Pastor’s Reflection for June 12, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

This Monday is the feast of St. Anthony. He was a Portuguese Catholic priest and a Franciscan friar. He was born of a wealthy family in Lisbon and died in Padua, Italy. St. AnthonyAnthony had a great knowledge of Scripture and was known as a forceful preacher. He is known as the patron saint of lost things. The reason is traced to an incident that happened to Anthony.  He had a book of psalms that contained notes that he made to use in teaching his students. A novice who decided to leave the Order took the book with him. Prior to the printing press, any book was an item of value. When he noticed that his book was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned. The thief was moved to not only restore the book but also returned to the Order. The stolen book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna. Now you know the rest of the story. Thirty years after his death, St. Anthony’s body was exhumed. His body had turned to dust but his tongue looked as if it was still alive and moist. His tongue is now displayed in a large reliquary for veneration. This is said to be a sign of his great preaching.

Anthony was canonized in 1232 less than a year after his death and in 1946 was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. The above information can be found through many internet resources.

Last Saturday we had a wonderful celebration for Bishop Paul Russell. He was a deacon here in 1987, celebrated both his first Mass that year and his 25th Anniversary Mass here at St. Joseph’s. He desired to celebrate his first Mass as bishop here. There were bishops from Taiwan and a few priest friends from Michigan here to celebrate with him. He will be assigned as a papal envoy to Turkey. We all know how that part of the world is a dangerous place for Christians. Turkey’s population is 99.8 percent Muslim and a survey taken revealed that 68 percent of all Turks expressed a negative view of Christians. I ask that you join me in praying each day for the safety of Bishop Russell.

I will be available for confessions this week on Tuesday, June 14, from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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

God love you,