I. Feast of the Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi): historical background: in the 13th century, so few people were receiving Holy Communion that the pope made a law saying that people must receive Communion at least once a year. This became known as our “Easter duty”. It was during this time in our history that veneration the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, and the Corpus Christi procession became a substitute for receiving Holy Communion. Yet, the Blessed Sacrament has always been reserved for the sick and the dying (otherwise, the Sacrament would be completely consumed at every liturgy). Because we continue to reserve the Sacrament, we make outward signs of respect and reverence.
One of these signs is the Corpus Christi procession; at St. Stephen Cathedral we will have a procession with the Blessed Sacrament immediately following the 11:00 a.m. Mass this Sunday. We will process down 7th street, cross Frederica St. to make our way to Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel at Brescia University. If you are not attending the 11:00 a.m. Mass, please gather outside the Cathedral on Locust Street at 12:00 noon. There will be adoration all afternoon, with Vespers and Benediction at 5:00 p.m. The entire diocese is invited!
II. World Refugee Day is Tuesday, June 20: the United Nations first hosted a convention on refugees in 1951, establishing the UN Refugee Agency. The protocol to protect refugees was agreed-upon in 1967. The most recent statistics from the UN Refugee Agency indicate that 65.3 million people are currently displaced either FROM their country-of-origin or WITHIN their country-of-origin, the highest number ever recorded since the agency begin tracking. Approximately one out of every 113 persons globally is either an asylum seeker, refugee or internally displaced. As reported by the World Economic Forum, approximately half of all refugees come from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia. Suggestion: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) provide helpful resources for parishioners to become more informed and to encourage action on this issue. The aligned Catholics Confront Global Poverty site makes it easy to write local representatives on this issue.
III. Jump on the Train with our Heavenly Mother, Mary! Join us this week, June 19-23, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon in the Cathedral Preschool Building for “Tracking Mary, ” Our Catholic Kidz Camp/Vacation Bible School. Registration forms are available in the parish office.
IV. Two People We Know are Celebrating Birthdays on June 24: one is a saint and one is not! One feasted on wild locust and honey, the other feasts on salmon, steak, scotch, and good red wine! One is a prophet, the other a priest! One was your former pastor, the other was not! Both point the way to Jesus! Happy birthday Saint John the Baptizer and Father John Vaughan! Address: 1600 Kingsway Dr., Madisonville, KY 42431.
V. Happy Father’s Day!! Anyone can be a biological father, but to be a dad requires investment, presence, humor, boundaries, love, and FAITH. A “father” is to reflect God to his children. Example speaks loudly to our children. As St. Francis of Assisi says, “Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words!” Happy Father’s Day to our dads!
VI. Newcomers Welcoming Reception: if you have recently joined Saint Stephen Cathedral parish, you are invited to a reception for new members at 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 22nd, at the Rectory, 614 Locust St.; use the side porch door. We will serve heavy hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP to Janet Murphy at 270-485-8553.
VII. The Old Violin and Anniversary FOUR!! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my arrival on June 18, 2013. My first Sunday at St. Stephen Cathedral, I retold the story of “The Old Violin”—an old, tattered violin was being auctioned off for a few bucks. . .until a master musician stepped up, brushed off the dust, and began to make sweet! After hearing the melodious sound, the bidding began again, and the violin was sold for several thousand dollars! The point: the need for me, and all of us, to allow THE Master to get hold of us. When that happens, our value escalates beyond belief! When our value escalates, we feel better about ourselves and our more eager to get involved, to share the melody (faith, gifts, talents) of our lives with others. So, our need is to allow the Master to touch us with Grace as we move forward! Thank you for the many ways you have supported, cared for, and loved me these four years. I’m so happy to be here!