Our Seven Statues
August has arrived, and the beginning of the new school year is upon us. We have been hearing a lot about nature
in our Scriptural readings and Gospels about seeds, plants, their growing and their harvesting. Well, this summer has
provided ample moisture from above which has nourished our landscape and plantings, and I dare say the property has
never looked better. A good deal of credit for this is also to be accorded to our diligent facilities manager, Eric Schrader,
and our perpetual volunteer, Irene Smith. Our chapel is just about complete with the windows in, the electronic
keypad access door ready to go, and the two wall-shelves installed to hold the reliquary for St. John Paul II’s first
class relic and also the bronze bust of the Saint. The chapel wall crucifix has arrived as well, along with the other seven,
long-delayed, statues that are now displayed in the church.
When these seven statues and the crucifix were ordered from Spain two and a half years ago, information on the
Saints that these statues represent, as well as their charism, was provided in this Pastor’s Corner. I have had many people
complement us on the beauty of these statues, and also we’ve had many questions as to whom certain of them
represented. So, I will once again give a brief explanation of who these likenesses represent.
Briefly, moving from the far left transept (as you face the altar), they are St. Jude the Apostle, who is revered as
the patron saint of hopeless causes; St. Therese of Lisieux, the “little flower”, who promised to spend her lifetime doing
good on earth; St. Anthony of Padua, who has been widely acclaimed as the patron saint of lost items, the poor, and of
travelers; St. Joseph the Worker, who is the patron saint and model for the dignity of human work, as well as patron of
the dying, of fathers, husbands, and the universal Church; St. Francis of Assisi, who is widely revered as patron saint of
animals, archaeologists, ecology, merchants, metal workers, and more; St Rita of Cascia, patron saint of impossible
situations (especially matrimonial difficulties), of parenthood, and against infertility. And, also in the Narthax, you will
observe the statue of St. Michael the Archangel, to whom we pray and invoke after every Mass (in accord with the
instructions by Pope Leo XIII) to defend us against Satan and all evil. He is the patron of soldiers, police and doctors.
We will soon have permanent prayer cards in place identifying these saints.
Let us not forget the First and Second Class Relics of St. Pope John Paul II, along with a bust of his likeness,
located in our Totus Tuus Marian Chapel, which is dedicated to this modern day Saint. “Totus Tuus” (which is Latin for
Totally Yours) is the motto John Paul took for his papacy, and those words are included on his Papal Coat of Arms (a
likeness of which is included in the chapel window to the right of the chapel exit door.)
Debbie Harpenau, our parishioner who died a week ago, was buried in her hometown back in Indiana yesterday
(August 5th), and I celebrated the funeral Mass for my sister, Deirdre Ragan, yesterday as well, which explains my
absence today. Please remember both of these lady’s souls in your prayers.
I would again like to kindly and gently request that all parishioners make a commitment to maintain a respectful
and prayerful silence upon entering the Nave before Mass and, also, when leaving at the completion of Mass after the
recessional hymn. I understand that, as a new commitment, it may be easy to forget. But please recall the words given us
by the Archangel in the Fatima Prayer in which we ask forgiveness and reparation for (among other offenses) our
attitude of “Indifference” in front of the Tabernacles of the world. Please come in believing, and then, filled with grace,
attentively, respectfully, and quietly, take our leave. For those of us who are physically able, a customary gesture of
reverence should be made as well. And that is a respectful genuflection on one knee, when we leave our pew. The
Vatican II directive given was: “One knee is bent before the Blessed Sacrament, whether reserved in the Tabernacle or
exposed for public adoration” (EucharistiaeSacramentum, 1973, number 84).
The bottom line, that at the very core of our faith, is the fact that the very real presence of God, our Creator, resides
in our Tabernacle at all times, except on Good Friday. Let us evangelize others and show our belief in (and our
love of) God by the way we live and honor our God. Let us all, as a reverent church community, provide positive
example, by waiting until reaching the Narthax to talk, and by responding to anyone who inadvertently addresses you, by
placing a finger to your lips and pointing to the Narthax. If you are present when others in the church forget and begin
chatting, a respectful “ssshhhh” has proven to be highly effective. Thank you for continuing to help bring about this
much needed change in our deportment.
May our Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, smile down on you as you strive to do your part to eliminate this
unintended expression of indifference.
Sincerely your in Christ,