Pastor’s Reflection for July 16, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Today, July 16, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. According to Catholic tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Simon Stock at Cambridge, England on Sunday, July 16, 1251.  Simon was a man of great holiness and devotion, who always in his prayers asked the Virgin to favor his order, the Carmelites, with some singular privilege. She appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said, “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites, a special sign of grace, whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, a pledge of peace and the covenant.” She continued, “wear the scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me and I, in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”

The brown scapular carries with it the promise never to die without the opportunity to confess or otherwise achieve forgiveness of sins. To wear the scapular is a sign of one’s special relationship with Mary who we pledge to imitate in building a world of justice and peace. 

Pope John Paul II wore the brown scapular from the time he was a young man. When he was shot and operated on in 1981, he told the doctors not to remove the brown scapular that he was wearing. You can read more and order a scapular online at: www. freebrownscapular.com.

I received a letter from Cardinal Seán expressing his heartfelt gratitude and congratulations for reaching our 2017 Catholic Appeal. He extended his sincere thanks to all of the parishioners at Saint Joseph Parish who made a commitment to supporting this year’s Appeal. “Your generosity to our Church is inspiring and makes a notable difference in both the life of your parish and the lives of those served through our Archdiocesan ministries.”

I will be available for confession this week on Monday, July 17, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,