Fr. Daniel Gifford
OUR PATRON IN OUR MIDST
Friends, let me tell you a funny story. While with our High School Youth Ministry group at our summer mission trip (Alive in You), we were given a free day to go out into the city of St. Louis for some touring, exploring and recreating. This added a whole dimension to the "St. Louis takes on St. Louis" aspect of our adventure. Naturally, we had to take part of the time to visit the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. We let the group loose for a while, so that each person could have a short time of pilgrimage, going prayerfully through that vast sacred space, wherever the Spirit led them. Before leaving, I asked a very friendly and helpful tour guide if he could let us behind a felt rope, so that we could take a group picture with a statue of Saint Louis, explaining that we were from Saint Louis Parish. He obliged us and gave us some little nuggets of history about the beautiful church along the way, before finally taking the picture for us. Now, this statue was in a very narrow hallway and I was concerned about how difficult it would be to get
everyone in the picture. When he asked me to check for approval, I was relieved to see that this lofty task was accomplished, so we thanked him and got on our way. Only later, upon looking more closely at the picture, after we had left the basilica, did I realize that there was one important person missing from the picture: Saint Louis! The statue of our patron, which was the only reason that we chose that narrow hallway in the first place, was not visible in the picture, save for his feet and part of his legs. I was left saying to myself, “Oh, well. Saint Louis was there with us. You just can’t see him.” Strikingly, this is always the case. Our patron is always with us, ceaselessly interceding before the Father for us. As you look at the front cover, you will see the Saint Louis statue in our sanctuary, which was newly elevated almost a year ago, surrounded by a collage of pictures from recent memory. These include many graced moments, in which our patron was interceding for us, even if we didn’t see him or recognize his presence. We look back gratefully on this summer, thankful to our patron for his intercession and mostly to Almighty God. At the same time, as we celebrate our Feast Day with our Activities Fair, we prepare to open a new chapter. This new season we are beginning will indeed be filled with many more graced moments, in which we can look forward to the intercession of our patron. At the same time, as you have heard me say, I am also striving for greater simplicity, rather than an overwhelming multitude of options and events. So, I am happy to present a short list of events through the rest of 2019, to which we can all look forward.
· Volunteer Appreciation Dinner - Sunday, September 29th at 4 pm. All the good work that is done here at our parish wouldn’t be possible without countless parishioners, like yourselves, giving of time, talent, and treasure to help support our events, our programs and even funeral luncheons. Unfortunately, it has been a few years since we have had an appreciation dinner for our volunteers. I am grateful for the assistance of Parish Council, in helping me get this on the schedule, to show my gratitude to you all in a concrete and intentional way.
· Saint Louis Live! - Thursday, October 3rd at 6:30 pm. This event was a big hit last year and we are thrilled to be able to bring it back again this year. This enjoyable talk show provides a relaxed evening, with laughter, joy, and encouragement, as we listen to the testimonies of a few of our parishioners, in the format of a late night talk show. I hope you can join us and bring a friend. This sort of event is a great opportunity to invite outside guests!
· Parish Day of Recollection - Saturday, October 19th. We had a great turnout two years ago, for our Day of Recollection, as well as for last year’s Spiritual Formation opportunity (the Lenten Series, offered on Tuesday nights). I am happy to announce that we will be hosting Dr. Lawrence Feingold this year, for a Day of Recollection. His spiritual and theological wisdom, which has afforded him the opportunity to share his story on EWTN and other media outlets, promises to provide encouragement and inspiration, as we all strive together to grow in greater spiritual depth.
· Fun and Fellowship - Second Sunday Children’s Mass & Stay and Play (2nd Sunday of every month) and Parish Family Bingo Night (Date TBA). Lastly, it is good to come together periodically as a Parish Family for moments of simple fun and fellowship. This has been the idea behind our monthly Stay and Play, after the 10:30 Children’s Mass on the Second Sunday, as well as our efforts to have a quarterly fun and fellowship event for the whole parish family. Last fall, I learned how much fun it can be to be the caller in BINGO, so I am looking forward to it again. I hope you can join us for our next Bingo Night.
Look forward to more information about these graced moments, as they draw nearer.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!