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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel Gifford


Dear St. Louis Parishioners,

In our Gospel, this weekend, we meet a scholar who is seeking to know the Lord’s ways and walk in them. Meanwhile, as we continue to explore our buildings and get to know the saints entrusted with praying for the success of the different work that takes place within them, we come to a saint who also was passionate about that search for knowledge of his ways. Saint Charles Borromeo (front cover) was one of the great teachers who was influential in what is known as the counter-reformation period of history. I highly recommend the episode about him on the series True Reformers, which can be found in the “Study” section of (which you can access through our parish website by clicking “Join Formed”). With the onset of the Protestant movement, the confusion within the Church regarding what is, in fact, the authentic teaching of Christ, entrusted to the Church to be handed down through the generations, increased drastically. It would be an oversimplification to attempt to attribute the Protestant movement to one factor alone. At that point in history, the culture in Europe, both within the Church and without, was a powderkeg just waiting for the right spark at the right time, which spark happened to be named Martin Luther. Borromeo was among those who understood that one of the factors contributing to that situation was the lack of understanding regarding what the Church actually teaches, including among many of those responsible for teaching it. This can be seen, for example, in the fact that the heresy Luther was originally turned off by had been clearly condemned by Holy Mother Church centuries prior, despite the fact that it was rampant in the monastery to which he belonged. Borromeo was instrumental in reforming the clergy, as well as the overall work of catechesis. This all makes him a fitting patron for catechists, as they prepare to effectively hand on the authentic teaching of the Gospel to believers of all ages. When the old front office of the school was first being set up as a preparatory workspace for our catechists, it soon took on the nickname “Charlie’s Place,” as it was entrusted to his patronage. Charlie’s Place has been the place where much of the planning and discernment has taken place for what we now refer to as “Family Discipleship.” Thanks to the hard work of our Director of Religious Education, Julia Mead, who is always prayerfully discerning where the Lord is leading and stretching herself to explore new approaches and possibilities, we just had another great family event last weekend. After getting the ball rolling with our Parish Picnic and the first Second Sunday Stay and Play (remember, the next one is coming up next weekend), we followed up last Saturday with Saints Alive. This campfire and dinner event featured great activities for the children, chances for the parents to connect over dinner, and engaging saint stories by firelight. As I floated around, it was awesome to see public school, Catholic school, and homeschool families, as well as those whose children who are not yet in any school, all coming together and connecting with each other in the common home of our parish family. This first event designed specifically for younger families with children of any age in the home gave us all a good glimpse of the good things to come, as well as a reminder of our shared call to holiness. So, remember, be a saint today! Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us!

PERSONAL THANK YOU: In the past several weeks, I have had many parishioners assure me of their prayers for my mother and ask how she is doing, after her name was put on the parish prayer chain. If you did not know, she has been in the midst of an ongoing struggle with cancer for the past few years and we found out in August that her cancer has returned. She is in the recovery phase from her surgery, which went more or less as well as can be expected. Please keep her in your prayers in the coming weeks and months as she continues her treatments. She is frequently reminded that when her son became a priest, she gained whole parishes full (her “spiritual grandchildren”) of prayer warriors supporting her. On behalf of both of us, thank you very much for all of your prayers and support.

BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE: As we are into November again already, I just want to remind you that you are welcome to write the names of any of your loved ones who have passed in the Book of Remembrance, which is in the front of the Church, by the altar rail. These intentions will be remembered in prayer at the altar at every Mass throughout the month of November. Let us remember this whole month, to pray for all of the poor souls in purgatory. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace.

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

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

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