all the servers and extra kitchen help who were there for the many hours needed to get this special meal ready. 

On Tuesday, November 21st, we celebrate the Liturgical Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary.  This feast is centered around the event when Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne brought Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem to give thanks for the gift of their daughter and to consecrate her to God.  The feast originated after the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary the New that was built in 543 near the site of the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this feast is celebrated as The Entry of The Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple and on this day, women named Mary (In Greek, Mapia) celebrate their name day.  On this day in the Roman Catholic Church, “We celebrate that dedication of herself which Mary made to God from her very childhood under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who filled her with grace.” Pope Paul VI wrote in 1974 in his encyclical: “Despite its apocryphal content, it presents lofty and exemplary values and carries on the venerable traditions having their origins in the Eastern Churches.”  St Peters Basilica is home to the Presentation Chapel (Cappella della Presentazione) and in Marshfield, Missouri the Presentation of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Monastery was established before the nuns moved to the Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete in Weatherby, Missouri.  In 1775 the Presentation Sisters founded a religious institute for Roman Catholic women in Cork, Ireland and in France, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary founded the order to the education of youth in 1796.  The Sisters of Mary of the Presentation was founded in Brons, France in 1828.  It founded schools and hospitals in North America, Europe, and Africa.                                       

On Wednesday, November 22nd, we celebrate the feast of St. Cecilia also known as Cecilia of Rome who is venerated in the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and in some Lutheran Churches.  She is a Roman Virgin Martyr who was a noble lady of Rome.  In the 3rd Century, the Santa Cecilia Church in Trastevere, Italy was founded by Pope Urban I on the site of the home where she lived and died.  Her feast day has been celebrated since the 4th Century with musical concerts and festivals held with St. Cecilia symbolizing the central role of music in the liturgy and is sometimes depicted playing the viola or other musical instruments as the patron saint of musicians and poets.   The name Cecilia is from Cecyliada the name of the festival of the sacred, choral, and contemporary music festival held in Poland since 1994.  A convent of Cistercian nuns in Trastevere dedicated to St. Cecilia shear lambs for the wool to be woven into palliums for the new metropolitan Archbishops.  The Trappists of the Abbey Tre Fontaine raise the lambs which are blessed every January 21st on the Feast of St. Agnes.  On the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Palia will be then given to the new metropolitan Archbishops by the Pope.  St. Cecilia’s Major Shrine is located in Trastevere in Rome and there are churches in Nebraska, Texas, New York, Germany, Malta, Italy and in Canada dedicated to her.  On Thursday, our San Antonio Church families celebrate Thanksgiving and the feast days of St. Clement I, St. Columban and Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro.  

On November 23rd, we honor the life of St. Clement of Rome, born in c.35 AD and died in 99AD at the age of 64, a Pope(88AD-99AD) of the Catholic Church after in the late part of the 1st Century.    He is commemorated as a pope and Martyr in the Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran, Orthodox, Syrian and the Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches and one of the few Roman Popes who have a Russian Orthodox Church in his honor.   In the year 95, St. Clement wrote Old Testament Stories on the evils of jealousy when he said, “Peace must be the aim of all of us who follow Jesus.  We should be obedient unto God, rather than those who in arrogance and unruliness have set themselves up as leaders in abominable jealousy, for Christ is with them that are lowly of mind, not with them that exalt themselves over the flock.” He is the patron saint of Mariners with the St. Clement’s Cross which refers to the way he was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.  

