From the Pastor
December 9, 2018
The Second Sunday in Advent
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Dear Parishioners of our Beloved St. Paul:
We are all aware that Advent is the season of Light. What a wonderful time then to contemplate the wondrous light that Our Blessed Mother brought to the very center of the New World on December 12, 1531.
There once was a civilization that lived in a world apart. To their north was a great desert which no one had ever crossed. To their south was an enormous and endless jungle through which no one ever emerged. To their east and west lay the vast expanse of the Ocean Sea. These people were the Aztecs who inhabited the modern nation of Mexico but they called themselves the Mexica.
Perhaps because they were so isolated, the evil one enslaved them and the ancient enemy of our race, the prince of darkness and the father of lies (we never use capitals when writing of the devil) was openly worshipped. And he demanded what he always demands, human sacrifice. Ancient Mexico had become a river of human blood. In 1488 when the Temple of the Sun was dedicated, over 20,000 men were offered in sacrifice in three days’ time. But amidst the horror of their surroundings the people prayed that a River of Light would flow into their darkness. Their own prophets had foretold that one day the Mother of the True God would come to their rescue and stop the human sacrifice.
Although the Spanish had conquered the Aztec Empire by 1521 (having first arrived in Mexico in 1519), only the Immaculate One would conquer their hearts and souls. On December 9, 1531 (the day of the winter solstice because the Gregorian calendar had not yet been inaugurated) the Light burst into their darkness. Our Lady appeared on the Tepeyac hill to Juan Diego and asked that a Church be built on that very spot where, as she said, I will demonstrate, manifest, and make known my love and mercy for all who live united in these lands. In the course of four days, Our Lady appeared five times to Juan Diego and on Monday, December 12, 1531, she revealed herself as the Virgin of Guadalupe (a name which means River of Light). On that day her miraculous image formed on the tilma of Juan Diego and it is enshrined in the great Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is a continuous miracle because it is an image not made by human hands but given to us by God Himself. In merely 10 years (from 1531 to 1541) twelve million of the Aztecs were baptized through Our Lady of Guadalupe.
MONSIGNOR MCDONALD: There will be a Solemn High Requiem Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite (sometimes called the Extraordinary Form) for Monsignor McDonald here at St. Paul’s on Saturday morning December 15th (month’s mind) at 11 AM. Monsignor McDonald celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass three times a week at St. Aidan’s. This will be a most fitting tribute to him. My fond hope is that many will attend this Mass. Fr. Daniel, Fr. Elias, and Fr Gabriel, all from the parishes in Glen Cove will be celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon for the Mass. Monsignor Pereda will preach. The music will be the traditional Gregorian chant and we expect many visitors that day.
OUR CAPITAL CAMPAIGN AND THE PROJECT OF REMEMBER-RESTORE-RENEW:
May I express sincere gratitude to all of you, the good parishioners of St. Paul who in your generosity have made possible the great enterprise of restoring, renewing and thoroughly cleaning our Church (painting, lighting, refinishing pews, liturgical enhancements, etc.). We have come through this together and work on the Church will begin on December 27, 2018, the Feast of St. John the Apostle. After recounting the wondrous miracle of changing water into wine at Cana, St. John uses a phrase that I have always loved and has often been the subject of my meditation: And thus did He reveal His Glory…
Our renovated Church will reveal God’s Glory at a time when so many have grown cold in their love for Him. I will be speaking at all the Masses next week, Gaudete Sunday, about this great enterprise upon which we have embarked for God’s Glory. It has become the very purpose of my life.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda