My dear people of St. Mary’s:
Last weekend many things happened at St. Mary’s parish! As you know, we have now introduced our new Lumen Christi missals and hymnals at both the church and the hall. These permanent volumes are not only beautifully produced, but they will also add a great deal to our worship here in our parish. As with anything new, there will always be a period of adjustment as we become familiary with them. Very soon, however, using these new missals will become second-nature to you. Each week in the bulletin we will publish the name of the Sunday being celebrated, along with the Yearly Cycle we are in, and the page number where you will find the readings. So, this Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year A, with the readings beginning in the new missal on p. 716.
We also launched FORMED, the digital platform for learning more about the Catholic Faith. This parish subscription is our gift to all our parishioners. All you need to do is go to www.formed.org, and register using your e-mail address and the St. Mary’s Parish code: CM9F26. Then you can begin using this great resource to watch Catholic films and documentaries, listen to great audio talks, learn more about Sacred Scripture, teach children about the faith through programs and cartoons for them, download ebooks to read, and much, much more. Remember, this is all at no cost to you!
I am also very grateful to Grand Knight Pat Smith, and all the members of the John W. MacKay Council of the Knights of Columbus for their generous donation of a new tree in front of the Church in memory of Tony Rotola. The Knights also gave a beautiful memorial stone to mark the tree, and we had a large crowd for the ceremony of blessing following the 9:00 am Mass last week. I am happy that Tony’s family, including his children and grandchildren, were able to attend, and I could think of no more fitting tribute for this wonderful man, who did so much for St. Mary’s over the years.
Finally, this past weekend also saw the beatification in Detroit of Blessed Solanus Casey. You may recall that I have preached to you about Fr. Solanus before. Bernard “Barney” Casey was born on Nov. 25, 1870, in Wisconsin, the sixth of sixteen children of Irish immigrant parents. At the age of 17 he left home to work at various jobs, including as a lumberjack, a hospital orderly, a streetcar conductor and a prison guard. After witnessing a murder in the street, he began to realize that God was calling him to a religious vocation. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans in Detroit and, after struggling through his studies, was ordained a priest in the year 1904. Early on he served in Capuchin friaries in Yonkers, Brooklyn and Harlem. For 21 years he was porter at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, and later lived in retirement at St. Felix Capuchin Novitiate in Huntington, Indiana. A man of great simplicity and holiness, wherever he served he was always highly sought-after because of the many physical healings attributed to his prayers, his blessings and his intercession. He died in Detroit on July 31, 1957, at the age of 87.
On Saturday, Nov. 18 Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, celebrated the Mass of Beatification of Fr. Solanus at Ford Field in Detroit, before a congregation in excess of 60,000 people. Cardinal Amato read in Latin the Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis bestowing on the Detroit Capuchin the title “Blessed Solanus”. Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron then read an English translation that the church decreed “that the venerable servant of God, Francis Solanus, known in the world as Bernard Casey … a humble and faithful disciple of Christ, tireless in serving the poor … henceforth be called by the name of Blessed.”
I would encourage you to learn more about this great new American Blessed. There is a wonderful film on the life of Blessed Solanus available for you on FORMED: Solanus Casey: Priest, Porter, Prophet. You may now pray to this new Blessed according to his own motto: “Let us thank God ahead of time.”