Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
May God’s graces be poured out upon you in all your endeavors this week. Many of you are back to school already by car, bus, train, wheelchair, or walking. All of us have work & errands which are part of the sustaining rhythms of our day and week as we travel the paths of life and faith with healthy physical and spiritual blood pressures.
From a scientific & common-sense physical nutritional standpoint we are well aware that regularly eating fresh fruits and vegetables, watching our salt intake, exercising consistently, putting in a good day’s work, laughing with others as well as at ourselves, planning times of recreation such as family outings & vacations, and patient listening and expressing concern for another human being are all basic and integral to healthy living.
Also, from a faith nutritional standpoint we are well aware that regularly listening to God’s Word, eating the Body of Christ and drinking the Blood of Christ, consistently participating in the celebration of the Sacraments, practicing the corporal & spiritual works of mercy, speaking up and acting for those who are burdened and/or incapable of caring for themselves, being merciful, praying from the heart, taking responsibility for our actions and being faithful to the good choices we have made such as Holy Matrimony, Religious Life, or Dedicated Faithful Life as a Single person are all basic and integral to healthy living too.
If we feed our bodies and souls with those things that provide healthy sustenance and growth then we cannot help but set a landscape for our whole selves to become holy and pursue and accomplish God’s will for us. If, on the other hand we choose to slowly but surely poison ourselves with immoderate and harmful living, both physical and spiritual, then we run counter to Jesus’ command to love God with all our heart, mind, strength, and being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. So let’s be unified in assisting each other to be nutritionally balanced physically and spiritually.
In God’s loving kindness,
—fr. Chris, O.P.
As the summer vacation comes to an end, many parishioners have shared that their children are already back to school or college. In the same way, our seven Dominican students have returned to our House of Studies in St. Louis, MO, after completing diverse summer internships. It’s the tradition of our formation program to start the academic year with a weeklong community retreat in which prayer, silence, and sharing are key components.
I remember well these retreats as I was discerning taking solemn vows in the Order and studying for the priesthood. I found this time away pivotal as the new semester approached. During the retreat, we shared with one another the ups and downs of our summer experiences and how God, in the midst of it all, was shaping us into future ministers. It also always comes to mind how our Dominican superiors emphasized the role of personal prayer in our lives; how right they were!
As you read these lines, our students in St. Louis have just finished their retreat and will start the fall semester on Monday, August 24, at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. My deepest gratitude to all of you for supporting our Dominican formation program not only financially but more importantly through your prayers for the perseverance of our young friars. Thank you for believing that the gift of priesthood is priceless!
How has your summer been? How has God manifested his presence through these months? Have you shared it with your loved ones?
In Christ and St. Dominic,
—fr. Juan, O.P.
PS: For tax-deductible donations to our Dominican formation program please write a check payable to Dominican Gala then send it to my attention, or call Valerie Chase if you’d like to offer your gift with a credit card. May God bless you abundantly!