theROCK

Patron Saints

main image

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

main image

"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,
~Andrew

Never Alone

main image

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself….But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost…I will not fear, for you are ever
with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.
~ Thomas Merton

In this time of feeling so alone and disconnected, we have to remember that we are never alone. Never, ever. God is always with us. Jesus and His Blessed Mother know our sorrows and our pain. They also know our joys and happiness. Truly, humanly, know it. They join us in it. Don’t forget to include them in the course of your day in big and little ways. Start and end your day in prayer. Share what you need help with. Lifting your voice to them in frustration is a prayer. Lifting your voice to them in sadness is a prayer. Lifting your voice to them in joy is a prayer. Help me, God. God, give me strength. Thank you, God. You are awesome, God. While short, these are all ways to include God in your day to lighten the load.

12345678