Dear Parish Family,
“We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.” ~St. Catherine of Siena
Be sure to call before 4:00 today for Mass reservations. 601-856-2054.
Please pray for our children who are preparing to receive their First Eucharist on Saturday, and for our young people who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, also on Saturday. May they approach these beautiful sacraments with a sense of wonder and awe and may God touch their lives that day and every day with His love, grace and mercy!
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
First Reading: Acts 13:26-33
Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue: “My brothers,
children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are
God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent. The inhabitants of
Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath. For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him put to death, and when they had accomplished all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people. We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
“I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
“Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
Gospel: John 14:1-6
said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith
in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many
dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to
prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” John 14:1-6
In 2019, the year before the pandemic, long lines of climbers jammed the base of Mount Everest, leaving tons of garbage across the Himalayas. But, this year, with no visitors due to COVID-19, local Sherpas have been working to restore the environment. As part of the clean-up effort, 12 Nepalese climbers scaled two mountains and crossed four alpine glaciated passes to remove 24,000 pounds of garbage – food wrappers, cans, bottles and empty oxygen cylinders. “It felt like a pilgrimage,” said one Sherpa. “It was nature in its purest state.” [CBS News.]
On the night before his death, Jesus promises to go to prepare a “place for us.” That place with God begins in this place, this wondrous earth that God has given us. Our time in this place, as the Sherpa says of their work this past year in the Nepalese mountains, is a “pilgrimage” during which we encounter God and signs of God’s presence in the beauty of nature and the goodness of one another.
May Christ the “Way” illuminate our paths on this pilgrimage to God’s mountain, making us see our responsibility for this place and our sisters and brothers with whom we share as we accompany one another on our journey through time to “next place.”
Risen Christ, may your promise of a place for all in your Father’s house fill us with grateful hope as we journey to that dwelling place. In that hope, help us to make this place a place of welcome and affirmation where your compassion and grace, your healing and consolation, may be experienced in this time and place of ours.
An Act of
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Saint Pius V, Pope
1504 – 1572
Patron Saint of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
One Shepherd, one flock, One Lord, one Church
Saint Pius V is buried in the Sistine Chapel, but not “that” Sistine Chapel. His body lies in a glass coffin in the stunning, baroque, Sistine Chapel of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. He is not far from other luminaries: the master artist Gianlorenzo Bernini is buried unassumingly in the floor nearby, and Saint Jerome’s remains can be found in a porphyry tomb under the main altar. Saint Pius V was not born a pope, of course. He was from a poor but noble family in Northern Italy and baptized Antonio Ghislieri. He entered the Dominican Order as a teenager and quickly rose to positions of authority and responsibility due to his intelligence, discipline, unassailable purity of life, and defense of the Church.
He was elected Pope in 1566. The Council of Trent had just concluded. The Counter-Reformation was so new it did not even have a name. The Muslim Turks were invading Europe from the East. Protestants occupied chunks of Northern Europe and were cracking the unity of the Church in France. In a truncated papacy of six years and four months, Saint Pius V rose to all of these challenges and more, leaving an enduring legacy disproportionate to his brief reign.
Our saint marshalled the coalition of Catholic princes and monarchs who defeated the Turks at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. A loss would have opened the front door of Europe for Muslims to walk right in and make it their home. In 1570, Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I of England for heresy and schism, called her a pretender to the throne, and forbade Catholics to obey her. This led the Queen to seek the blood of English Catholics for treason. As momentous as these events were, and they each cast long and dark historical shadows, it was specifically as a churchman that Saint Pius V did his best work. He personally lived the reforms he expected of the Church as a whole, and he implemented those reforms first in the city of Rome itself, among his own ecclesial court and among his own people.
The Council of Trent met intermittently between 1545–1563. It was arguably the most successful Council in the history of the Church. Trent introduced numerous reforms that have long since been accepted as normative Church practice: a bishop must live in his diocese, priestly formation must occur in a seminary, the Mass must be said using a uniform language and ritual, a catechism must be published and its teachings learned by all, and religious and priests cannot easily skip from one diocese to another. The Council also clarified technical, and not so technical, questions of Catholic theology in the face of Protestant challenges. The Council’s documents were not put on a shelf to gather dust. Trent’s immense treasure house of doctrinal, liturgical, and disciplinary reforms were implemented, fully and forcefully, over many succeeding decades. This was due to the perseverance and vision of many Counter-Reformation bishops, priests, nuns, and scholars, beginning with Saint Pius V himself.
Saint Pius V is considered an icon of orthodoxy (correct teaching) and orthopraxy (correct practice). It is an unfortunate truism of modernity that religious faith, submission to religious truth, or trust in a prior intellectual inheritance (as opposed to personal discovery of “truth”) are limiting forces which stunt personal growth, shield the believer from reality, or block more daring inquiry. A more honest perspective disproves these snide conclusions. Doubt, refusal, or negation are not necessarily open-minded pathways to discovery. It is acceptance, affirmation, and faith that open the mind to the widest horizons. It is “Yes,” not “No,” that leads to more complex and demanding relationships, including with God Himself. The orthodox believer makes no a priori decision to shut his eyes to the fullness of reality, in contrast to the atheist. The believer is open, truly open, to diverse arguments and experiences.
Defenders of orthodoxy, like St. Pius V, have far more complex understandings of human anthropology and religion than commonly acknowledged. Conservatives are more intuitive anthropologists than liberals. They know how fragile truth can be when under pressure, and they take their job to protect it with utmost seriousness. Saint Pius V was the Pope, or Father, of a universal family. He protected the family’s unity with all his considerable skills and virtues, and left a highly united, disciplined Church as his legacy.