By: Fr. James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce. He asked her, “What are the grounds for your divorce?” She replied, “About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by.”
“No, no,” the judge said, “I mean what is the foundation of this case?” “It is made of concrete, brick and mortar,” she responded. The judge said, “Let me address the issue this way. Do you have a real grudge?” “No,” she replied, “We have a two car carports and have never really needed one.” “Please,” he tried again, “Is there any infidelity in your marriage?” “Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music, but the answer to your question is ‘yes.'”
“Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?” “Yes,” she responded, “about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do.” Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?” “Oh, I don’t want a divorce,” she replied. “I’ve never wanted a divorce. My husband does. He said he can’t communicate with me.”
‘Make her known!’ One hundred and fifty years ago Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists. His words to the Redemptorists were, ‘Make her known.’ Since that time the Redemptorists have had a special devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Wherever the Redemptorists staff a parish, we welcome the parishioners to join us as we pray the Perpetual Help novena. When we Redemptorists preach a mission or novena we always include the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Redemptorists of the Denver Province will celebrate this anniversary in a special way on Monday evening, June 27th. Now the Denver Province stretches from the mid-west states to the west coast. People from many of our parishes will be attending the grand celebration at St. Alphonsus ‘Rock’ Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
The ‘Rock’ Church has a unique history and a fine reputation. It was known as the ‘Rock’ church because it was the first church in St. Louis that was built our of rock, During WW II the Perpetual Help novena became most popular. Many novena services were held every Tuesday. A special trolley, known as ‘The Novena Trolley’ was activated on Tuesdays to bring people from around the city to the Rock Church. Many a parent knelt before the icon praying for the safety of their sons and daughters in the military.
For many years the Redemptorist provincial headquarters was located at the Rock Church. During those days we were known as the Redemptorists of the St. Louis Province. In 1996 the mid-west and western provinces merged. We selected the name ‘Denver Province’ and re-located our headquarters in Denver.
The Rock Church was one of the first churches in St. Louis, and possibly in the country to be integrated. For many years St. Alphonsus Rock Church was for the white people. The black people attended St. Clement Church, located a few blocks away. Father James Higgins, C.Ss.R. was pastor of both St. Alphonsus and St. Clement churches. One Sunday morning in 1945 Father arrived at St. Clement Churchy and instructed the people to follow him. Father Higgins walked the few blocks to St. Alphonsus Church with the black people close behind. He entered the Rock Church, walked down the center aisle and directed the people to take the front pews. He then turned to the entire congregation and announced, “Now we are one church.”
The celebration of the 150 years of the Perpetual Help icon being entrusted to the Redemptorists is a sold out event. However, we can watch the celebration on T.V. It will be televised on EWTN – 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Monday, June 27.
Kevin Clark will be recording the event. Then, on Saturday evening, July 2nd, he will be showing the highlights of the celebration immediately after the 5:00 p.m. Mass. Following the highlights we will enjoy some refreshments and snacks.
The children at religion class were discussing ‘prayer.’ “Does anyone know what ‘amen’ means?” the teacher asked. There was a long silence. Then one little boy piped up, with an appropriate computer-age answer. He said, “Well, I think it means, like, ‘Send.'”
Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R.