Today we remember our Mother in our prayers. To those who have given us life and nurtured us, we express again our thanks to them and to Almighty God.
You probably know that praying for someone is never a waste of time. An Our Father or Hail Mary lasts forever. God hears our prayers and responds when it is for the good of others. We pray…
Enlighten the life of our mothers and give peace to our mothers who have died. Bless all homes. And may her children always be a mother’s glory and crown. Amen.
Pray often for your mother – living or deceased – for they can always benefit from the time we spend in God’s presence interceding for her.
One afternoon after visiting parishioners in a hospital I met a very pregnant woman and her husband coming in. She was literally waddling like a penguin as she was supported by her husband. I recognized the couple and they called out to me in Spanish.
Before I knew it I was in a hospital delivery room translating – “Push” and “Breathe” – as her husband silently stood by holding her hand.
Never in a million years would I have thought that one day I would be present at the birth of a child. It’s just not in the curriculum in theology school! What an unbelievable privilege to witness the miracle of life – live! The first sounds of a new born baby! The intense emotion of the parents! The routine procedures of the medical staff. And for me, just overwhelming awe and amazement at God’s mighty works and generous gift – LIFE! What a gift!
Maybe it was coincidental that I happened to be in the right place at the right time, but whatever the alignment of the stars, I believe the moment was intended by God to teach me something. Questions about life’s beginning, opinions about body rights, and arguments over abortion are important issues but I have to go beyond the intellectual debates.
As I have said, praying for others is never a waste of time, and moms – especially those bearing a child in the womb at this time – are helped by prayers. But, sometimes I think more is necessary.
Patty Dyer, wife of Jim, is the parish’s representative to the Northeast Ohio Right-to-Life Committee. She provides literature for us in the pamphlet rack (located in the stairwell during Easter). She also keeps me informed about the needs of the Barberton Pregnancy Care Center that provides support to expectant mothers and fathers. There are also opportunities to voice your stance on abortion at the two local clinics – 692 E. Market or 2127 State Rd in Cuyahoga Falls. If you are interested in doing more to help moms and dads expecting a child or to offer prayers and support, or to pray at a clinic, please let me or Patty know and we’ll help get you connected.
There were a lot of winners at the Parish’s Night at the Races, and it appears everyone had a fun time. After our expenses were paid, we were able to apply $13,219 to the overall cost of the pickup truck and plow which Ron Marhofer Chevrolet made attainable for us. Again, thousand kudos to them, the Committee Members, and the many Akron area Donors.
Rooted in Faith + Forward in Hope – You may have heard that the Catholic Community Foundation of Cleveland is leading a Capital Campaign to benefit our Diocese. I met recently with Bishop Lennon, some priests, and the Campaign coordinator. The Campaign goal is to raise $125 million over the next five years to establish endowments in five critical areas: Parish Life, Evangelization, Catholic Education, Catholic Charities, and Priesthood. This initiative entitled Rooted in Faith + Forward in Hope has received an understanding and generous response in parishes this past year and a half. As a merged parish we are the final block of parishes to participate.
As promised I want to share a little about one of our patrons – St. Bernard of Clairvaux who was born near Dijon, France (1090-1153). He looms over us at Mass; being the largest statue on the high altar in the sanctuary. With book and quill in hand he was noted for many spiritual writings. As the abbot of a Cistercian monastery, many of his works were on the reform of religious life; still others were of his great devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. He went about Europe reforming the life of monks, and in 1147 was an effective promoter of the Second Crusade called by Pope Eugene III. His reflections influenced the development of the Stations of the Cross. He died in Clairvaux, France on August 20, 1153, which became his feast day.
Some writings influenced by him and we still use today are the hymn, “O Sacred Head Surrounded…”; the prayer “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary…”
And although a loving personal relationship with Jesus Christ is essential, he also saw a major role for his Blessed Mother in his life:
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal” (St. Bernard).
Not a bad way to sign off this Mother’s Day. St. Mary and St. Bernard, pray for us. Peace, Fr. Dan