News from San Antonio Church – October 9, 2022

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Weekly Bulletin October 9, 2022

by Terrie Evans

San Antonio Church welcomes everyone to our Annual Spaghetti Dinner that dating back to 1936 when the choir stepped forward to start a fundraiser that would help raise funds for the church.  There are family members from every generation who have dutifully served over the last 86 years and the next group of volunteers who are present on this Sunday are the descendants from those original families.  All the parishioners from San Antonio Church appreciate our patrons who have supported this event and we thank all those dedicated workers, bakers, and cooks who made this day a success.  Buon Appetito to all!

On October 9th, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. John Henry Newman (1801-1890) St. Denis who died (258AD), and St. John Leonardi (1541-1609). St. John Henry Newman was born in England and was ordained an Anglican Priest in 1825 and soon was dissatisfied with the Anglican Church and their policies.  In 1832 while on a Mediterranean tour, visited Rome and met with Nicholas Wiseman, a Catholic Priest and started to read the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo about the Church Fathers.  By 1842, he was living a Monastic life and by 1845 was received into the Catholic Church by Dominic Barberi from the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ.  St. John Henry Newman journeyed from England to Rome in 1846 where he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Giacomo Filippo Fransoni with Pope Pius IX then awarding him a Doctor of Divinity Degree.  He went on to establish Catholic Universities and in 1879 was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII, suffered from ill health in 1886 and died in 1890 in Birmingham, England.  Pope John Paul II declared him Venerable in 1991 with Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in 2010 after two miracles were attributed to him.  The first was declared from his intercession in 2001 and the second in 2018 with St. John Henry Newman Canonized in 2019 by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. 

St. Denis was the Bishop of Parsi in the 3rd Century during the persecutions and was killed along with his companions Rusticus and Eleutherius in 258 AD.  St. Denis and six Missionaries were sent by Pope Fabian to convert people back to their Christian Faith.  With the help of St. Genevieve, St. Denis along with Clergymen Priest Rusticus and Deacon Eleutherius were very successful and the pagan priests became jealous and wary of the group and wanted them arrested.  After being imprisoned, St. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius were slain on the highest hill in Paris, Montmatre.  They were buried in the Basilica of St. Denis started in 475 A.D. by St. Genevieve and the people of Paris.  The Basilica would later become the burial place of the Kings of France.  

The 3rd Saint to honor on this Sunday is St. John Leonardi (1541-1609), a Roman Catholic Priest and founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca.  At the age of 17, he began his studies to become a pharmacist when he became certified at 27.  Soon after, he felt God was calling him to the priesthood and soon he was studying toward his goal and was ordained on December 22, 1572, at the age of 31.  He dedicated himself to adolescents at his Parish in Lucca and went on to organize a group of laymen to work with him in prisons and hospitals.  He would continue his work in Rome where he met St. Philip Neri who became his Spiritual Director and good friend.  St. John Leonardi was then given the task of reforming the Monks of Vallombrosa and the Benedictine Congregation of Montevergine. 

In 1603 he founded the seminary of the Propagation of the Faith for the training of Missionary Priests.  He died in 1609 after contracting influenza after assisting victims of a deadly plague in Rome.  His relics are interred under the altar in the Church of Santa Maria in Campitelli in Rome.   St. John Leonardi was Beatified by Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1861 and Canonized in 1938 at Saint Peters Basilica.   He is considered the patron saint of Pharmacists and Clerics regular of the Mother of God of Lucca.

Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day, the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World.  He was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451 and when he was 41 years old was asked by Queen Isabella of Spain to discover a new route to China and the East Indies.  On August 3, 1492, Columbus along with 90 men sailed on the flagship Santa Maria along with two other ships, the Nina and Pinta.  He landed in the New World in the Bahamas two months later, October 12, 1492.  Over the years, Italian Americans have continued to celebrate this discover with Columbus Day Parades, Dances, Festivals and Educational Programs.  The month of October is considered Italian Heritage Month because of the efforts of Christopher Columbus.

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