I am getting a late start on this week’s letter.  It’s Wednesday morning.  Coincidentally, the Church honors the memory of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini in its liturgy today.  Mother Cabrini was the first naturalized US citizen to be canonized.  She was born in Lombardy in 1850, one of 13 children, who sought to enter two different convents but was refused          because of frail health.  So, this determined woman, led by the Spirit, founded her own    community, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to care for the old and sick.  She wanted to go to China but the Holy Father asked her to come to America to take care of      Italian immigrants in New York City.  So she came to the US in 1889.  In her lifetime she founded 67 institutions across the US, South America and Europe. She died of malaria in    Chicago in 1917.

 

Because of a near-drowning incident when a small child, she was deathly afraid of water and feared drowning; and yet this amazing woman crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times! Recall that when she was a young woman, she sought entry into two convents, but was turned down because of frail health. I guess you just can’t keep a good woman down—especially one surrendered to the grace of God at work in her life.

 

I began writing about this saint with the word “coincidentally.”  In our Opening Prayer of Mass, we prayed: “God, our Father, who called St. Francis Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America . . . teach us to have concern for the stranger . . .”               St. Clement Parish is just now praying to the Lord for guidance as we seek his will in welcoming the Latino community—immigrants to our country—into our parish. May Mother Cabrini bless us in our discernment.

 

Mother Cabrini was one strong woman. This Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m., November 17th, another amazing woman whom we at St. Clement—especially our homebound—know and love is being honored at a special Caregiver Recognition Mass, also called the annual “White Mass,” at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral along with other caregivers from throughout the archdiocese.  Sr. Pat Hill, SC was nominated for this award by our parish staff.  She will   receive a white rose at the Mass and will be honored along with the other recipients at a reception in the cathedral undercroft after the Mass.  Congratulations, Sr. Pat, and thank you for all that you do for our parish community, especially the homebound.  You give us all an awesome example.

 

I extend my deepest sympathy and that of the parish to the family and loved ones of      G. Keith Albrecht who died suddenly this past Monday.  Keith was a faithful parishioner who always sat in the front pew with his dear friend Laverne at Sunday Mass and other parish events.  May he rest in eternal peace.

 

This coming Wednesday evening, November 20th, at 7:00 p.m. is a special time for a number of our second graders for they will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.  Thanks to all who took a card home to pray particularly for one of these children and to communicate your support to them.  God bless them and their families as they reach this milestone moment in their lives as Catholic Christians.

 

         God’s grace is poured out lavishly on each of us.  May we spread the Good News in all we do.