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Catholic Hall of Fame

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Over the past months, we have been doing reflections on the readings of the day. I found that when it was my turn to write, the day frequently fell on the feast day of a Saint. I always tried to include something about that Saint before getting into the reading or the reflection. I have to admit, I enjoyed finding out about each Saint. Their stories are rich in faith and inspiration. Often the story includes a change of heart and/or direction that changes ordinary sinners into extraordinary servants of God.

We are blessed to have so many Saints represented in the stained glass windows surrounding our church. We don’t worship saints - we admire them for their witness and virtue. It’s like our Catholic Hall of Fame. We keep pictures of our family members - even some who are no longer with us. We have images of saints to remind us of their testimony as to how Jesus Christ changed their lives.

People receiving the sacrament of Confirmation are still asked to adopt a new name, usually a saint or biblical character. It gives them another patron saint as protector and also a guide. We don’t pray to the saints but we can ask the saints to pray with us and for us. We might ask our fellow Christians to pray with/for us. Why not ask those Christians already in heaven?

Saints are amazing examples of God’s ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Saints are living examples of how God’s love and grace are available to all who are willing to accept it. We are all called to be saints, and we have hundreds of examples to show us the way.

Patron Saints

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This spring, when our three children, who are students at St. Dominic Catholic School, were thrown into home/virtual schooling, their teachers and Mrs. Fischer tried to keep their day as normal as possible. They helped parents by providing direction for the regular academic material, but also with how to begin their day with prayer. After they listened to the daily school announcements, they listened to the Gospel and some reflection questions. Students were then instructed to pray, ending their prayer by asking for the intercession of St. Dominic.

Each classroom adopts a saint for the year to use as their intercessor. When we began school at home, we included St. Dominic, St. Francis, St. Patrick, and St. Pope John Paul II in our prayers. Our middle son, a 2nd grader, asked me if I a had a patron saint for my office. I said I didn't.

That afternoon, I shared his comments with my office mate, Mary Lestina. She thought it was a great idea. After much research and  deliberation, we settled on Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin. Not only were they the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, they are also the patron saints of marriage and parenting. There could be no better saints to grace the office of the pastoral associate and child minister! We celebrated their feast day on July 12 by offering packaged snacks to our co-workers.

There is a patron or intercessory saint for just about everything, from professions to activities, travel and pets. Consider what is important to you or your family and do a little research. You may be surprised at what you find!

I Will Give You Rest

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"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The past few months have been difficult for all of us due to the Coronavirus. Trying to balance working from home, homeschooling our children, and social isolation has left us exhausted; a tiredness that sleep alone cannot solve. I was blindsided a different way during this virus. In November, my wife and I learned we were pregnant with our second child. On March 13, at a routine ultrasound, we learned that our unborn son had a terminal genetic disorder known as Trisomy-18.  We were told to prepare that our son would not live long (minutes at best) and that chances were high he would pass away before birth.

On June 9th at 5:00 AM, Eli John was born. After an immediate emergency baptism, he went to be with all the angels and saints in heaven.

While this is a very fresh wound for me, I find comfort in today’s Gospel reading. Suffering, pain, and death are part of the human experience.  Sometimes we fall into thinking that if we believe in God we will not have to suffer. However, God does not promise that. Even Jesus suffered and died. HE promises us rest: that if we place our trust in Him, that we will find true peace amidst the turbulence in our lives. Therefore, our suffering becomes a prayer. I know there are many of us who feel over-burdened with life right now. I know that if we trust Christ with our brokenness, that He will give us peace.

God Bless,

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