From Our Pastor: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the next few weeks, we will have a great opportunity for moments of building and shaping and inspiring our faith. First is the great musician and composer Steve Agrisano will be here playing at all the masses the weekend of February 11-12 and then having a parish mission in the evenings of February 13-14 at 6:30 p.m. February 12 is the Super Bowl, so we won’t be having any event that evening. He is an inspirational speaker as well as a fabulous musician. Don’t miss this opportunity.
February 19-20 at Church of St. Peter is hosting a parish mission led by Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB. Fr. Denis is a monk of St. Meinrad and the Rector of St. Meinrad School of Theology and Seminary. He is one of the best preachers and especially mission leaders I have ever heard speak. Please do not miss this opportunity of inspiration. He was on my list to invite to come here to speak, but since he will be in town already, don’t miss it!
Lastly Fr. Ryan Rojo is coming to give a Lenten Mission for us here at St. Francis February 27-March 1 at 6:30 p.m. each evening, focusing on the Eucharist. This is in conjunction with the year of the Eucharist and Fr. Rojo is an approved Eucharistic preacher by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. On one of the nights of the mission Brother Stanley Rother Wagner, OSB, will be speaking to us about monastic life and lead a question-and-answer session on monastic life. Br. Stanley is a monk of St. Meinrad but is also a graduate of Quincy University and a former brother seminarian with me. Both Fr. Rojo and Br. Stanley are great personal friends of mine. Do not miss their presentation of the Eucharist and the Monastic life. What amazing opportunities you will not want to miss! Get excited!
This weekend we are told to care for the poor and the oppressed and to be the salt and light for the world. These mission opportunities will give us the inspiration we need to live out this challenge from Isaiah and the call of our Lord Jesus Christ. The last installment of the explanation of the Venerable Augustine Tolton image:
On the outer arch is a clover or flower type pattern, also resembling shapes that can be found on stained glass windows in St. Francis Solanus Church. The flowers are in sets of ten to suggest rosary beads because it is said that Tolton prayed the rosary with his mother daily. Outside the arch are several more symbols communicating different aspects of Tolton’s life, some of which call to mind scriptural references as well:
The stole and chalice, reemphasizing Tolton’s call to the priesthood.
The stag, for his piety and longing for God. As a deer longs for running streams, so my soul longs for you, my God.
The flaming heart pierced by arrows, a symbol for Saint Augustine, used here to signify Tolton’s work in Chicago with the St. Augustine Society.
The crisscross design (seen on both sides of the arch) is based on the pattern found on a small window of St. Peter Church, Brush Creek, MO where Tolton was baptized.
The tear, cross, and staff are all symbols for Saint Monica. Father Tolton was pastor of St. Monica’s Church in Chicago.
The ship, a symbol for the Church. It is seen moving through strong waters reminding us of the need for fortitude and perseverance, both of which Tolton demonstrated in his life. He also made actual journeys by boat and ship that greatly influenced the direction of his life. Firstly, his crossing of the Mississippi but also to Rome for priestly studies and his return trip back to Quincy as a priest and a missionary – a personal call to go into the deep.
Broken shackles, a reminder that Father Tolton managed to break away from slavery, allowing him to move into a truer freedom of walking towards and living out his vocation.
And from morn to set of sun...is a verse taken from Tolton’s favorite hymn, Holy God We Praise Thy Name. This line was chosen because one can imagine that Tolton entered into this song of the Church with a humble surrender to God’s will and to the service of His people. There are also a sun rising and setting surrounding these words in that arch. Thank you again to Amanda Strudwick, the artist of this piece, for her amazing talent in creating this work of art for the glory of God. It is very clear that the Lord guided you greatly in this effort and thank you for sharing the Lord’s talents He gave you with us.
-Rev. Steven Arisman