As we exit the Christmas Season, we are back in Ordinary Time. A student in our school called it “normal” time. She’s somewhat on point. “Ordinary” comes from the word “Ordinal.” It’s a word that means counted. We begin to count the weeks of this acceptable year and are now in week two. As the number increases to thirty-four, so should the faith within our lives increase. This year we are in Year C of the Sunday Cycle of Readings. Year C we focus primarily on the Gospel of Luke. He is a brilliant storyteller, the one who associates Jesus with outcasts, those on the fringe and in the margins. His is the Gospel that gives witness to the role of the Holy Spirit, the mercy and compassion of God, the demands of discipleship, the beauty of the call of women-especially Mother Mary.
As everyone heard last weekend when I spoke at all the Masses about details regarding The Memorare Center, I am asking for the devotion of Mary Help of Christians to be sought. I learned about this particular devotion/depiction of Mother Mary when I went on my pilgrimage with Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati in August. I came to meet a new saint friend, St. John Bosco (feast day is January 31), who started a congregation/order known as the Salesian Society (because of his love for St. Francis de Sales). Don Bosco (the affectionate Italian name for “father” people usually called him) asked Mary Help of Christians to be the patron for his causes to strengthen the Church during tough times. I hope you will join me in asking Her to do the same for us. During these beginning weeks of Ordinary Time until Ash Wednesday, I will do something that I normally do not do, by keeping the new Mary Help of Christians statue that you saw last weekend in front of the ambo as a reminder to ask for Her intercession in your life and our parish life. For more on Maria Ausiliatrice (Mary, Help of Christians whose feast day May 24) check basilicamariaausiliatrice.it).
We have one more bit of good news! I received a request from Bishop Perez to join our parish on February 2, 2019 for the 5:00 p.m. Vigil Mass. What perfect timing since we are also celebrating the 70th Anniversary of our Parish School and it is also Catholic Schools Week.
Pax, Fr. Bline