July 12th, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
Some of you, but perhaps not many, know that our patron St. Bridget of Kildare was the founder and abbess of a monastery of women, and also a monastery of men in 6th century Ireland. This religious contemporary of the great St. Patrick, also lived proximate to the time of St. Benedict of Nursia whose life the church celebrated this past Thursday, July 11. He is considered the father of Western Monasticism, and the famous “Rule of St. Benedict” that he authored is a spiritual masterpiece that guides not only monks and nuns, but you and me in our daily Christian lives. I know that Benedict has been a significant spiritual formation director throughout my life and ministry as a priest.
One of my favorite parts of the Rule of Benedict is found in chapter 53 when says “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).” That’s a compelling reminder to all of us to recognize the presence of Christ in all who come to stay with us, in whatever way that happens, including the hospitality we offer visitors who join us at St. Bridget’s for Mass on Sundays. I want to encourage all of us to take the initiative to say hello and introduce ourselves to each other as appropriate before and after Mass. Please also extend that hospitality and welcome to your family and friends who have not been to Mass for a while, and encourage them to join us for worship. May our parish be a place where all truly feel welcome, loved and appreciated, for the presence of Christ that they bear by their presence in our midst.
St. Bridget and St. Benedict…pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever!
Fr. Bill Heric