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August 20, 2017

TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JMJ

This year, from May to October, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. The Blessed Mother asked the three shepherd children to always come on the 13th of the month where she would appear to them above a small oak tree at a place called the Cova da Iria, which they faithfully did. The August apparition, however, did not happen because the children had been thrown in jail. Publicity about their special encounter had grown, much to the consternation of the authorities. The government of Portugal was anti-church at the time, and arrested the children and tried to force them to recant their testimony. They did this with threats of boiling them in oil, but the children were courageous and steadfast in sticking to their story. Meanwhile, back at the Cova, The Lady made her presence known subtly to those who had gathered. No one could see her, but there were indicators that she was there. Several days later, on the 19th of the month, having been released from jail, the children did receive a belated visit from the Mother of God, along with a message for the world. And the message was that they should pray much and offer sacrifice for sinners. The children were very faithful to this request in that they said the rosary daily and offered various mortifications for the sinners of the world.

Little Jacinta, the youngest of the three, actually had to be advised to ease up and not afflict herself so much; so seriously she had taken the Mother’s admonition.

Aside from the messages of Fatima, the courage and determination of these three children should be a great inspiration to the rest of us. If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that the major concern of our day is to seek the path of least resistance, with the least amount of discomfort. This is all natural, of course, but we should be reminded that Jesus, and all who would be his disciples, are called to be “signs of contradiction” in the world. This means the daily “taking up the cross” that Jesus told us about. And this could be something as simple as saying a Hail Mary, or 50 of them, as in praying a rosary.

And so, this summer anniversary serves as a necessary reminder of what was asked of us believers 100 years ago by Mary, our sister, who became our mother.

~Fr. John

Addenda: 

Whew, we had quite a busy time around the Parish last week, and there’s still more to come as the summer winds down. We can look forward to the Labor Day weekend, the opening of the new school year, and our Parish Picnic on September 10th.

I still have some tickets for anybody who wants to go to the air show at Willow Run. It’s a three day event on Labor Day weekend, sponsored by the Yankee Air Museum, and it’s called Thunder Over Michigan. Thanks again to Tony Pequeño for his generosity in providing the tickets.

One of my practices when doing weddings is to take the first picture of the new bride and groom. This is parishioner Emma and her new husband Dominic, who were married at Old St. Patrick Church last Saturday.

And to the left are parishioners Rob and Jill and their children caught reading their bulletin in Poland.

And speaking of bulletins, some have accused me of “doctoring up” the picture of me reading the bulletin in last week’s edition. Well, (maybe) it was just one of those …..”coincidences”.  Fr. J

 

 

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