Father’s Column – February 3, 2019

Posted on February 3, 2019 View all news

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

I want to thank everyone who assisted with, or venerated the relic of St. John Vianney. Being able to host the uncorrupted heart of St. John Vianney was a tremendous honor and one of the highlights during my time as a pastor. 

I have had the privilege of visiting Ars, the town where St. John Vianney was the pastor for over 40 years, twice. I have been able to venerate his heart now three times. I also have been able to use his chalice twice. I said Mass not only at the altar where his body rests but also on an altar dedicated to Our Lady that he commissioned and had built. St. John Vianney is a true model of the Lord, as the Good Shepherd. 

St. John Vianney was much like St. Philip Neri, as I preached in my sermon. There is a connection to their love of the confessional, their zeal for souls, and even how they approached their parishioners. May we pray that all priests, especially during this challenging time for the priesthood, have the same hearts as St. John Vianney and St. Philip Neri. Leading to an authentic renewal not just of the priesthood, but of the Church and culture!

Thank you again to all who helped volunteer and also came to pray before St. John Vianney’s heart!

One thing I would like to address this week is the speed of prayers and responses. Sometimes people like to pray fast; sometimes people like to pray slow, other times people like to pray at a pace in between. However, it sounds terrible when everyone tries to pray at their own pace at the same time. This occurs during the rosary, in our responses at Mass, and in our prayers after Mass. This discord does not best represent in the physical world, the unity that the Church is called. Our Lord prayed, in John 17, that His apostles be one. We should also pray for daily for the unity of the Church. But we also must strive to act united, even in simple things such as our speeds during common prayer.

Imagine going to a place where nothing seemed to flow well, and people were speaking over each other, not paying attention to what others were doing. What would we think of such a place? We would assume that they didn’t take what they were doing seriously and that they didn’t care.

I know that this is not how any of us approach Mass or prayer, but this is the impression we could give to guests. It is the impression we could give to people who aren’t Catholic but want to see what we do. Even small matters like these are expressions of who we are and could have a profound impact on someone. Possibly bringing them, or deterring them, from the faith.

I present this to you to pray over and to consider. May we strive to always enhance our prayer, first and foremost by praying with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. And demonstrating that oneness in and through our actions in our common prayer. Have a blessed week ahead!