Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Next weekend we will welcome Fr. David Gunter to our parishes for a Bi-Parish Mission. He will speak on the Holy Spirit and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His first talk will be Saturday evening, May 6, at 7pm. The remaining talks will be on the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All the talks will be held at the Church of St. Paul in Zumbrota. I encourage you to attend our Bi-Parish Mission talks!
Next Sunday, May 7, we will have May Crownings of our Blessed Mother at our parishes. I encourage all our parishioners to bring your intentions to our Blessed Mother as part of this special devotion in her honor!
I encourage all to grow in devotion to our Blessed Mother during the month of May. I especially encourage families to pray the Rosary together. Also, remember that the Rosary is often prayed before Holy Masses at St. Michael and St. Paul. If you do not already, try to come early to pray the Rosary!
Monday, May 1, is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. I encourage you to grow in devotion to St. Joseph. He is a great intercessor in Heaven and our Lord Jesus favors those who are devoted to His foster-father. This week I share with you an inspiring sermon by St. Bernardine of Sienna (b. 1380-d.1444):
“There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: ‘Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord’.
What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Moth-er because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.
Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honor which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.
Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: ‘Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: ‘Enter into joy.’ His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and en-gulfs him like an infinite abyss.
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.”
Through the intercession of Mary, the Queen of Heaven, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may our good Lord bless and strengthen us with the loving power of the Holy Spirit, that we may love and serve Him faithfully and generously each day!
In Christ through Mary,