St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Hildegard of Bingen

Bellarmine by Bernini


St. Robert Bellarmine played an important role in the counter-reformation of the Catholic Church. He helped clarify Catholic teachings and orthodoxy and wrote two catechisms, including one for children. He opposed censuring Galileo and urged him to more clearly define his view of the universe as a theory to prevent him from contradicting the rather literal view of Scripture held the time (e.g. that the sun rises, runs is course in the sky and sets in the west - impossible if it is stationery as Galileo posited).

Hildegard of Bingen was a healer and mystic, using medicinals and plants to treat many ailments. She composed liturgical music, including hymns which has survived to this day. Her playfulness, piety and visions attracted much attention and generated resentment in some church leadership though she was eventually declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.


Blessed Parish Feastday Everyone!

Worship with us today to be fed with the Eucharist and give thanks to God for the history of our parish and is presence as part of the diocesan church. The triptych will be opened to display our new painting Risen Christ with Cross, there will be Hospitality after the 10:30 AM morning mass and parishioners will be present after all the masses asking for new volunteers for the many ministries in our parish. (Oh, and we will celebrate a baptism!)


The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today we celebrated the first school mass of the academic year with Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Several of our school children helped us open the doors to the triptych and reveal the new painting for the reredos Risen Christ With Cross installed just yesterday. The paint is still wet! 

The painting will be blessed at tomorrow's 10:30 AM mass when the parish family celebrates our patronal feast.

Our painting completes the story told by the art in the church nave itself. The crucifixion of Christ on the cross, its rediscovery by St. Helena shown in one of our original stained glass windows now in choir loft and the new painting. It will inspire us to understand that Christ's sufferings and our own do not end in despair or death, but are the pathways to glory and victory over sin, suffering and death.

Contrast Christ

The Holy Name of Mary

HolyNameOfMaryThis Marian feast was promulgated ever more widely as victorious Christian forces successfully withstood assaults from non-Christian and Muslim invaders.

Through the intercession of Mary with her Son, may the Church of Christ always stand firm against unholy assaults from within and without.


Saint Nicholas of Tolentine

Saint Nicholas of Tolentine was named by his mother in honor of St. Nicholas (December 6th) after intercession to the saint to bear a child.

He was dedicated to the church at an early age and became noted for the sanctity of his life, his preaching and miracles through his intercession.

His frequent requests to pray for the souls in purgatory led to his being named Patron of the Holy Souls.




Common Sense

Common SenseIn this morning's gospel, Jesus is once again being tested by the Pharisees. This time it's what we should do when two rules conflict. In his parables about repairing a torn garment and an old wine skin, he suggests common sense should prevail.

We're born with the capacity to acquire wisdom and a "starter kit," but accumulated common sense or wisdom, is a lifelong pursuit.

Wisdom, right-judgment, prudence and fortitude are spiritual gifts which help us travel our life's journey under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Renews Commitment for Greater Effectiveness and Transparency in Disciplining Bishops

The President of the USCCB has reiterated his commitment to work with Pope Francis in establishing mechanisms to improve the effectiveness of child protection procedures and oversight of adults working in the church including seminarians. Read the full text of the Cardinal's letter which should give us all encouragement in this time of testing for the church.


" The more she is buffeted by storms, the more I am reminded that the Church's firm foundation is Jesus Christ. "

Full Text of Cardinal DiNardo's Letter


One of my favorite themes in art is Christ on the Sea of Galilee. Eugene Delacroix painted three versions and one of the stolen Rembrandt's depicted it as well.

Missing Rembrandt
Rembrandt's Missing Painting

Missing Rembrandt
Missing Rembrandt

Missing Rembrandt
The Delacroix Version In My Office

Saint Fiacre

FiacreSaint Fiacre, patron of gardeners and healers grew medicinal herbs and prayed for healing the afflicted.

Many plants and herbs are still grown for their restorative and medicinal properties and even the peace and beauty of a home garden can bring healing and peace to the weary soul.

Amid the  curious and amusing anecdotes about Fiacre's life, his piety, probity and reputation as a healer shines forth. 


The Passion of St. John the Baptist
John the Baptist by August Rodin

We can see how lust, greed for power and approval, the need to save face and other vices tempted King Herod who condemned St. John the Baptist to the chopping block. If John was the conscience of the king, the king chose to silence him rather than listen and mend his ways. 

Modern day events are uncomfortably similar. 

As the school year begins and we welcome our teachers back to school today, let us prepare in earnest to help our children form their consciences clearly and not let worldly concerns muffle the voice of the prophet within them.




Saint Monica

St. Monica is one example of the power of persistent prayer. Her husband reportedly converted to Christianity on his deathbed and we know, of course, about the conversion of her famous son Augustine. I like this statue of her, because even though the opening prayer at this morning's mass invoked her many tears, it doesn't show her crying or sorrowful, but determined and resolute. According to Augustine's account, Monica was privileged with at least one experience of mystical prayer. Persistent prayer can be its own reward.


St. Rose of Lima and the Golden Mean

Golden MeanAristotle's definition of virtue was the Golden Mean between two extremes of vice. Courage, for example, is neither the extreme vice of cowardice nor the extreme vice of foolhardiness. 

Examining the lives of the saints gives us an opportunity to look at the heroic virtues in their lives and emulate them. 

It's a challenge to walk the path of virtue between utter disdain for the passing things of this world and abject attachment to them. St. Rose's life helps us discern if we are on a virtuous path or have strayed into the woods. 

Queenship of Mary


Piero della Francesa's Mother of Mercy highlights not only Mary's Queenship, but her protective role over each of us as mother.

Pope Benedict XVI once remarked that her queenship is intimately related to Jesus' kingship by love. Neither Jesus nor Mary are royalty as the world would have it. Jesus reigns from his Cross as King. Mary at his side protecting and guiding the Church and its children.