March 14, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Lent

  1. Welcome to Holly Pfeifer! After 26 years at our Cathedral Preschool, Pam Weafer is retiring at the end of this school year. Under Pam’s leadership our Preschool received the highest award of 5 Stars by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This enviable status was awarded because of several factors including a very high score on classroom observation, the interaction of the teachers with the students (including the way they talked to the students, language they used, questions they asked, discipline they administered, etc.) and the way in which the classrooms are set up for learning and exploration opportunities. The Stars executives said we had one of the highest scores they have seen statewide! They also asked to use our Cathedral Preschool faculty to train their staff to conduct future observations. I am confident that this same excellence will continue under the leadership of Holly Pfeifer, who has been hired as our new Director. Much gratitude to those on our Search Committee: Eddy McFarland, Donna Murphy, Chrissy Kurtz, Sr. Jeannette Fennewald, SSND, and Mary Hall (Diocesan Human Resources Director). Welcome Holly!
  2. First Record Person to Oppose Slavery: Born of Roman parents in Banwen, Wales, St. Patrick (circa 386-461) called himself both a Roman and a Briton. When he was 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish marauders and taken to Ireland as a slave. During this time of captivity, Patrick clung to his Christian faith, had a conversion experience, and developed as a young man steeped in prayer. After six years, he escaped, believing his sufferings and deliverance had been for a purpose. At the young age of 43, he was ordained a bishop. Despite the scars of slavery, yet equipped with the zeal of a profound faith, Patrick felt the pull to return to Ireland. One little-known fact is that Bishop Patrick was the first person recorded in history to speak out unequivocally against slavery, most likely because of his teenage enslavement. Not again until the 17th century do we have records of anyone speaking out against the evils of slavery. Patrick prayed, “Make peace with God.” Then he looked not only into his own heart but also into the hearts of others. What he saw convinced him of the bright side of humanity, that even slave traders can turn into liberators; murderers can act as peacemakers; and barbarians can take their place among the nobility of heaven. In his autobiography, “Confessions of Saint Patrick,” he reveals himself as a man painfully aware of his own inadequacies and his complete dependence on the grace of God. As a prophetic missionary bishop, he worked in conditions similar to those prevailing in many violent areas of our contemporary world. Though not alone in his work of evangelization, his stature as patron of Ireland is well deserved. I invite you to Mass on Wednesday, March 17, the Feast of Saint Patrick!
  3. III. Stability. Strength. Protection. Trust. Love: On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis declared that, for the first time, the Church will be celebrating a Year of St. Joseph beginning on December 8, 2020 and ending on December 8, 2021. Pope Pius IX declared him as “Patron of the Universal Church” in 1870. In 1955, Pope Pius XII proposed him as “Patron of Workers.” Pope John Paul II called him “Guardian of the Redeemer” in 1989. Saint Joseph is traditionally considered the “Patron of a happy death”. Pope Francis calls him “the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty”; he also considers St. Joseph the “protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor and the dying.” A great way to honor this humble man is to celebrate Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph, Friday, March 19, at 7:00am or 12:00 noon.
  4. In Memory of/in Honor of:  Blossoms of beauty will help enhance our worship space for Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, and throughout the Easter season. These flowers may be donated “in memory of” a loved one who has died or “in honor of” someone living. Since the death of my parents, I personally find this a meaningful way to experience their presence especially during the Easter season. We will have a list published before the end of the Easter Season. You may donate using the envelope in your tithing packet or online through WeShare.

The image above is a photo of our Holy Family statue at Saint Stephen Cathedral. Though many statues depict saints later in life, our statue features St. Joseph as a young husband and   father.   ~ Photo by Deacon Corey Bruns