Blessing of the Animals

09-29-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Every year around October 4th, many priests offer a blessing of animals for the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Last year, the date snuck up on me and I was not prepared to let you know about the blessing of the animals, so we tried an impromptu blessing for October 4th, which last year fell on a Thursday. This year, I remembered the feast day was approaching so I have been able to publicize the blessing of animals for this year. Unfortunately, even though October 4th falls on a Friday this year, the date will not work this year. I have another commitment on October 5th, the wedding of my niece and her fiancé in New Hampshire. So, I have decided that I will offer the blessing of animals on the following Saturday, October 12th, in front of St. Jerome Church at noon. The small crowd that came last year were very happy and some have approached me to ask if we would do it again this year.

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St. Pius of Pietrelcina

09-22-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is September 23rd, the feast day of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, more commonly called, Padre Pio. He is a most fascinating saint and a very powerful intercessor. Padre Pio was a Capuchin Franciscan and a spiritual director and confessor to many people. He also was given the gift of the stigmata, the wounds of Christ, which was a heavy cross for him as it was very painful. At the celebration of Mass, especially at consecration, the blood from the wounds of Christ would flow that he had to have his hands wrapped in bandages when saying Mass. One of his more famous sayings that all of us can benefit from is, "Pray, hope and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer."

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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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