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Pastor's Corner

Father Scott Thomas

Pastor's Corner Father Scott Thomas

April 26, 2020

The coming week is packed with a list of rock star saints. Not to take away from other saints in Heaven (and not that those humble servants care), but these are some big names to consider. Tuesday is the Memorials of St Gianna Beretta Molla and St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. Wednesday offers the Memorial of St Catherine of Sienna. Then Friday gives us the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker.

St Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatrician who lived from 1922-1962. As a married mother of four who lived in the 20th century, certainly she stands a model who can appeal to many Catholics today. During her fourth pregnancy, though, she was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. Her doctor recommended an abortion to care for the cyst and save her life, but St Gianna would not agree. She put the life of her child before her own. A week after giving birth to her child, St Gianna died of septic peritonitis. St Gianna was canonized in 1994 by Pope St John Paul II.

St Louis-Marie Grignon de Monfort is one who should appeal to us in Natchez as he is one of the foremost preachers on devotion to Mary. Probably one of his greatest contributions to the Church is his Total Consecration to Mary, which is still used in various ways to this day. He lived from 1673 to 1716 and was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

St Catherine of Sienna is probably one of the most powerful women to have lived and contributed to the Church, and even during a time when women did not have much to their name at all. She lived from 1347-1380 in Italy and was the youngest of 24 children. Her writings are still used and read by many today. She was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope St Paul VI. In 1347 she received the Stigmata from Jesus. She was instrumental in influencing Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

Finally on Friday we celebrate St Joseph under the title of St Joseph the Worker. This memorial was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to combat communist propaganda on work. The Church has always pointed out the dignity of work as found throughout Sacred Scripture. In 1981, Pope St. John Paul II stated: “the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.” We must remember that work exists for the sake of the person, not that the person exists for the sake of work. Work is a way of showing our creativity and our participation with God in the creating and sustaining of the world. This is important to remember as our economy struggles to restart after all this quarantining. But even now as some continue to work locally, how can we help support them and their livelihood?


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Corbel heads in St. Mary Basilica.
Corbel Heads in St. Mary Basilica

St. Mary Basilica Coat of Arms