August 13, 2017

I.  Is There Someone For Whom You Would Die?  A prisoner escaped from Auschwitz on July 30, 1941. In retaliation, the commandant from this notorious Nazi camp in Poland, lined up inmates of Cell Block 14 and ordered that 10 of them be selected for death. When one of the ten cried out that he would never see his wife and five children again, another prisoner step forward and volunteered to take his place. That man was Maximillian Kolbe. Astonishingly, his offer was accepted.

Kolbe and the other prisoners were locked in a death bunker with nothing to consume but their own urine. He passed the time leading his companions in prayer, preparing them for death. When, after two weeks, Kolbe and three others were still alive, the Nazis injected them with carbolic acid.

On October 17, 1971, I was privileged to be present for the beatification of Father Maximillian Kolbe (1894–1941) at St. Peter Square in Rome. It was humbling and inspirational to witness the extremely emotional response of the man for whom Kolbe died. Is there someone for whom I am willing to die?

II.  Holy Day of Obligation/Opportunity: Formerly known as Dormition or Natale,  the “falling asleep,” the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven has been celebrated on this day from the middle of the fifth century, and was proclaimed a dogma of our faith on November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII. We profess our belief that Mary has gone before us, body and soul, into heaven “because she belonged to Christ.” Our final hope is the resurrection of our own bodies at the end of time, to exist forever in the new order of creation. Mary, our pioneer in faith, blazes the way for us!

Our Holy Day Mass schedule is as follows: Blessed Sacrament Chapel (7th & Sycamore) will be at 6:00pm on Monday, August 14th. The Cathedral will celebrate Holy Day Masses at 7:00am, noon, and 6:00pm on Tuesday, August 15th. Our parish office will be closed on the Holy Day, Tuesday, August 15th.

III.  Young Adult Listening Session: Bishop Medley invites all young adults to a listening session at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on Wednesday, August 16th at 6:00pm. I hope we have an exceptional representation from the Cathedral.

IV.  Council Retreat: your new Parish Pastoral Council will be gathering at the Passionist Monastery for prayer and reflection on Saturday, August 19th. I asked your prayers for these parishioners who have volunteered three years of service to our parish as council members.

V.  God Present in a Tiny Whispering Sound! “After the fire, there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elisha hid his face in his cloak, went and stood at the entrance of the cave” (today’s I Kings 19:9, 11 scripture reading). REFLECTION: modern prophets are reminders that God is with us and speaks to us with love through them. Even though these prophets have shown signs of God’s presence in their words and actions, they, like greater profits of the Scriptures, often meet opposition and even violence as they speak the truth to power. So we ask ourselves: can you name someone who has been a prophetic voice for you?

VI.  Help Your Marriage—Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille (pro-nounced retro-vi with a long i) helps couples through difficult times in their marriages. This program has helped thousands of couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage. For confidential information about or to register for the August program beginning with a weekend on Aug 18 – 20, 2017,  call Family Life at 270-852-8346, or email: [email protected] or visit the web site at