Also, on November 23rd we honor St. Columban Abbot (543-615) born in Ireland, 100 hundred years after St. Patrick brought the Catholic Faith to the southeast coast of his country.  He studied Scripture in what is today, Northern Ireland and went on to the monastery in Bangor where he became a Monk.  St. Columban embraced a life of prayer and study and after his ordination, spent the next 30 years at the Monastery.  He was granted permission by Abbot Comgall to set sail for France with 12 other monks to change the course of pagan practices that were becoming common in Europe.  St. Columban was able to convert King Gontrand who then would gift him an ancient Roman fortress that helped them establish a monastery in Switzerland and in Germany where they founded a school.  He was seen as a holy man with miracles attributed to him during his life and many after his death. Monasteries he founded would expand to over 200 new foundations with St. Columban remembered for his zeal, his monastic life, and his pastoral guide on the celebration of the Sacrament of Confession.  Prayer to St. Columban: “God called you at a young age to enter monastic life so as to form you into a holy man of God. He later called you forth to preach, administer the Sacraments, found new communities, teach, and influence the Church throughout Europe.  Please pray for me, that I will first cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the conversion of my own soul so that God can use me for His greater glory and the salvation of souls.  Saint Columban, pray for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.  Amen.”

On November 23rd we honor the legend of Miguel Pro (1891-1927) a Mexican Jesuit Priest who was arrested and executed without a trial under the direction of President Plutarco Elias Calles on November 23, 1927, at the age of 36.  Jose Ramon Miguel Agustin was born into a mining family the 3rd of 11 children who entered the Jesuit community on August 15, 1911.  He became noted for his speaking on spiritual subjects and his charitable works while devoting many hours to prayer.  After his ordination, on August 31, 1925, his 1st assignment was to work with the miners in Belgium preaching the Gospel to them.  In 1926 after studying in Rome he traveled to the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes where he celebrated Mass before returning to Mexico.  At that time, a law (Calles Law) was put into effect punishing priests who criticized the government or wore clerical garb outside of their churches. The law went into effect on July 31, 1926, with churches being closed and the execution of many priests.  When he returned to his home country of Mexico, Miguel Pro was forced to go underground to celebrate the Eucharist and to minister the other Sacraments to very small groups of Catholics.  In October 1926, he was arrested, released, and put on surveillance until his execution in 1927. The cause for his canonization began on January 11, 1952, as a Servant of God with his Beatification held at St. Peter’s Square by John Paul II on September 25, 1988.  Pope John Paul stated: “Neither suffering nor serious illness, nor the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away.  Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrifice surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.” 

On Friday, November 24th the Catholic Church honors the memory of Andrew Dung-Lac (1795-1839) a Vietnamese Roman Catholic Priest martyred during the reign of Minh Mang.  He was a convert to Catholicism and took the name Andrew at his Baptism and went on to become a priest on March 15, 1823, at the age of 28.  He became a missionary and through his efforts, many Vietnamese families would hear the message of the Gospel.  He was one of the 117 people martyred in Vietnam during the years 1820-1839.  St. Andrew Dung-Lac was Beatified on November 1, 1900, and Canonized on June 19, 1988, by Pope John Paul.  In Lansing, Michigan the Parish of St. Andrew Dung-Lac is dedicated to him. 

On Saturday, November 25th we celebrate the life of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr and one of the 14 Holy Helpers who are called upon when special intentions and is invoked against a sudden death.  She was seen as one of the most important saints in the religious culture of the late Middle Ages and one of the most popular early Christian Martyrs of the 4th Century.  A vision of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus persuades her to become a Christian.  Devotion to St. Catherine has many pilgrims travelling to her Monastery established in the 6th Century near the burning bush seen by Moses hoping to receive healing from St. Catherine.  She was Martyred around 305 for not giving up her beliefs and in some areas of France, her feast day is a Holy Day of Obligation.  St. Catherine’s College in Cambridge was founded on St. Catherine’s Day on November 25, 1473.  In 1905, St. Catherine University in St. Paul Minnesota was founded by the Sisters of St. Jospeh of Carondelet and in Oak Lawn, Illinois, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, and School is named in her honor.  She is the Patron of unmarried girls and in France, unwed women at the age of 25 were called Catherinittes.  A movie was released in 2014 about St. Catherine of Alexandria called Decline of an Empire.

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