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October 1, 2017

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JMJ

Today, Sunday, is the memorial of one of the more popular saints of our time, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and also by her nickname, “The Little Flower”. How many of you grew up with that classic little plaster statue of St. Thérèse in her Carmelite habit, holding her cross and a bouquet of roses? And how many of you have ever received a rose from the little Saint? Did you know that she said she would do that after she died and went to heaven? She promised to spend her time in heaven doing good on earth. She died young, in relative obscurity, behind the walls of her convent at age 24. She suffered from tuberculosis and for the last years of her life she was not only in great physical pain but also in spiritual pain. She endured what has been called “the dark night of the soul”, when the Lord removed all consolation from her life. She nevertheless persevered in her love for God and her prayers for mankind.

St. Thérèse had a particular concern and love for the priests and priesthood. I even read that she would have been a priest if it had been allowed. But she prayed for priests, especially the missionaries. It was her personal desire to be a missionary in Vietnam which was a French colony at that time. Not able to do that, she became a missionary from behind the convent walls, especially from her deathbed. At some point in time her superior told her to write down her thoughts and prayers, which she did. After her death those writings were published and quickly became a worldwide bestseller. It’s called The Story of a Soul and it depicts her “Little Way” of holiness. So profound were her thoughts that she has been declared a Doctor of the Church.

Now I’ve never had a devotion to St. Thérèse, but I’d like to have one. If she has been praying for me, then I guess it’s the least I could do; and I told her that it would be nice if she sent me one of her roses as a little sign that she’s heard my request.

The other person I’d like to recognize today is Fr. Patrick O’Kelly. He died on this date (9/8) in 1858 at Sacred Heart Church in Dearborn where he was the pastor. Prior to that he was an associate of the proto-priest of Detroit, Fr. GABRIEL RICHARD. He was sent out from Detroit to the west, including Ann Arbor and Green Oak Township and beyond, to say Masses in people’s homes and to establish faith communities. He was the founder of St. Patrick’s Church in Brighton, and we are a product of that legacy here at Holy Spirit.

I’d like to eventually honor him, along with a few other Michigan saints, with a statue for our Trinity Trail prayer path. It would however, have to be custom made as there are no statues of him available. All we have is just this one picture.

 

Addenda:

It’s been a while since we’ve done a blessing of the animals, but this Wednesday is the feast of St. Francis who was a lover of nature and animals, and so next Saturday morning at about 10:45am we will meet in the woods at his statue on our Trinity Trail to bless our critters. Dogs on a leash please, and cats in a carrier.

Our St. Vincent DePaul chapter is having their monthly meeting on October 11th, and I will be attending to bless them in the renewal of their mission. Remember, they are looking for some new members to assist them in their very important work. Please pray to St. Vincent for some guidance. Fr. J

 

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