Father Stanley Rother – Modern Day Saint

rsz_fr_rother_in_guat_8x10_OKC_ArchivesHoly Relics: Preparing the Remains of Soon-to-be Beatified Father Stanley Rother
How does one gather relics? Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City and a Carmelite nun explain.

OKLAHOMA CITY — When Father Stanley Rother, a missionary priest from Okarche, Oklahoma, was killed by rebels in Guatemala, his body was transferred back to the United States to be buried by his family.

But his heart remained in Guatemala.

Literally.

 

The native Guatemalans loved their pastor so much that they enshrined his heart at the mission parish in Santiago Atitlan.

On Sept. 23, that heart will go from being a disembodied remain to a first-class relic, a sacred artifact of someone who has been beatified by the Catholic Church.

Sister Marita Rother Remembers Soon-to-Be ‘Blessed’ Father Stanley Rother
She recalls her older brother ‘as a devoted pastor, totally available to his people.’

Sister Marita Rother, 81, is the younger sister of martyred Father Stanley Rother (1935-81), the venerable servant of God who will be beatified Sept. 23.

The missionary priest was murdered in 1981 in his rectory amid the violence of the Guatemalan civil war. Sister Marita is a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she made first vows with the religious community in 1955 and final vows in 1960. The community is headquartered in Rome; its 2,500 members are involved in missionary work, nursing, social work and teaching. Sister Marita has served as a teacher and principal for more than 40 years and currently lives in Wichita, Kansas.

(more)

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/watch-trailer-for-new-documentary-on-first-u-s-martyr/

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Jerusalem_(24694726501) Our Lady of Sorrows statue in Golgotha, Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem | photo by creisor

Our Lady of Sorrows

Saint of the Day for September 15

https://wp.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODSep15.mp3

The Story of Our Lady of Sorrows

For a while there were two feasts in honor of the Sorrowful Mother: one going back to the 15th century, the other to the 17th century. For a while both were celebrated by the universal Church: one on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the other in September.

The principal biblical references to Mary’s sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27. The Lucan passage is Simeon’s prediction about a sword piercing Mary’s soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus’ words from the cross to Mary and to the beloved disciple.

Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary’s sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross. Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.

Saint Ambrose in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross. Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled. Mary looked on her Son’s wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed, but offered herself to her persecutors.

Reflection

John’s account of Jesus’ death is highly symbolic. When Jesus gives the beloved disciple to Mary, we are invited to appreciate Mary’s role in the Church: She symbolizes the Church; the beloved disciple represents all believers. As Mary mothered Jesus, she is now mother to all his followers. Furthermore, as Jesus died, he handed over his Spirit. Mary and the Spirit cooperate in begetting new children of God—almost an echo of Luke’s account of Jesus’ conception. Christians can trust that they will continue to experience the caring presence of Mary and Jesus’ Spirit throughout their lives and throughout history.

Click here to read a meditation on the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

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September 11, 2017 – Reflection for 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 11, 2017 – Reflection for 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Forgive a “Whole Bunch”

The readings this week are pretty straight forward: To be forgiven for our sins, one must forgive others. The first reading asks “Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?” Then in the Gospel when Peter asks Jesus how much one must forgive, Jesus uses words that our three young kids can understand: “not seven times, but 77 times,” in other words, a whole bunch.

Whether in our families, our parish, or in debates on national issues such as immigration, climate change, or race relations, seeking and granting forgiveness can be deeply challenging. Like other lessons, when trying to teach forgiveness to our kids, we struggle with how to make the lesson “stick” – when to teach with words or actions, when to let them learn a lesson on their own, or when to use carrots and sticks to help them learn to forgive. Sometimes our choices lead to parental lectures, furrowed brows, or even denial of privileges. While words and actions can be effective, we know the very best way to teach is by example. While Jesus shared parables and performed miracles, the ultimate lesson is his example on the cross.

The only way that we can expect our kids to forgive is to forgive them. The only way we can expect them to be merciful is for them to see us showing mercy to others. As a married couple, we need to forgive each other; even if the kids do not see us doing so, they will know if we don’t. God forgives us every day by continuing to love us despite our sins; on Good Friday, this was Jesus’ request when he asked, “Father, forgive them, they know now what they do.” (Lk 23:34)

What do Jesus’ lessons about forgiveness mean for us today? We have a responsibility to speak out for the poor, the prisoner, the immigrant, and for God’s creation. The most effective teachers – from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Ghandi to Jesus himself – show us that to make the greatest impact toward a more just and peaceful world, we need to practice mercy, forgiveness and non-violence. As Pope Francis reminded us in his 2017 World Day of Peace message: “Jesus himself lived in violent times…But Christ’s message in this regard offers a radically positive approach. He unfailingly preached God’s unconditional love, which welcomes and forgives.”

Yet to forgive is not to condone. We cannot stand by idly as God’s people and creation suffer injustice and injury. But to refuse to forgive simply continues the vicious cycle of anger. This is true in the national and international stage, just as it is in our own family.

Alisa and Doug O’Brien
FAN Board Members
(Alisa and Doug have three children, aged 3, 5, and 8 years old.)

Suggested Action:
Reflect on the final three lines from St. Francis’ Peace Prayer:
For it is in giving that we receive,
In pardoning that we pardon,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Suggested Petitions:
For all Christian people, may they have the love of God in their hearts so to be able to forgive quickly, we pray…
As International Peace day approaches, we pray for peace in our hearts, peace in our communities, and peace in our world, we pray…

Peace Prayer:

 

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

 

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

 

Amen