Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing Fr. Rob's Weekly Message

May 5, 2024

Dear Friends,

I would like to begin with the following prayer…

“Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother, to you do I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate despise not my petitions, but  in your mercy, hear and answer me. AMEN.”

This prayer, I understand, is a sixteenth-century version of a fifteenth-century prayer. The idea of the “Memorare”, the name of the prayer above, was written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  This was my mother’s favorite prayer and brought her much comfort.

We are in the month of May which is a time that many of the faithful remember the Blessed Mother.  One may ask why is May designated as a month out of twelve to reflect on Mary, the Mother of God.

One answer is that without Mary giving birth to Jesus, all the events that followed: Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection wouldn’t have happened. So, it is believed that the month of May (when nature is showing signs of life, at least in the Northern Hemisphere) is the ideal month to honor the woman who gave life to our Savior.

I went to Holy Ghost Grammar School and recall that each year during the  month of May there was great attention given to the Mother of God. Every classroom had its own prayer space, with a statue of Mary that was decorated with flowers that we brought to school from our parents flower gardens. These prayer spaces became “shrines” that were the focus of every child.  Near the end of May, an eight grade girl was chosen to place a crown of flowers on the statue of Mary in our church grotto. It was a big grotto recalling Mary as the Lady of Fatima.

The chosen girl climbed up the rocky grotto (which had cascading water flowing into a pool) and placed the crown on Mary’s head. As little children we watched in awe wondering if the chosen eighth grader would make it up to the statue without falling. No one ever fell!

Both Saint Catherine of Siena and the Church of the Transfiguration have beautiful statues of Mary on our properties. As in years past, again this year, a crown of flowers will be placed upon her head.

Times change, some traditions continue and new ones begin, but, we as the faithful, continue to honor Mary, the Mother of our Lord.  Perhaps some of you reading this article have your own traditions. For me, I pray my mother’s favorite prayer, say the rosary and reflect on the many images artists have created to portray Mary.  May we each take time to reflect on the wonderful gift of life the Blessed Mother has given to each of us, with her Son, Jesus.

May has given us many blessed moments of sacramental grace to share with one another. Most importantly, we have our Eucharistic celebrations during the weekdays and on our weekends. This past week we came together at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the Sacrament of Confirmation of our young people. We have this weekend our celebrations of First Communion. A few in our congregations had an early celebration in the past two weeks. 

We are certainly fortunate to be able to come together and share our spiritual journey.  May we appreciate the richness of our faith and the blessings, graces and strength we have before us.  

Mary, the Mother of God, pray for us.
Jesus, our Risen Brother, bless us.

With faith and blessing,

Father Rob     



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