By Father James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.
Dear Parishioners and Friends:.
An elderly woman took her little grandson to the zoo. That little boy’s face was filled with brightly shining freckles. Grandma and the boy got in line with other children, waiting to have tiger paws painted on their cheeks.
A little girl took one look at the little boy and said, “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint tiger paws!” The little boy was embarrassed. He dropped his head and began to whimper. Grandma noticed how her grandson was offended. She knelt down next to him and said, “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles.” While tracing her finger across the child’s cheek, she said, “Freckles are beautiful.”
The boy looked up and said, “Really! Is that for real? You really like freckles?” With a smile on her face grandma said, “Of course I do. Why just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.” The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”
Did Jesus have freckles? We really don’t know. But those of us who have freckles would like to think that Jesus had freckles. We celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration today. Jesus took Peter, James and John to the mountain top. There he was transfigured before them. St. Matthew said that ‘Jesus’ face shone like the sun.’ As we all know, a face that shines like the sun must be filled with freckles.
As we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration we imagine Jesus glowing with light. His clothes became white as light. How often we refer to Jesus as coming to us as the light of the world. On the walls of an ancient Scottish castle are engraved these words: “When Jesus comes the shadows depart.” The earliest Christians had this saying of Jesus: “He has turned our midnight into morning.”
On Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 ‘CTSA 17,’ the Catholic Television of San Antonio, will be coming to St. Gerard. At 7:00 pm they will be televising a program in which they will speak about current Catholic issues in the world and the Catholic issues in our Archdiocese. The last segment of the program will be about our parish. They want to hear about the many ministries in our parish. They have asked me to invite the entire parish to be present for the filming. So, mark your calendars. Let’s fill the church and let people throughout San Antonio what a great parish we have.
The week after Thanksgiving the men of our parish will be conducting an ACTS retreat. Daniel Thatcher is the director. He is putting together his team. Between now and the ACTS retreat I will be encouraging the men of the parish to sign up for the weekend. We have a great parish. When the men make an ACTS retreat we will have a greater parish.
The Archdiocese is currently involved in a Capital Campaign. Fifty years ago was the last time the Archdiocese had a Capital Campaign. The name of the Campaign is: !On the Way! !Andale! The Steier Group, from Omaha Nebraska, is the consultant for the Campaign. The parishes throughout the Archdiocese have been assigned to one of four waves: Pilot Wave; Wave 1; Wave 2; Wave 3. St. Gerard has been assigned to Wave 2 which will take place next March-August.
The Steier Group will come to our parish and help us in conducting the campaign. They will provide the brochures and handle all the mailing. The Steier Group has developed a formula to establish a parish goal. Our goal is $133,600 will remain in our parish.
The money from the Campaign will be used to strengthen our existing parishes, especially the older ones which are struggling; to establish new parishes; to help Catholic Charities Outreach; for Lay Ministry; Assumption Seminary; Campus Ministry and Catholic Schools.
Finally, I want to thank the many people who have helped in various ways to welcome our Theology students. So many pitched in to turn bedrooms, unused for 20 years, into attractive homes for the students. And so I say to you all: Thank You. Father Stephen Rehrauer, our Provincial, also sends his heartfelt thanks.
Many, many years ago Thelma Goldstein treated herself to her first vacation. She drove from Chicago to Florida. She stopped at a decent looking hotel in North Miami. Little did she know that the hotel was restricted.
She walked up to the registration desk and said to the manager, “My name is Mrs. Goldstein. I’d like a small room for two weeks” “I am awfully sorry,” the manager replied, “but all of our rooms are occupied.” Just at that moment a man stepped up to the desk announcing that he was checking out.
“How lucky I am,” exclaimed Mrs. Goldstein. “Now there’s a room.” “Not so fast, Madam,” said the manager. “I’m sorry, but this hotel is restricted. No Jews are allowed to occupy our rooms.” “Jewish? Who’s Jewish? I happen to be Catholic,” shouted Mrs. Goldstein.
“With a name like Goldstein, I find that hard to believe,” said the manager. Let me ask you, who was the Son of God?” “Why, it was Jesus, the Son of Mary,” answered the woman. “Where was he born?” asked the manager. “In a stable,” said the woman. “And why was he born in a stable?” asked the manager. With a stern look on her face, the woman said, “Because a schmuck like you wouldn’t let a Jew rent a room in his hotel!”
Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R.