May 7, 2017

I. Living or Deceased, Honor Your Mother:  to each person who attended her mother’s memorial service on May 10, 1908, Anna M. Jarvis gave a carnation (her mother’s favorite flower). Within the next few years the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity. President Woodrow Wilson, by an act of Congress on May 9, 1914, proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day–a time for “public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”  Today we honor our mothers (and grandmothers, foster mothers, godmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, and all those who nurture life so generously) for their sacrificial love bestowed upon their children, and for the birth to death relationship between mother and child. Happy Mother’s Day!

II. Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue, teach us how to pray!  Remember this poem to Mary? Traditionally, May is a month of honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, Mother of our Church. It’s a wonderful time to meditate on and pray the mysteries of the rosary, a scriptural devotion which has survived the test of time. Why not pray the rosary as a family! You may also join people after the 7:00 a.m. daily Mass to pray the rosary. Why not keep a flower, or a bouquet of flowers, before a statue of Mary in your home during this month! We thank our Cathedral Rosary Makers for providing rosaries and a pamphlet on “How to Pray the Rosary” at the doors of church. Mary, Queen of peace, pray for us!

III. Parish Pastoral Council Discernment: congratulations to the 42 parishioners nominated to serve a three-year term on your Parish Pastoral Council. The Holy Spirit has narrowed it down to 20 parishioners who are asked to attend the second formation session on Thursday, May 18th, in the Vaughan Community Center, 6:30-8:00 p.m. A light meal will be available. I ask the parish-at-large to be praying that the right people for this time in our parish history will be called forth to servant leadership.

IV. Theology of the Hammer is the “down to earth” theology which the book of James challenges us to put our faith into practice. That’s why Habitat for Humanity has been so successful in offering a house to a family who ordinarily could never afford it. St. Stephen Cathedral Parish is hoping to contribute $3,000.00 to our local Habitat chapter; you will find a Habitat for Humanity envelope in your May and June tithing packet, or you can contribute to this worthy cause online. Just visit our website and click on Give Online.

V. High School Seniors: our parish is proud of you! We would like to honor you on Saturday, May 13th, at the 5:00 p.m. Mass. Please bring your cap and gown. There will be a light meal afterward in the Vaughan Community Center.

VI. Another Mission Trip? A couple of parishioners have recently approached me about the possibility of another mission trip to our sister Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica. If you are interested, please call the parish office.

VII. Apostle to Lepers! A young priest from Belgium requested to be stationed on the island of Molokai, where the lepers and the diseased were “dropped off” to die. Outraged by the deplorable conditions of the island, he sought to restore a sense of dignity to the “untouchables” discarded there. Within a short period of time, the sick were living in clean houses instead of caves, and were given a proper burial upon death rather than being “dumped” into mass graves. Even though the leprosy was highly contagious, Fr. Damien chose to remain in close contact with his people, and align himself even more with the “crucified” in society. Damien de Veuster (1840-1889) eventually contracted the disease and died from it; he was canonized a saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. His feast day is May 10th.  Who are our modern day lepers?