Fr. Daniel Gifford
Feed My Sheep
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Saint Peter was made new by the Resurrection. The same man who formerly gave into fear and denied Christ is now given a mission: to feed and tend the sheep in the Lord’s flock. Fittingly, this will be the final encounter with the Risen Christ that we will read in our Sunday Gospel, before we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday next weekend. You can read below about how that weekend will be special for us. Essentially, this celebration of the fact that Our Lord identifies Himself as our Good Shepherd has an additional level of meaning for parishes who are blessed to be able to offer Catechesis of the Good shepherd to their children. Where the children come in and gather together, they can enjoy an image of the Good Shepherd (front cover) in the form of a quality photograph of an ancient statue that was found in the catacombs in Rome, which is featured in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. This image of the Good Shepherd would have been a powerful symbol to the early Christians, especially as they gathered to pray for their fallen brethren. This image of Christ, as our Good Shepherd, symbolizes how He calls us by name, feeds us, cares for us, guards us against the wolves that threaten us and ultimately leads us home to the Father. This image of hope would have brought comfort to those who mourned, as they honored the martyrs in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If Christ seeks us out when we are lost in our sin, even leaving behind the ninety-nine to do so, in order to bring us home to the Father, how much more hope we can have for the salvation of those who shed their blood for Christ and for His Gospel! At times, we feel lost like that one sheep, for whom the Good Shepherd abandons the ninety-nine. Yet, we should consider that the one who Christ appointed to care for His sheep in His name was previously lost in his own sin, as he adamantly denied knowing Our Lord in His darkest hour. The hope we have in Christ is truly without end. What a great gift we have to celebrate!
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY: How fortunate we are that Good Shepherd Sunday (next weekend) falls on the Second Sunday of the month, in this first year of beginning the custom of making the Second Sunday of every month a special time for our younger families! We are going to make the 10:30 Mass especially significant in a couple of ways. We will celebrate our Parish May Crowning at that Mass. Afterward, we will have a very special Stay and Play, which will both honor our First Communion children, as well as serve as an open house for the children to take their parents into the atrium and show them around. Other parishioners are most welcome to come inside and tour the atrium as well.
THE SISTERS OF MARY OF THE PRESENTATION: Last weekend, I had the unfortunate task of passing on the sad news of Sister Anne Germaine’s departure from Princeton at the end of May. This is indeed truly sad for us all on a deeply personal level, as she has been a light of the peace and love of Christ to so many over her eleven years with us in Princeton. But, it is additionally sad and significant in light of the larger contribution of the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation to our parish in general for the past 55 years! Their work in the surrounding area with St. Margaret’s Hospital, our own parish school, and other important apostolates has been such an important instrument in the hand of the Lord which will leave a lasting impact on many souls and communities. This closing of a chapter in both our history and theirs is significant indeed. We will always remember their contributions with great fondness and gratitude and we will continue to remember them in our prayers.
THANK YOU: That bit of sad news wasn't the only landmark of last Sunday. We also had a glorious Parish Family Easter Celebration in the afternoon! I want to thank everyone who helped to make it so successful. Carrie Jaeger coordinated the activities in the gym, while Cathy Trowbridge led our devotions in the Church, Susanna Prushinski arranged our meal in the hall, Caylee Kennedy oversaw the Easter Egg Hunt and all were assisted by the leadership of Julia Mead. And of course, each of them recruited a number of volunteers, both youth and adult, to help make everything happen so smoothly. Thanks to all who pitched in, as well as all who came to join in the festivities! What a wonderful witness of the Body of Christ alive and well! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!