Pastor’s Notes – October 8, 2017

Father Shea

By Fr. James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.


Early in the morning he awakened his wife. He complained of severe abdominal pains. His wife rushed him to the emergency room. This man worked at a funeral home. So he told his wife to hold off from calling the funeral home until the test results came back.

Later that morning the nurse informed them that the x-rays showed a kidney stone. His wife then asked her husband, “Would you like me to call the funeral home now?” The nurse looked bewildered. She snapped back, “Honey, honey, slow down. He is sick but not that sick.”

You’d almost think I had a kidney stone last week when I typed up the announcements. I don’t know where my head was when I wrote up that the T.V. program ‘Discovering your faith’ which was filmed at St. Gerard, would be televised on June 10th. To make matters worse, Father Peter Hill celebrated the 5:00 p.m. Mass. He read the announcement as I wrote it. Fortunately, he made light of the matter when he encouraged the congregation to remember June 10th…8 months from now.

Thank God we caught the mistake. The date and time were correctly announced at the Sunday Masses. Here is the correct date and time. Tuesday, October 10th at 7:00 p.m.

During the past year we prepared for the feast days of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, with a novena. A novena (from the Latin: ‘novem’ meaning ‘nine’) is a tradition of praying for nine consecutive days or weeks or months. The novena is an age old Christian practice of preparing for a special feast.

Each week, on Tuesday morning we pray the novena prayers of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We call this a novena. But, we con’t stop after the ninth week of prayer. Instead, we keep right on going, week after week. So, it becomes an everlasting novena.

However, on Tuesday, October 10th, yes, October 10th  – the same day of the T.V. program ‘Discovering your Faith.’ we will begin a ‘nine week’ novena. We will be preparing for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Friday, December 8th.

Bob Gonzales conducts this novena. WE begin at 6:00 p.m. We pray the rosary together. Then we celebrate Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The rosary and Benediction will take about 40 minutes. You’ll have plenty of time to drive home to watch the 7:00 p.m. program ‘Discovering your Faith.’

On October 14th we will formally welcome the fourteen seminarians. We will begin Mass at 5:00 p.m. Father Jack Kingsbury C.Ss.R., the man who arranged for the seminarians to come to San Antonio, will preside at the Mass. The seminarians will be responsible for all the ministries during Mass: the music – cantor and accompaniment – lector, ushers, gift bearers and ministers of the Eucharist. After Mass we will head over to the cafeteria to enjoy food and drink as we meet and greet and mingle.

Several years ago we conducted a financial campaign as we prepared for our centennial celebration. At that time some people contributed money toward a presider’s chair – the chair which the celebrant of the Mass occupies. I contacted Walter Lyssy, a man who builds chairs. he agreed to build this chair.

Before he began working on the chair he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. He took some time off while being treated for the disease. When he returned he worked on the chair. He built a prototype our of cherry wood. A number of parishioners viewed the prototype and suggested changes. Then Walter began building the chair out of mesquite wood.

On October 14th we will debut and bless this chair and the two adjoining chairs, all made out of mesquite. Walter also built two small book stands between the chairs. Father Jack Kingsbury will bless these chairs…since he will be the first to use them.

Monday is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We wish our Canadian brothers in the Theology Residence a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Bill Peterson, former football coach for Florida State, was well known for the mistakes he made in speech. Once he said, “The greatest thing just happened. I got indicted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and they gave me a standing observation.” He also said, “I’m the football coach and don’t you remember it!” Another time he said, “We can beat this team. All we have to do is capitalize on our mistakes.”

Remember Tuesday, October 10th. Novena at 6:00 p.m. and televising ‘Discovering your Faith’ at 7:00 p.m.

Remember Saturday, October 14th. Welcome our Seminarians at 5:00 Mass, followed with food and drink.

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.