Our Lady of Sorrows

09-15-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Traditionally, this feast, which goes back to the 1200's, was commemorated during Passion Week as well as, since Pope St. Pius X, on its current date, which is one day after the Triumph of the Cross. In 1969, Pope St. Paul VI removed the Passion Week celebration so that there would not be a duplicate feast. Pope Paul also made the Stabat Mater, the great hymn associated with the sorrows of Mary, as an option instead of keeping it obligatory. The Stabat Mater is also traditionally used during the Station of the Cross.

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The Nativity Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

09-08-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is the birthday of our Blessed Mother. Mary, of course, was conceived without Original Sin, the privilege given to her that we commemorate on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. That feast day is of greater importance, for two reasons. The first is that life begins at conception, so we do right by honoring Mary at the moment she was conceived in the womb of St. Anne. Second, she was conceived without sin, full of grace as the Sacred Scripture says and as we repeat in the recitation of the Hail Mary prayer.

But just as our Lord's humanity and divinity are veiled under the appearance of bread and wine, our humanity is veiled within the womb of our mother until she gives birth. We are no less human in the womb than outside of the womb, but birth is an unveiling of the great mystery and miracle of life that has occurred with the help of God through the procreative act. Other animals reproduce. Humans procreate. God has given us a body and a soul, and he fashions each one of us in the womb when we are conceived in the "marital act." Biology may say it takes the man and woman to bring forth new life, but we as Christians know that it is the man, the woman, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, that is present at the first moment of life in the womb.

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St. Michael

09-01-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Last week the Superior General of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits), Fr. Arturo Sosa, made some waves by saying that the devil does not exist as a person. His claim is that the devil is nothing but a symbolic reality. He says, "Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality, " Yet, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the existence of the devil as a personal reality and not merely as a symbol of evil is an article of faith. The devil, or Satan, (traditionally Lucifer) was an angelic being who rejected God's plan for creation and rebelled. Satan took with him countless other angels, and they have been cast out of heaven and God's presence for eternity.

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Feasts this Week: St. Monica, St. Augustine, St. John the Baptist

08-25-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This week we celebrate three interesting feast days; St. Monica; her son St. Augustine; and the death of St. John the Baptist. St. Monica is a saint for today. She prayed for over thirty years that her son, St. Augustine, would become a Christian. She persevered even when it seemed hopeless and that God was not answering her prayers. Her love for her son and her countless prayers did indeed help St. Augustine to become not only a Christian but also the bishop of Hippo and a doctor and saint of the Catholic Church. St. Augustine's famous quote is, "Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you." After fathering a child and living with his concubine and being unchaste in other ways, and finding nothing but unhappiness and so many other philosophies and religions, St. Augustine was baptized to his mother's great joy. He was helped in his conversion by the great St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.

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RCIA

08-11-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has recovered the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). The RCIA program is meant to help those who have not been baptized and are seeking baptism to learn about the Catholic faith through catechesis and through the liturgy. After many months of preparation, the catechumen (an unbaptized person seeking baptism) travels to the Cathedral for the Rite of Enrollment. At this moment, the catechumen is moving forward with the various prayers and rites, usually coinciding with the Lenten season, so that at the Easter Vigil the catechumen will be baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Communion in the midst of the assembly of believers, the local parish church. Last year, St. Katharine Drexel had one catechumen at the Easter Vigil. Let us pray that this year we may have some more catechumens. If you are not baptized or if you know someone who is not baptized and has expressed an interest in the Catholic faith, please contact the office for more information.

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The Transfiguration

08-04-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

August has arrived. This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. Jesus brought Peter, James and John up to the top of Mount Tabor and while there he was transfigured in front of them. It was Jesus' way to prepare them for the upcoming passion that the Apostles would witness, to give them strength to know that this was all part of God's plan. Of course Peter, James and John were not aware of why the Transfiguration happened, at least not until the Resurrection. It is the Transfiguration that also helps us as followers of Christ to know that what we suffer here on earth is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in heaven.

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