Skip to Content

Rev. André-Joseph's blog

From the Pastor 08/13/17

For the next few weeks I am going to give some presentations on our Holy Father St. Dominic. I hope these Pastor’s columns will help you to understand the great Saint who is the founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, and also enjoy some art as well.

The Life of St. Dominic

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King.” This selection from the 52nd chapter of Isaiah is a perfect description of the life of Our Holy Father St. Dominic, and is used as the First Lesson for the Mass of St. Dominic.

“Dominic was a Castilian priest, probably of aristocratic birth ― late medieval tradition connects him with the noble family of Guzman, which owned property at Caleruega, his birthplace. He had been educated in the schools of Palencia, and as a young man he became a canon in the Cathedral of Osma. At the time he joined it, the chapter of Osma had only recently been reconstituted as a community of canons regularly living according to Rule of St. Augustine. The canons regular were a hybrid order of clerical monks. They had come into existence during the eleventh century in response to reform, which exhorted the secular clergy to live in communities on the model of the early apostolic Church.” Lawrence, The Friars, p. 66.

What to do with so many people ignorant of Christian truth? This must have been the burning question on Dominic’s mind as he traveled through southern France with his own bishop, Diego de Azvedo, on a diplomatic visit to Denmark, in 1203. There in southern France he came in contact with Albigensian or Manichaean heretics, who attributed the creation of the world to an evil God, thus all created things were evil. Dominic was deeply troubled by the people’s ignorance of the gospel, which made them so vulnerable to this revival of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism (secret knowledge given only to the privileged enlightened).

Finally after his second visit to Denmark, Dominic could contain himself no longer. With his bishop he traveled to Rome and begged Pope Innocent III to send him on a mis- sion of preaching. Thus began the itinerant preaching life of Our Holy Father Dominic.

From the Pastor 08/06/17

I am taking this Pastor’s Column to update you on all the capital improvements we have accomplished during these past few weeks. Summer is the time to get a lot of work done on campus, and boy oh boy have we worked hard.

First, you may have noticed that we have done a lot of work to improve our landscaping. Many dead or dying trees and old worn out shrubs have been cut down. This is to make room for new trees and landscaping, and we hope to have this accomplished in the next few weeks. Grass has been put in the area near the back entrance as a temporary fix. There are plans to put in new landscaping and a retaining wall in this area but we do not have the funds to do it this summer, perhaps next summer.

From the Pastor 07/30/17

Church Teaching on Relics
Some people think the Catholic Church abandoned her teaching on relics after Vatican II. However, a quick glance at the Code of Canon Law, published by authority of Pope St. John Paul II in 1983, reveals that the Church very much considers sacred relics to be important and significant in the life of the Church (cf. canons 1281-89). Just what are relics and what meaning do they have for disciples of Jesus Christ?

The word relic comes from the Latin relinquo, literally meaning I leave, or I abandon. A relic is a piece of the body of a saint, an item owned or used by the saint, or an object which has been touched to the tomb of a saint. Traditionally, a piece of the body of a saint, especially that of a martyr, may be, with the permission of the local ecclesiastical authority, used in solemn processions recalling the specific holy person.

It may seem strange that Christianity, which so adheres to the belief in the resurrected body after the final judgment, should attach veneration to body parts of the faithful departed. But as Dom. Bernardo Cignitti, O.S.B., once wrote, “In a religion as spiritually centered as Christianity, the remains of certain dead are surrounded with special care and veneration. This is because the mortal remains of the deceased are associated in some manner with the holiness of their souls which await reunion with their bodies in
the resurrection.”

From the Pastor 07/23/17

Festival Results: I am happy to report that we were able to raise $143,436.97 for our festival this year. This extra money will greatly help our finances during the year. Of course I am most grateful to Cathy Egan and the 100’s of volunteers who work so hard planning and working at the festival. It is such a beautiful thing to see so many people coming together for the financial stability of our parish and also just having a great weekend being together as a parish. I am most grateful to all our volunteers and to so many who came and supported the festival. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for us. Also, I wish to thank Fr. Michael Mary Dosch, O.P., the Novice Master, who was so generous in allowing us to have the novices the week before the festival, novices filling in wherever they were needed during the festival, and also showing up the Monday after the festival to help clean up. What a blessing to have our novices and a Novice Master who is so supportive of the parish.

New Postulants to Arrive: Please welcome the new postulants as they will be arriving here this Tuesday, July 25 to begin their novitiate year. They will be receiving the Dominican habit in a private ceremony on August 8 and then they become official novices for the Dominican Order.

From the Pastor 07/16/17

Part III on Faith and the Good Life from notes I took from both Fr. John Hardon, S.J. and Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.

If we wonder how our Faith manifests itself, St. Thomas Aquinas replies that one of the first effects of Faith is to understand what happens if we turn away from God. This understanding results in fear ― fear of punishment, and fear of separation from God. Our faith allows us to see God’s infinite goodness, and it also makes us realize how much we sacrifice if we separate ourselves from this goodness. Indeed, Faith allows us to understand that separation from God is the greatest evil we can suffer.

But Faith also purifies our hearts, by turning us more and more toward God and more and more away from sin. As our reflections progress we will see that the virtues are connected to one another, and the virtue of Charity will appear over and over, as a catalyst that “speeds up” or deepens another good habit. The goal of human life is loving union with God, the union of Charity. As we grow in virtue, our love for God (which is itself a reflection of God’s love for us) makes us want to draw closer to the God we apprehend by Faith. In this way, the virtues work together to perfect one another.

Syndicate content