Fr. Daniel Gifford
THE EYES OF A CHILD
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Let me share with you a definite highlight of the week for me so far. You may recall I
mentioned a while back clearing out some excess kneelers from the chapel. Well, one of them ended up in the gathering area used for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This week was the second week back in session for CGS. I often will try to be around when the children arrive and/or depart, so I can have the chance to greet them and their parents. It brought me great joy to round the corner to the gathering area and find a big group of our children either plopped down on the carpet or sitting at the tables, busy at various puzzles and games, and to see one of them kneeling at the kneeler in front of the statue of Our Blessed Mother, taking a moment of prayer, even while his friends around him were occupied in playtime. When I mentioned it to the catechists, they indicated they had already seen that a few times before (in week two!). I think we found the right home for that kneeler. Oh, to see what a child sees! If only we could see, not only the world, but also our faith, through the eyes of a child, I believe it would change a great deal about how we interact with both. I have said before that Catechesis of the Good Shepherd seems to have a unique way of helping children tap into their own interior life, which is very real and very beautiful, in order to begin to develop their relationship with the Lord more deeply.
This is one reason I see it as fitting that the two atria (rooms used as environments for CGS) have as their patron two children whose eyes were given the opportunity to see amazing things, namely the two canonized children of Fatima, Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto (front cover). These two poor shepherd children, along with their cousin Lucia, were the visionaries when Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. She appeared in that same spot on the 13th of the month for six months straight. On the 13th of October, 101 years ago this weekend, her appearance brought with it the great Miracle of the Sun, in which a large crowd of witnesses, including secular reporters and skeptics, saw an extraordinary event, as the sun began to “dance,” appeared to careen toward the earth, and even emitted a vast array of colors. Just think what amazing things we would see if we learned to approach the Lord as children. Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, pray for us!
HOSPITALITY REMINDER: As we prepare to gather after the 10:30 Mass for our first Second Sunday Stay and Play, I want to offer a gentle reminder about the call to Hospitality. If this ideal is to be realized, it needs to be something of which all of our parish family takes ownership. May we remember that it is simply a part of freely choosing to belong to the Family of the Lord to be attentive to those around us, looking for opportunities to meet our brothers and sisters, to welcome them, to laugh with them and learn about them, to give the Holy Spirit opportunities to perhaps show us how we can support them, etc. As we celebrate Respect Life Month, let’s ask the Lord to show us the unique dignity of every soul that crosses our path!
LIFE CHAIN: Speaking of Respect Life Month,
last Sunday, we didn’t have the most ideal weather for our Life Chain (the annual quiet, prayerful and peaceful witness to life, which takes place at Veteran’s Park). But, this did not stop many members of our parish family from showing up and offering that simple, yet beautiful witness. I want to extend a sincere thank you to all who participated.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!