The return to the Sunday liturgy of Ordinary Time (we celebrate the 10th Sunday in Ordinary time this week-end) also brings us back to the Sunday gospels from the Gospel of St. Matthew. The position of Matthew as the first of the four gospel writers in the New Testament reflects both the view that it was the first to be written, a view that goes back to the late second century A.D., and the estimate in which it was held by the church; no other was so frequently quoted in the non-canonical writings of earliest Christianity. While there is no unanimity about the date of the composition of Matthew's gospel, the high estimation of the work remains especially because of the way Matthew presents the story of Jesus, the demands of Christian discipleship and the breaking in of the new and final age through the ministry, but particularly through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
On Tuesday we will celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, a doctor of the Church and patron saint of our parish. St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal on August 15, 1195 and died on June 13, 1231. At the age of I5 Anthony entered the monastery of the Augustinians, but, disappointed with the religious spirit of the monastery, and, inspired by the story of the first Franciscan martyrs in Morocco, he joined the Franciscans in the year 1220. At his own request, he was sent to Morocco . but he was forced by illness to return; his boat, however, was driven off course and he landed in Sicily. He entered the monastery in southern Italy, and upon his ordination he was recognized as an inspiring preacher and was commissioned to preach against the heresies in southern France. His preaching brought him back to Padua. There he was appointed first professor for the Friars, but the furious pace of his activities ruined his feeble health and he died at the age of 36. In popular devotion St Anthony is venerated as the apostle of charity, the finder of lost objects and on January 16, 1946 he was named a Doctor of the Church.
We invite you to say the unfailing prayer of St. Anthony which is found on the inside cover of our missalettes.
Some have commented that, with the graying of the priesthood (and of the deaconate) there are sometimes feeble steps accompanying this. So, through the generosity of a parishioner, we have installed railings on either side of the sanctuary leading to the chairs . We are grateful for this generous gift.
Fr John R. Mulvehill