• Fr. Daniel Gifford

Companions Beneath the Cross

Updated: Mar 9, 2018

We entered the desert with the promise that we would not be alone. Christ is with us.


He is with us beneath our cross. Have you ever considered the profound mutuality in the Fifth Station of the Cross (bulletin cover)? Simon was pulled from the crowd to help carry a cross that was not yet his own. Yet, the weight of the cross is the weight of the sins of the world and the cost of our salvation. In a certain sense, that cross is more Simon’s than it is Christ’s. Christ has taken upon His own shoulders the burden we could never carry on our own, the weight of our sins and the cost of our salvation. Perhaps it is Christ helping Simon carry his cross, rather than the other way around. Yet, perhaps we don’t even need to go on so far as to question who is helping who, but simply to pause for a moment to consider the mystery of two men together beneath the heavy cross. Beneath the cross, we are not alone. God Himself is with us beneath our heavy crosses. Almsgiving, in its many forms, is a matter of helping others to carry their own heavy cross. And yet, perhaps, it is beneath that cross we find ourselves face to face with Christ. “Whatever you did for one of these least brethren of mine, you did for me” (Mt. 25:31-46). It seems fitting to have this station to reflect upon as we begin getting the word out about the formation that is currently underway of the Parish Companions. This is an apostolate which simply seeks to be a comforting presence to those who are homebound or in our nursing homes. The physical and mental challenges that often come with aging, often compounded by loneliness, can be a heavy cross to bear. Currently, we seek to meet our brothers and sisters along this way of the cross through our Tuesday nursing home Masses, weekly visits by our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and periodic additional priestly visits. However, there is an opportunity to do so much more. I would request the prayerful support of the whole parish for this important endeavor and anyone who might be interested in being involved directly should either contact Sister Anne Germaine or Irene Milligan or consult the notice found elsewhere in this bulletin. What a beautiful way to encounter Christ beneath His cross!


ATTENTION YOUNG ADULTS: You may have heard me announce last weekend that we are going to begin what we hope to be a new monthly event for our young adults (ages 18-30). It will be called “Spiritually Thirsty Thursdays,” thus making our time of thirsting with Christ in the desert season of Lent the perfect time to kick it off. It will be as simple as meeting in the Church at 7 PM for a Holy Hour, followed by food and fellowship downtown. “My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life; when can I enter and see the face of God?”


ATTENTION PARISH FAMILY: There is no better time to gather as a whole parish family for a grand celebration than the climax of the whole Church Year, when we celebrate Our Lord’s Resurrection in the Easter Octave. This is why we are planning a family celebration for Divine Mercy Sunday (The Second Sunday of Easter, April 8th, 4:00-6:30

PM). This is meant to be a celebration for the whole parish family, including opportunities for younger children, adults of all ages, and everything in between. Please mark your calendars to join us for food, fun, fellowship and an Easter Egg Hunt. If you are interested in helping, please contact Rachel Bystry (rachelbystry@yahoo.com).


In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!


P.S. Next weekend a second collection will be taken after all the Masses to benefit The Catholic Relief Services. As stated by Bishop Jenky in a letter regarding this collection, “The Catholic Relief Collection is one of the most important ways the Catholic community in the United States responds to the needs of those who are suffering, poor and vulnerable around the world.” [A link to the complete letter can be found on our website.] And as, unexpectedly, we did not receive our “Rice Bowls” this year, which benefits The Catholic Relief Service, this collection is a great opportunity to support

the “Rice Bowl” cause. Thank you in advance for your generosity!