Fr. Daniel Gifford
Dear St. Louis Parishioners, Last month, we held our widow’s retreat and this Sunday’s
readings were a source of great consolation. During my opening reflection that day, I mentioned that we often forget or don’t think about the fact that another widow who shows up in the Gospels is none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and Mother of the Church (front cover). Of course, the Scriptures themselves don’t mention her as a widow, but it can be inferred by the absence of Joseph during Jesus’s adult years, first of all, and is confirmed by the consensus of oral tradition, which has always held that Joseph died sometime before His public ministry began. Just as the widow in this weekend’s Gospel is a model for us of giving everything, without reservation, and even from our poverty, so Mary was a simple and poor young girl who entrusted her whole life to the Lord. Her fiat (her yes to the Lord, in the person of the angel) is a model for us to follow. How many unanswered questions about what her life would look like, and what this unique mission would ask of her, might have been racing around her mind! Yet, with graceful and trusting obedience she placed her whole life at the service of the Lord. She finds her identity in belonging to Him, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” Then, she embraces her mission as she readily says yes to His will, “May it be done to me according to your word (fiat voluntas tua).” As I have begun to vary which door I stand at to greet people after Mass, I sometimes stand at that Northwest door, near her statue. While waiting to greet people, it brings me joy to see parishioners of all ages stopping to light a candle before the statue of our Blessed Mother. Whether we are stopping to light a candle or simply remembering her as we pass her on the way into or out of Church, may that image of her holding her Holy Child, be a reminder to us of the untold blessings the Lord has in store for us, when we entrust our whole lives to Him. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” So, remember, be a saint today! Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us!
“THAT’S A BINGO!”: I have to be honest. I never would have guessed how much fun it could be to be the caller in Bingo. I want to thank everyone who came out last Saturday for our fall fellowship event, the family fun night of dinner and bingo. Most especially, I want to thank Laury Mavity, Megan Evans, and Emily Moats for all of their efforts in the planning and coordination of the event. It was such a joy for all ages to have a turn to win, but even just to come together to a share a night of laughs and a little healthy competition.
SAINT MICHAEL STATUE: We had a new arrival at the parish this week. He is not in his place yet, because we need to get all of the right pieces in place before his grand debut, but you should see him in the sanctuary in the near future. Who is this new arrival of whom I speak? It’s not a new parishioner, but a new statue for the sanctuary. At the suggestion of some of our parishioners, we have purchased a beautiful new Saint Michael Statue, to serve as a visible sacramental while we pray the Prayer of Saint Michael at every Mass. You may recall that a few weeks ago, I mentioned that our diocese now has a “both/and” intention for this prayer, as we pray both for the ongoing purification of the Church and for her freedom in the midst of the ever persistent persecutions that continue to threaten religious liberty, in our increasingly secular and relativistic culture. This new addition to our sanctuary is a part of a slight rearranging of a few of our images. The desire has been frequently expressed through the years to see the Saint Louis statue, which has simply been sitting on the floor in the corner of the sanctuary, elevated to a more prominent position. Thus, upon the completion of matching stands for both statues, Michael and Louis will be placed on either side of the back wall of the sanctuary. At the same time, the altar rail gates will be relocated to the altar rail, closer to their original location (not as a closed gate, but in a fixed position, where they will be clearly visible, as you walk down the center aisle).
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!