Fr. Barrow and our Summer Seminarian, Dan Mahoney, report that the Steubenville East Youth Conference was a great event. Thousands of young people from across New England and beyond gathered at UMass Lowell for a weekend of faith and fellowship. Masses were prayerful and joyful, the talks and conferences were challenging and uplifting, and it was truly a time of renewal of faith, joy and hope. Hundreds of priests were in attendance and the Sacrament of Confession was offered for thousands! We thank all those who made this weekend possible!
I hope you get some time this summer to relax, refresh and renew. Pope Francis reminds us about summer, saying: “It’s very important that in the time of rest and detachment from daily concerns, to re-energize the forces of body and spirit, deepening the spiritual path.” One way I try to refocus and deepen the spiritual path during these summer days is to do more reading.
This summer I am reading a few books. For my spiritual reading I’ve just begun reading a small book entitled, The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle. It is the selected writings from Saint Manuel Gonzalez Garcia.. St. Manuel was a Spanish priest and bishop who after his ordination in 1901, was sent to a church in rural Spain. He found the church to be filthy dirty and abandoned. Praying before a Tabernacle covered in dust, cobwebs and dirty altar cloths, the young priest decided to dedicate his life to serving Jesus present in the Tabernacle. From that moment in Church, St. Manuel’s entire life and ministry was dedicated to spreading devotion to the Eucharist. And so he founded a religious community dedicated to the Eucharist. The saintly bishop said: “I ask to be buried next to a Tabernacle, so my bones, after death, as my tongue and my pen in life, are saying to those who pass: There is Jesus! Do not leave Him abandoned!”
I also read just for fun and so once again when I’m at the beach I’ll be reading a mystery novel from the Bruno the Chief series. They are set in rural France and tell the tales of a country policeman who solves mysteries. They are always delightful reads for the beach and highly entertaining. And with my interest in history I hope to finish up the biography of Charles de Gaulle that I began reading many months ago! It is a massive book full of details but also very interesting.
When it’s finished I hope to began reading historian Rick Atkinson's latest book entitled The British Are Coming. It is a history of the early part of the Revolutionary War and received rave reviews. It is just the first of a trilogy by the historian Atkinson about this important period in American History, He is also the author of a tremendous trilogy on the history of the Second World War. He writes history that is thoroughly readable and I recommend his books.
We give thanks to God the Creator for the summer and the time it provides us to refocus and refresh as we relax and recreate in the warm sun. I hope you find time to sit under a tree or on a beach and read a good book. I certainly agree with former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates who says: “A wild and crazy weekend involves sitting on the front porch, smoking a cigar, reading a book!” What are you reading this summer?
Next weekend is the Annual Missionary Cooperative Weekend at OLM. Each year missionaries come to the parishes of our diocese to share with us their preaching the Good News in the Missions. It reminds us that we are part of a vast and universal Church and that we are called to support the Missions. The La Salette Missionaries will be at OLM next weekend at all Masses. Coming to our parish are Bishop Donald Pelletier, a native of Attleboro, Massachusetts and the retired Missionary Bishop of Morondava, Madagascar, and join him are John and Sharon Markowitz, La Salette Lay Missionaries. They are speaking at all Mases next weekend.
Next weekend’s Second Collection is for the La Sallette Missionaries. Please note that there is no envelope for this collection. I thank you in advance for your sincere prayers and generous financial support of the La Salette Missions! I am away next week at the National Catholic Conference Directors’ meeting in Charleston, SC. Be well. Do Good. God Bless! Go Sox!