Thursday, October 31, 2013

1998-2003 - St Stanisluas Kostka, Pleasant Valley, NY

Celebrating Mass at Christmas 2001 at Pleasant Valley, NY

These were 5 glorious years I spent in Dutchess County in Upstate New York, in a parish founded by the Jesuits, and therefore dedicated to the novice St Stanislaus Kostka, a Polish Jesuit seminarian. We renovated the sanctuary of the church between 1999 and 2000, and I was very active here with children and youth, the home-bound, celebration of the sacraments and everything else that came along. Together with Fr Charles Quinn we served the parishioners well, and they responded generously in donating for the renovation which changed completely the sanctuary, dominated by a large crucifix and simple sacred furniture.
A Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony for children
A small Nursery school gave me the opportunity to connect with young children and their parents. Two large nearby hospitals kept me busy with visits and anointings too. When I arrived in Pleasant Valley from Long Island, someone asked me what kind of car I had, and when I told them that my current car was a Geo Metro, they insisted that I get a new stronger car, because their lawn-mowers were more powerful than my Geo, which had only three cylinders, while a lawn-mower has 4. Within a few days I got a Honda CR-V, which served me well for over 100,00 miles and 10 years.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1996-1998 - Holy Family, Hicksville, NY

Holy Family parish in Hicksville, NY
For more than two years in the mid 1990s I was in another big parish with a large school, under the pastorate of Msgr Edward Donnelly, a kind and compassionate Pastor who was beloved by everyone. Again I spent a lot of time in our school, visiting classes and mingling with children and also planning many activities and Masses for them. The school children presented a musical every year, which was regarded as a highlight of the calendar year with lots of auditions, rehearsals and few sold-out rehearsals. 
A beautifully-decorated Holy Family church at Easter

The church itself itself was built in an L-shape way, the addition added years after the small original church was built, mainly to accommodate the larger influx of parishioners. But what the church lacked in aesthetics, it made up with decorations, thanks to the input of another Associate Pastor who was there with me at that time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

1991-1996 - St Anthony - Rocky Point NY

Christmas Mass at Rocky Point

My second parish on Long Island was St Anthony of Padua in Rocky Point, where I spent 5 productive and learning working in every imaginable aspect of parish life. From lively Children's Masses, which included Gospel puppet shows to Marriage Encounter, from a very active Catholic Youth Organization to prayer meetings at the beach, from pre-Cana classes to a friendship with the founding pastor Msgr Vincent Margiotta who was in his 90s during my stay there. 
First Holy Communion in 1994

I worked well with the pastor Fr Joseph Coshignano and two hard-working Dominican sisters, one of whom coordinated the Religious Ed program and the other the social ministry. The well-known St Patrick's Day Parade was also an annual highlight for the entire parish, as was the active participation of the Folk Group, choir and the Christmas pageant which I coordinated as well as the weekly Holy Hour.

Monday, October 28, 2013

1981-1991 - Holy Spirit, New Hyde Park, NY

Holy Spirit church, New Hyde Park, New York, decorated for Christmas

My first ten years in New York were truly memorable, mostly because everything was so new to me and I was welcomed like an extra-terrestrial from a different planet. I was the first foreign/missionary priest to serve in that parish and believe it or not I was the sixth priest in that parish when I arrived. Soon we went down to 5, then 4 and we were three for most of my years there. Under the guidance of my dear friend Fr John Heinlein, I integrated quickly and well into the life of the parish. Since I did not drive, I was on my bike for two and a half years, until I got my license in February 1984, and then came my my Toyota Tercel, my first car. The church itself was in the shape of an Auditorium with beautiful stained glass windows on both sides, displaying symbols of the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The large Catholic school was a blessing to me as I spent a lot of time mingling, visiting and teaching the children, and I can still remember each child's name, as I'm trying to do in my new parish in Bend.

