Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Dear Parishioners of Our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! This week I wish to write about several of the feasts of Our Blessed Mother that are kept in September and about other items concerning our parish.
On September 8th we keep the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nine months to the day after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The birth of Our Lady was the dawn of our salvation, for St. Ann gave birth to that One who would be the Mother of God. On September 12th we keep the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary is an historical feast, i.e., it celebrates an historical event in the life of the Church. On September 12, 1683, the Turks were poised to invade Vienna, the very heart of Christian Europe, and to impose Islam on the Holy Roman Empire. The faithful of the City prayed for the protection of the Holy Virgin and at the great battle of Vienna, the Christian forces were victorious over the Turks. This was due in large part to the intervention of the Polish King John Sublieski, the maternal grandfather of the martyred King Louis XVI of France. In celebration of the victory, the Viennese bakers baked the bread the next day in the shape of the crescent moon, the symbol of Islam, to show that the Turks were broken as bread is broken. The French name for crescent is croissant, and thus was born the famous breakfast bread eaten in Catholic nations. The Turks fled so quickly that they left bags of Arabica coffee beans in their camps. The coffee was discovered by the Viennese and thus began the great custom in Vienna of drinking coffee (sometimes with the wonderful chocolate cake called the sachretort!)
On September 15th we keep the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows as we recall Our Lady’s standing at the Cross of Our Lord, and on September 24th we keep the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom or Our Lady of Mercy. Our Blessed Mother is that Inexhaustible Cup which satisfies every desire of the human heart. Go to Her on Her Feastdays and seek her never-failing protection.
A Blessed Labor Day to All and we pray for our nation and all who have died on September 11, 2001, and the wars which followed it.
As the summer ends let us keep in mind the beautiful words of my favorite saint. St. Philip Neri,
The hour is finished – we may say the same of the year; but the time to do good is not finished yet.
PARISH GALA DINNER/DANCE AND CASINO NIGHT: Please save the date of Friday October 28th. That will be our annual Parish Gala Dinner/Dance and Casino Night. Once again we will have the casino night provided by the M&M Twins (my good friends, Marco and Michael Posillico). This proved to be so enjoyable last year and was a great success. May I ask and invite all parishioners to attend this wonderful evening at the newly refurbished Cottage of the Milleridge Inn. Mr. Butch Yamali, the new owner of the Milleridge Inn, recently invited me to go there to bless this new endeavor. I was accompanied by the Chair of the Gala Mrs. Paula Maturo and by committee member Mrs. Anne Maione. I entered every room of the Inn to bless it and sprinkle the Holy Water in all the shops, and the cottage and carriage house.
It is remarkable how this historic inn is being restored to its original splendor. Mr. Yamali is a good friend to us at St. Paul’s and I would encourage everyone to come that night and to see the refurbished Inn. It is our major fundraiser through the course of the year. You may have noticed that this year I have completed 35 years as a priest. I am very honored that on that evening we will also celebrate these years of priesthood. We do not honor the priest individually, for every priest’s prayer is that of St. John the Baptist, he must increase,but I must decrease. But rather we give thanks to God for the gift of the priesthood which is love at the heart
of the Church. I am most grateful to Mrs. Paula Maturo and her committee for all they have done for the success of this wonderful evening.
PILGRIMAGE TO THE BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF THE IMMACULATE
CONCEPTION IN WASHINGTON, DC: Please see the bulletin for infor mation about our Diocesan Pilgrimage to the National Shrine in Washington. This magnificent Church is our nation’s gift to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Our lady has promised many blessings to all those who will invoke her intercession at this magnificent shrine. I am very grateful to Mrs. Gina Cinelli for all her hard work and effort. May God bless and reward you, Gina!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda