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Showing posts from May, 2013

"I love the sisters..."

This weekend we had the joy of attending the first Mass of Father Raymond Buehler.  The most beautiful thing about the Mass was not the music, nor the church, nor the vestments, but rather the love for God and His people that Father Buehler demonstrated throughout the Mass, especially in the offering of the Eucharistic prayer. In his closing remarks, Father Buehler included a special thank you to the religious sisters that accompanied him with prayers and support through his time at the seminary.  He recounted a visit he made with a fellow seminarian to the convent.  After the visit, his friend made the observation, “I love the sisters.  They make me want to be a priest.”  I think we were all humbled by that compliment. However, I am not surprised by it, because this is the reality of the Mystical Body of Christ.  My “yes” to God through my vocational response is not just between “me and God” as people so often like to believe.  My “yes” (and my “no’s”) affect others’ respo

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

            This morning, the usually quiet and empty church basement was a sea of bouncing, happy first communicants dressed in white dresses of satin, veils of chiffon and tulle, and blue silk ties and white shirts.  It was the day after their first Holy Communion and the parish celebration of May Crowning.  It also happened to be Mother’s Day and the feast of the Ascension.             After calling for attention, I gave the usual announcements about procession and going to communion. (Followed by the usual chorus of “I don’t get it.”  They didn’t, by the way.  We had a wayward flock of 5 children in the wrong bench!)  Then, as they were lining up, we gave each child a flower for Mary.  “What is this for?” “Do we get to keep it?“  Obviously, I hadn’t done a great job of explaining the traditions surrounding Catholic’s honor of Mary during the month of May.             Why do we honor Mary as Queen of the May?  Why do we place flowers at her grottos and crown statues of Mary wi

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Last Saturday, we had a special guest at St. Francis Convent: Justin Cardinal Rigali, cardinal emeritus of Philadelphia, and a long-time friend of our community.  Cardinal Rigali was invited to speak to the Sisters about his memories of the Second Vatican Council and memories of the work he did for Pope Paul VI as his English-language interpreter, as well as collaborations with other popes.  This was a perfect theme during this Year of Faith! His Eminence shared many stories that showed the character of Pope Paul VI.  Among other virtues, one that stood out was his utter fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ and his humility in exercising the authority of the office entrusted to him.  During his talk, I was struck by the thought that we stand on the shoulders of giants.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we stand on a firm apostolic foundation, the one established by Christ!  Almost in confirmation of this idea, the next morning Cardinal Rigali reminded us of the impo