6 priests and 13 nuns, a well-staffed parish indeed!
The parish also had a convent with 13 Dominican Sisters, most of whom are now enjoying eternal rest, but most of them were active at school, homebound ministry and other duties. They were all extremely gracious to my parents when they visited on a few occasions. Among the many great memories from that parish are the banners I made, Retreats with the Youth Club, starting donating blood, Easter sunrise Mass, going to Lake Placid and Saranac on a few trips, bike trips to Montauk Point, Children's Masses, visiting families and so much more.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1977-1981 St Julian's Parish Church

St Julian's parish church in the late 1970s
This coming week, until I take some photos of my new churches here in Bend, I will be reviewing the 7 parishes I served in since my Ordination in 1977. The first parish was my own hometown parish of St Julian's, dedicated to St Julian, my patron saint. It was the same parish where my parents grew up, were married and where we were all baptized, raised, served as altar-boys and so it was fitting that my bishop would assign me to my hometown church, which had been recently built, to accommodate the larger number of parishioners. The fishing village where I grew up was growing steadily and the smaller parish church known as the Lapsi (Ascension) church was becoming too small for the many residents that were moving in new areas like the Gardens, Ta' Giorni, Swieqi, etc. So between 1962 and 1968, a new modern church was built and opened between 1968 and 1969 with limited use at first, until all decorations, furniture and liturgical needs were in place. The picture above shows the church as it was during the 4 years I served there, working with the youth, altar-servers, visiting the homebound, celebrating the sacraments, daily Masses and so much more that a a young active parish demanded, serving under my second cousin Fr John Galea, pastor at that time. 
St Julian's parish church in 2010, decorated for Easter
The second photo shows the new color scheme that was introduced when Pope John Paul II visited the church in 1990 during his week-long visit, enthusiastically received. The color scheme was designed by local artist Richard England which appeared very strange at first, but as time went by, it was accepted and eventually kept as normal. The predominant art was done by Marco Cremona, son of the famed Emvin, and included the Risen Christ above the main altar, as well as the Stations of the Cross.
(Tomorrow 1981-1991 - Holy Spirit New Hyde Park)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love - Variation on a theme

(This is a variation of the famous Chapter 13 of St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians)
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its proper place, but have not Love,

I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing and interior decorating, but have not Love, my children will learn of cleanliness - not Godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search for a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at tiny fingerprints on a newly-cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes away the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves and is responsive.
Love crawls with the baby, walks the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart.
Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God’s perfection in my child.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is LOVE.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ABCs of Christian behavior

Act instead of argue.
Build instead of brag
Climb instead of criticize.
Donate instead of depreciate.
Encourage instead of envy.
Fight instead of faint.
Give instead of grumble.
Help instead of harm.

Invite instead of ignore.
Join instead of jeer.
Kneel instead of kick.
Love instead of label.
Move instead of malign.
Nurture instead of neglect.
Obey instead of object.
Pray instead of punish.
Qualify instead of quit.
Rescue instead of ridicule.

Soar instead of shrink.
 Try instead of tremble.
Uplift instead of undermine.
Value instead of vilify.
Witness instead of worry.
eXemplify instead of excuse.
Yield instead of yell.
Zip instead of zigzag.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Churches and Children

Yesterday for the first time 15 years I celebrated a school Mass in my new parish in Bend, and I was a delighted and honored sharing reflections with young children and their teachers as well as some parents who attended. It was a beautiful celebration, during which the new school officers were also installed, from Kindergarten to 8th Grade - they all felt so proud of their new role. However, for any child, a church is a very mysterious place. The inside of a Church or a house of worship must be the most confusing place ever for a child. There’s water that you can’t play in, books without pictures, and mysterious doors that no one ever opens. You’re never allowed to see what’s behind you, and the only thing you can play with is your tongue, and that’s punishable by severe pinching.
One of the problems is we never tell our children what services are all about. All they’re told is to be quiet and not talk for an hour. They have no idea what we’re doing. One day a mother dragged her 6 year old to Confession on a Saturday afternoon. Every time she inched towards the closed closet door, the boy would start to say something, and his mother would clap her hand over his mouth. When it was her turn, he said “ I don't have to go to the bathroom. I went before I left home,” and bolted towards the parking lot.
Then there’s the plight of the 4-year old who was in Church on Sunday when the wine and the hosts were being brought up for the Offertory, his mother leaned over and told him that he was not old enough to comprehend the mystery of transubstantiation, and that he was too young to receive Communion. Soon afterwards, the ushers were taking up the collection, and as the collection plate stopped dead in front of him, his mother leaned over and tried to coax the nickel out of his clenched fist. He held firm and shouted, “If I can’t eat, I won’t pay !”

