Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Happy 236th Birthday USA!

Enjoy the 4th of July USA Birthday. Many will have family picnics, parades and fun. Others will go the shore. Our parish will begin the day celebrating Mass at 9:00 AM.
Since it promises to be a hot day, as well as a "day off" I may just read a book in the coolness of air conditioning. Archbishop Chaput has written a book very relevant to the 4th of July: "Render Unto Caesar" on the role of the Christian in political life. Archbishop Chaput just returned from Rome where he received the pallium, a stole which is made as a wide collar and is given to Archbishops. It is made from lambs' wool.
At a recent meeting of Philadelphia's archbishop and his auxiliary bishops with many of the priests, a non-Catholic worker in the meeting space asked a priest "Who are those men with the hats?" The priest replied, "They are the successors of the Apostles." The man seemed to understand well the responsible charge the bishops carry out. As a successor to the Aposltes. each bishop fills that role, to teach, to lead, and to sanctify the people of God. That's an awesome task! Yet the Lord promised them and us, that He would be with us until the end of time.
Returning to the theme of July 4th, I thank God for the freedom we have in these United States to worship God and to proclaim the gospel. On the ma facing Independence Hall there are granite signs which spell out the Bill of Rights. At the recent Freedom Rally I was struck that the First Amendment sign was next to the crowd that gathered to declare our right to worship and to serve all people as an expression of our religion.
Here it is:

Monday, July 02, 2012

For the Fourth of July

Our weekend finishing out the month of June and starting July took place in the oldest section of Philadelphia, just steps away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We held a book and media display at Philadelphia's oldest Catholic Church, Old St. Joseph's. The Jesuit Fathers founded the parish in 1733 and still carry out their ministry in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Church volunteers generously serve the poor a meal every Saturday morning. St. Joseph's provides abundant spiritual nourishment and material food to those in need. It was a pleasure to be there. We had a tent set up (it could also be called a canopy) in the courtyard of the Church off Willing's Alley. Divine Providence provided a well functioning air conditioning in the church so folks who saw items outside could comfortably browse through them again inside. Our thanks goes out to Father Ruff and the Jesuit Community, and to the laymen who helped set up. A gracious couple helped to dismantle our display and load our van. Such people truly serve as "angels" especially in the excessive heat of this summer.

 Pray for the 24 young women of high school and college age who are spending this week at our Novitiate House in Boston. The young women will conclude their "live-in experience" by witnessing the perpetual profession of vows of Sister Marlyn at her home parish in Boston.

As we prepare for the 4th of July, we thank God for the freedoms, especially the freedom to worship, which we enjoy in the USA.
Here are inside and outside glimpses of our Pauline Books and  Media display at Old St. Joseph's:

We brought along additional lighting since the church is very old. The balloons all popped in the heat.