During October, we celebrate two saints near and dear to the people of our parish, the sisters, and the Oratory. The two saints are the Little Flower, St. Therese (October 3), and St. John Henry Newman (October 9). St. Therese has been a popular saint effectively since her death in 1897. It is not uncommon to find a statue of her in many Catholic Churches around the world. She is so well-beloved because of her little way and the simplicity in which she exercised the spiritual life. That simplicity, however, was at the same time so deep and expansive that she is also the patron of the missions. This is in spite of the fact that the entirety of her religious life was spent behind the cloister of the Carmelite Order. We so often want to make the Faith and the spiritual life so difficult that St. Therese should be a model for each of us on how to love God in simplicity. On October 3, the First Sunday of October, please be sure to pray especially for our sisters and Carmelites around the world. Masses on this Sunday will be that of St. Therese, per permission from the Archbishop.
On October 9, we celebrate the Feast of St. John Henry Newman. St. John Henry Newman, just across the English Channel from St. Therese, died only seven years before her in 1890. A convert to the Faith, when anti-Catholic tension in England was high, he was willing to give up everything to embrace the Apostolic Faith. A profound intellectual, his writings, and sermons have helped inspire many to a deeper knowledge of the Faith. He was the founder of the first English-speaking Oratory when he established a house in Birmingham, England. Though very different from St. Philip, the founder of the Oratory in the sixteenth century, St. John Henry Newman found in St. Philip a spiritual model that helped him to live our his new Catholic Faith, priesthood, and the community that came to the Faith with him. There will be a Solemn Mass on Saturday, October 9 at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate this Feast. There will be a small social afterward.
The following week, on Saturday, October 16, we will have our annual Holy Name Men’s Eucharistic Procession. I am encouraging all men of both Old St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart to attend. The Procession will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Cathedral and proceed through the streets of downtown and Over-the-Rhine. We will conclude at Old St. Mary’s around 11:00 a.m. with Benediction. This is an important witness, and processions are needed now more than ever with the situation in our Church and our County. So please make time to come to this important event.
I wish you all a blessed month ahead!