Adults become different people in Church. A few years ago a young boy served his first Mass as an altar-boy. He knew he was supposed to ring the bell at a certain time in the Mass, but he wasn’t sure when, so he rang them every time he passed them. The Priest told his parents afterwards, “I felt like serving Mass with Quasimodo.“ One other boy was so anxious to ring the bells that he grabbed them as soon as the Mass started and would not let go of them, as he was so nervous that another server would ring them instead.
Church for a child is a place where they sing songs one never hears on the radio, where the Priests wear vestments one never finds in the Sears or Macy’s catalog, and where you have to wait half an hour to shake hands with the people next to you. Church is lips that sing “Love the little children” at the same time eyes are saying, “You will never have another Oreo cookie for as long as you live.” Church is where everyone talks about joy and happiness, but when someone rings the bells at the wrong time, we’re afraid to laugh.

One final story about a young boy in a former parish of mine who frequently misbehaved at church. One day his mother was so embarrassed that she decided to walk out of the church in the middle of the homily. And as she marched down the aisle, her head bowed down, the boy yelled loud and clear....”Please, pray for me!” Everybody chuckled as they knew what was going to happen to him. He actually grew up to be a fine young man, even making it to the Minor League in Baseball.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tomorrow I continue....

Hello friends,
After an overwhelming week settling in my new parish, I have finally connected myself to the Internet in my room and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to continue my regular daily posts. It has been an astonishingly busy week, as you can imagine when moving into a very busy and active parish like St Francis of Assisi in Bend. With various Masses to celebrate, and thrown among them a wedding and a funeral, a school Mass, plus meetings, hospital visits, contacts and trying to connect names and faces, it has truly been a non-stop week, as hectic as any week I can ever remember. But after almost a week here, I have made a lot of progress with parish work, especially of the administrative and organizational type, while also putting a lot of emphasis on the pastoral aspect of the parish, which will be my utmost priority. So stay tuned for the regular posts with pictures, reflections and other interesting tomorrow I continue......

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Please be patient

Hello my dear friends, just bear with me as I try to adjust to my new parish, hectic work, demanding schedule and, besides trying to open about 80 boxes and sort some things out. I still have no computer in the rectory, and the office computer is totally new and hostile to me, since there is a lot of security in this place, and just to get to a basic document, you need a few passwords. So, please be patient for a few more days, and I will be back on track as soon as I can. Saturday I have a big wedding in the historic church, and the weather could not be nicer to the lucky bride and groom. To say that I'm overwhelmed is an understatement, but everything is going well, and I cannot be happier.

Wishing all the best, and just keep me in your prayer as you are all in mine. Good luck also to the Cathedral parish and all the parishioners there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My last 8 years in Baker City - part 2

With Bishop Liam Cary, Christmas Day 2012
My last post from Baker City - tomorrow I will leave early in the morning heading west, 230 miles away to my new parish of St Francis of Assisi in Bend. Continuing the memories I shared with you yesterday, here are a few more photos from the past glorious 8 years here at the Cathedral parish.

June 17, 2007 - the Wall comes down, starting our renovation
Some of my converts - RCIA class of 2007
June 26, 2012 - donating my 100th pint of blood
After my last Mass at St Therese Mission in Halfway, Oct 13, 2013
After shooting a gun and riding a horse, my 3rd wish - milking a cow!
The barefoot shepherd visits the Cathedral nativity
Last picture with my dedicated Staff October 15, 2013 - Thank You!
I will not be able to place any posts tomorrow, but hopefully I will be back by Friday or Saturday. Thanks for the memories Baker City, Halfway, North Powder and Unity!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My last 8 years in Baker City - part 1

Arriving at the Cathedral parish in June 2005

These last two days in Baker City, I share with you just 12 memories of the many I take with me as I start my pastorate in Bend on Thursday. They are in no particular order, but they are a sample of so many recollections I have in serving here at the Cathedral of St Francis De Sales. Six more will appear tomorrow.
All Saints Parade in November 2008
Sept 5, 2006 - becoming a US citizen

