July 16, 2017
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Brown Scapular
Praised be Jesus Christ, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother! On July 16th we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Many of our parishioners wear the Brown Scapular and we may wonder about its origins. I am so pleased that since my arrival as your pastor and with the assistance of Mrs. Louise Shannon and the Religious Education staff all of the children of our parish have been enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
On July 16, 1251, in the town of Aylesford in England, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, a member of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (a.k.a. The Carmelites). She handed him a brown woolen scapular (an outer garment of a religious habit, about 12” wide, worn over the head; hanging down in front and back) and said, “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.” In time, the Church extended this magnificent privilege to all the laity who are willing to be invested in the Brown Scapular of the Carmelites and who perpetually wear it.
True devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary consists in three things: VENERATION, CONFIDENCE AND LOVE. By simply wearing the Scapular, we can tell her every moment of the day that we venerate her, love her and trust in her protection.
As Our Lord taught us to say the Our Father, Our Blessed Mother taught us the value of the scapular. When we use it as a prayer, Our Lady draws us to the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son. It is good, therefore, to hold the scapular in the hand. A prayer offered while holding the Scapular is as perfect as a prayer can be. It is especially in time of temptation that we need the powerful intercession of God’s Mother. The evil spirit is utterly powerless when the wearer of a scapular faces temptation, calling upon the Holy Virgin in this silent devotion. “If you had recommended yourself to me, you would not have run into such danger,” was Our Lady’s gentle reproach to Blessed Alan de la Roche, one of her devoted servants.
To be eligible for the scapular promise, one must be enrolled in the Brown Scapular Confraternity. This is a simple ceremony which can be performed by any priest. The members of the Confraternity have the added benefit of sharing in all the spiritual benefits of the Carmelite Order.
According to a statement made by the Carmelite Fathers at the National Scapular Center, every priest now has the right to invest the faithful in the Brown Scapular and to substitute the rosary in lieu of the Little Office (see below).
The scapular must be 100% wool without plastic casing and should not be pinned or affixed to clothing. It is worn over the head, under one’s clothes, with one square of wool hanging on the chest and the other on the back. Pictures are not necessary.
The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell; she will also shorten their stay in purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some debt of punishment.
This promise is found in a Bull of Pope John XXII. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and, speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular, said, “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in purgatory I shall free so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”
The Blessed Virgin assigned certain conditions which must be fulfilled:
1. Wear the Brown Scapular continuously. (It may be taken off when showering or swimming, etc.)
2. Observe chastity according to one’s state in life (married/single).
3. Recite daily the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin OR observe the fasts of the Church together with abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays OR with permission of a priest, say five decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary OR with permission of a priest, substitute some other good work.
Pope Benedict XV, the celebrated World War I Pontiff, granted 500 days indulgence for devoutly kissing your scapular. This year all of the children who made First Holy Communion at St. Paul’s were enrolled in the Brown Scapular and that will be our practice through the years.
SAVE THE DATES: It is never too early to begin to save the dates especially in parish life. In addition to the Centerstage dates mentioned in the bulletin, please remember our Parish Picnic which will be on Saturday Evening September 9th. Please remember that the Saturday Evening Mass for that Saturday only will be at 4.00PM, not at 5.00PM. I am grateful that Mrs. Louise Shannon and Mrs. Adriana Milana will be the co-chairs of the picnic this year. Since my arrival in June 2013, I am grateful to Mr. James Black who served as chair in 2013 and Mr. Jesse Cromer who served as chair in 2014 and 2015.
Our Gala Casino Night will be at the Milleridge Inn on Thursday, October 26th. This is always a fun filled event and a major fund raiser for our parish. The theme for this year’s Gala Casino night will be the official welcome of Deacon Raymond P. D’Alessio to St. Paul’s. I am grateful to Marco Posillico of M&M Entertainment, and a longtime friend, who will provide the casino games once again.
Our annual Golf and Tennis Outing and Awards Dinner will be on Monday, May 7, 2018. I am grateful to all our parishioners who make these wondrous events possible.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS: Some may recall that every year at the time of the Columbus Day Holiday I write about that great fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus. I will do so again this year, as always. However I would not want this time to pass without informing the parish that we have elected a new Grand Knight, Mr. Donald P. Cavanaugh, who along with his family, is a long time parishioner. (One of the athletic facilities is named in honor of Don’s deceased father and I recently discovered a photo of the dedication of that field at which Don and his mother were present along with Msgr. Costa. The photo was in a box in the basement). We offer to Don and to the whole slate of officers and members our most sincere congratulations, best wishes and promise of prayers. At the same time we extend most sincere gratitude to Mr. James R. Galante who has just completed three years of faithful service as Grand Knight. He has been an invaluable help to St. Paul’s and to me personally. And now he will join that proud company of PGKs (Past Grand Knights). Among that august group are PGK Peter Boyle, PGK James Black, Esq., PGK Leo Benjamin and many others living and deceased. The whole slate of new officers is as follows: Grand Knight: Donald P. Cavanaugh; Financial Secretary: Christopher Melito; Deputy Grand Knight: Antony Kozhipatt; Chancellor: Theodore T Urban III; Recorder: Joseph Marriott; Treasurer: Robert L. Kissell; Advocate: Thomas J. Principe; Warden: Kevin P. Spillane; Inside Guard: Adam J. Geslak; Outside Guard: Stephen S. Esposito; One Year Trustee: James M. Black; Two Year Trustee: Peter G. Boyle; Three Year Trustee: James R. Galante; Lecturer: James A. Viania.
We are grateful to our ever faithful squires who recently raffled a beautiful Weeping Japanese Cherry Tree. The winner of the tree (whose name we do not know but who had the ticket # 0719742) has donated it to the parish. It will beautify our lovely grounds for years to come. Some may have noticed how we have placed extra effort into the grounds this year with new flowers and a great deal of tree work. We have also renovated a room in the barn as our new parish Outreach Center. It is a very welcoming place for those in need to come and to know the mercy and love of Our Lord who taught us, “Blessed are the Poor.”
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN: This weekend I will be speaking at all of the Masses about our capital campaign which has recently begun and already shows such a sign of blessed fulfillment. Deus lo Vult (God wills it!) Thank you for all your goodness.
DEACON RAY: Some may have noticed that Deacon Ray has not been with us on the weekends of July. Please do not be alarmed. He and his family are in fine health and we have all received him at St. Paul’s in the charity of Christ as a Deacon and invaluable collaborator in the Sacrament of Holy Orders with the pastor. As many may know, for many years Deacon Ray has been an integral part of the diocesan mission in the Dominican Republic. On the weekends in the summer Deacon Ray visits other parishes to explain the great work of the mission and invite all to be part of doing this wonderful work for God. In fact it was 2 years ago that Deacon Ray first came to us to speak of the mission. At the time we were unaware that in the providence of God he would be assigned as Deacon here at St. Paul’s. But God’s plans are never accidental. Our Lord was aware of that and for that we are most grateful.
For our meditation this week:
St. Philip Neri: Our Blessed Lady ought to be our love and our consolation.
St. Josémaria Escrivá: We never regret something we do not say.
Pope Francis: Sadness is the ally of the Devil; therefore, we must always be cheerful.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda
k here to edit.