Painting the baptismal font during the 2007 Cathedral renovation
The donkey procession on Palm Sunday 2009

Blessing of the Children's memorial 2010

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last Mass at the Cathedral

During my homily at my last Cathedral Mass in Baker City
Yesterday was an emotional day for me as I celebrated my last official Mass at the Cathedral, which has been my home for the past 8 years and 4 months. Since it was a Marian Day, proclaimed by Pope Francis, I used the white Marian vestment, and during the Mass I consecrated the parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Pope Francis did from the Vatican. A very nice crowd attended both the morning Mass, the Saturday evening Mass and my last Mass at my mission church in Halfway, and I hope to post some photos from there in my post tomorrow.

During the Eucharistic Prayer, with Deacon Jim Watt

I will of course return to the Cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass, a week before Holy Thursday, but it will certainly look different next time, since over the past 8 years I was always behind the scenes to make sure everything goes well and greet the bishops and priests to the Rectory and to the Cathedral, for the consecration of the sacred oils.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The new church in Bend

St Francis of Assisi new church in Bend, inside

This is the other Catholic church in the city of Bend, built in 2009, also dedicated to St Francis of Assisi. The historic church which I shared with you yesterday was becoming too small for the ever-growing population, and so Fr Joe Reinig spear-headed the campaign to build this new modern church. It is attached to the school and parish offices that were built around 15 years earlier. 
The outside of the new church in Bend

It is all new to me, as I've been there only once before, besides visiting the complex this past week, but I'm sure I'll discover every square inch within a few weeks. Contrary to what I'm used to in the Cathedral, it has just a few modern stained glass windows including one large one behind the main altar.

The new church, schools and offices (click once to enlarge)
The last photo in this post shows a photo I took a few months ago up from a hill, and shows the whole complex connected together. But most importantly, it's the people who make up the church, and I am looking forward to working with them to continue the priceless work done by previous pastors.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bend's historic church

The historic church of St. Francis of Assisi, Bend, OREGON

This is a photo of one of my new churches in my parish in Bend. The first one is a historic church in downtown Bend, which also has the rectory next to it. I was told it was built at the same time as our Cathedral, a little over 100 years ago, but I will have to verify this. Daily Mass is said in this church, as well as funerals and weddings. Incidentally I have a wedding scheduled there next Saturday. Most of the weekend Masses are held in the new church, which I will share with you tomorrow, but there is an afternoon Sunday Mass in this historic church. 
 I will be able to take a few more photos myself over the next few weeks and share them with you, but at least you can get a glimpse of what it looks like inside, from a contributed photo.

Over the next week, my posts may be late or missing altogether, since I will be on the move, busy packing and eventually leaving Baker City for Bend this Thursday.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Prayer of St Francis

We are all familiar with the prayer "Make me an instrument of your Peace" attributed to Saint Francis. So I decided to add a few more phrase to this prayer:

Where there is disagreement, let me create consensus.
Where there is impatience, let me create tolerance.
Where there is egoism, let me show altruism.
Where there is indifference, let me show genuine interest.
Where there is division, let me bring unity and peace.
Where there is competition, let me create a sense of teamwork.
Where there is is cheating, let me create a spirit of honesty.
Where there is discouragement, let me create encouragement.
Where there is confusion, let me bring order.
Where there is struggle, let me add and instil perseverance.
Where there is loneliness, let me bring in companionship.
Where there is too much seriousness, let me bring in a sense of humor.
And where these is spiritual apathy, let me show commitment, prayerfullness and devotion.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Marian Prayer by St. Bernard

Of your Love, O Mary, O blessed Virgin,
did anyone ever invoke you in need and yet fail to receive help?
Only such a person could remain silent about your mercy.
As for us, who are your poor servants,
we congratulate ourselves for you on account of all your other virtues,
but we rejoice in your mercy in a special way for ourselves.
We praise your virginity, and we admire your humility;
but your mercy has an even sweeter taste for us sinners.
We have a preferential love for your mercy, we remember it more often,
and we invoke it more frequently.
Who then could measure, O blessed Lady,nthe length and breadth,
height and depth of your mercy?
Its length extends indeed until the last day,
so that you may come to the aid of all who invoke it.
Its breadth spans the whole world, so that the whole earth is full of your mercy.
Its height is such that it brought about the restoration of the heavenly city.
Its depth achieved the redemption of those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death.
Thanks to you, heaven has been populated, hell has been emptied,
the ruins of the heavenly Jerusalem have been rebuilt,
and the unfortunate people living in hope have been given back the life they had lost!
Thus it is that your charity, so powerful and at the same time so gentle,
pours forth in abundance, manifesting itself tenderly
and lending assistance effectively. Amen.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mission possible

A famous Jesuit writer, Fr. Waletr Burghardt once wrote "The church does not have missions - the church is on a mission." And it's a mission that is possible, if we all collaborate together to spread the message of the Gospel, to evangelize. The theme for this Sunday's World Mission Day is "do Good on Earth," and it is everyone's duty to do something small, however insignificant or unimportant, with a lot of love and compassion. As Blessed MothernTeresa once said "The ideal Christian does not do great things in life, but he/she does small, simple things with  a great heart. let us therefore do something beautiful for God and for others. Yes, our mission is possible.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Twin Trap

You may remember the Disney movie "The Parent Trap" with Hayley Mills where twins meet each other at summer camp and get reunited. Well a funny situation with twins took place this last weekend. They are parishioners of mine in Baker City, twins Roseanne and Anita, and even though one of them lives here and the other in Wyoming, they were together last weekend as Anita was to be a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding. She had just returned from a tip in Europe, and was suffering from a cold, and the wedding was outdoors, possibly in very cold and even snowy conditions, as Wyoming experienced an early blizzard over the weekend. Having to wear a very light dress like all bridesmaids do, the outlook did not look good for Anita. So the thought came to the twins to switch places. I don't know if it really happened, but their mom told me that it was a very clever and practical option, especially because the twins are very identical. After 8 years I still cannot tell them apart. Hopefully the bride and the groom didn't either, if the twins' plan worked out!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Transfer to Bend

Bishop Liam Cary has just appointed me as the new Pastor at St Francis of Assisi parish in Bend, Oregon. I will start my ministry there on Thursday October 17, having as an Associate with me Fr Joseph Thalissery, from India. I actually met him briefly yesterday when I dropped off some of my belongings, and found out that we were in neighboring parishes between 1988 and 1991, myself in New Hyde Park and himself in Floral Park, Long Island, New York.
My new parish actually has two churches, one of which is a historic church with the Rectory next to it, and was originally run by the Franciscan Capuchins, who left around 2007. The other church is a modern church built in 2008 and is adjacent to the parish offices as well as the school (K through 8th Grade) and where Faith Formation classes are held, which is equivalent to what is otherwise called CCD or Religious Education program for children and adults.
I kindly ask for your prayers as I move slowly over the next two weeks to this new area and join this parish community which now has two missionary priests guiding them, one from India and one from Malta. This is the nature of our church and our Baker Diocese is served mostly by missionary priests, from Mexico, Poland, Nigeria, Tanzania, Argentina, Sri Lanka, India, Malta and the rest are Americans.
(unfortunately I cannot add any photos between today and Friday)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

He's moving

We heard there is a move in the works...but where is he  going ? ...certainly not a horse's ride...stay tuned for more details.....
Posts over the next few weeks may not be posted daily...I apologize for the inconvenience of those who visit regularly, but hope to be back on track soon.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I complained.....until

I complained because my gloves were not thermo-insulated, until I met someone who had no hands.
I complained because my chicken was a little dry, until I met children who had nothing to eat for days.
I complained that my house had no air-conditioning, until I came across entire families who were homeless.
I complained because my Computer had 100 Gigabytes instead a Terabyte, until I met a news reporter who still writes his reports on a typewriter.
I complained that my Cable TV only receives 26 channels, until I visited someone whose contact with the outside world is a small transistor-radio.
I complained that my children had only 10 Computers in each class, until I saw other children in the third world whose classroom is a sandy beach, and whose blackboard and chalk is the sand and a stick.
I complained because my car is not 4 wheel-drive, until I thought of my parents who never had a car, and walked everywhere they went.
I complained that my contact lenses fell off my eyes, until I met a blind gentleman who has lived all his life in a world of darkness.

I complained that I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet.
I complained that I couldn’t receive my favorite FM Stations clearly, until I met a co-worker who is completely deaf.
I complained because we didn’t have rain in three weeks and the grass was getting dry, until I read how some people in the Sahara Desert have not seen water in months.

I complained, again and again. Yet I should be ever so thankful to God.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pope Francis on St Francis

St Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

We honor today St Francis of Assisi, the patron of nature, ecology and animals. He was a son of a cloth merchant but stripped naked in front of everyone, giving away all that he possessed and renouncing all that was promised to him, and started a new way of life, a life of poverty, eventually founding the Franciscan order.
In his recent interview to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Pope Francis said this about his namesake: "He's great because he is everything. He is a man who wants to do things, wants to build, he founded an order and its rules, he is an itinerant and a missionary, a poet and a prophet, he is mystical. He found evil in himself and rooted it out. He loved nature, animals, the blade of grass on the lawn and the birds flying in the sky. But above all he loved people, children, old people, women. He is the most shining example of agape, love. Francis wanted a mendicant order and an itinerant one. Missionaries who wanted to meet, listen, talk, help, to spread faith and love. Especially love. And he dreamed of a poor Church that would take care of others, receive material aid and use it to support others, with no concern for itself. 800 years have passed since then and times have changed, but the ideal of a missionary, poor Church is still more than valid. This is still the Church that Jesus and his disciples preached about." 

I will share a few more reflections on St Francis over the coming few weeks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Foliage in Massachusetts

Maple trees in St Joseph's Abbey, Spencer MA

Before I came to Oregon, I spent some time in Spencer, Massachusetts with the Trappist monks, and during this time of the year, the whole Abbey turns red and orange with the beautiful maple trees that line up the streets and property which the monks have, a good 2000 acres of beautiful scenery. The above picture was taken in early October 2002 and shows a row of maple trees, all aflame with beauty. I took the other photo while I was playing the flute on a quiet afternoon. Leaves keep falling and some of them fell on my music sheet while playing Bach Unaccompanied Sonata in A Minor. I placed the flute across the music, and what came out was one of my all-time favorite photos. Here in Eastern Oregon we don't get many maples, but there are a lot of tamarack trees which turn yellow and create quite a spectacle, especially as they contrast with the evergreens.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guardian Angels

Today’s feast of the Guardian Angels remind us of the protection we always received from our Angels, who were assigned to us when we were born. I’ve always been aware of the presence of my Guardian Angel, whom I named Stephen, and on many occasions, I knew he was with me, no doubt about it. 
A 1962 Apostolic Exhortation by Blessed Pope John XXIII says that Guardian Angels can help us at a physical level, lifting us up, keeping at bay some dangerous animal or thing, drawing our attention to danger by means of a noise. Similarly they can intervene on a psychic level too. George Huber wrote a book entitled “My Angel will go before you,” and in it he recalls two stories of Popes who depended on their Guardian Angels. Pope Pius XI denounced Stalin, confronted Hitler and resisted Mussolini, but he said he always relied on his Guardian Angel right through the entire day. 
He even told one of his apostolic delegates, Monsignor Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII that whenever they have to be persuasive in their arguments against someone who appears adamant, we let our Guardian Angels take it up with their own Angels, and once they establish an understanding, the Pope’s conversation becomes much easier.  Blessed John XXIII, soon to be canonized, in a private conversation with a Canadian Bishop, attributed the idea of calling an ecumenical council to his Guardian Angel - it was through his Angel that God gave him the inspiration to convoke Vatican Council II, 50 years ago.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quotes from St Therese

St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) - canonized in 1925
These are some quotes from St Therese of Lisieux, whose feast is celebrated today. For a brief biography, search the post I used last year, October 1, 2012.

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

“I know now that true charity consists in bearing all our neighbors' defects - not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues.”

“God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.”