August 7, 2016 – A View from the Rectory Window

 

As we anticipate our 5th anniversary as a parish family on August 14th, I look back on our previous Feast Day celebrations and how they’ve reflected the richness of our Catholic Faith.

The Catholic Church assigns one date of the year for each and every canonized saint.  In the case of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, August 14 was chosen since this was the day he was martyred in a concentration camp, for standing against those who denied the dignity of all human life.

While some Feast Days are celebrated only in the particular saint’s town or country, others are internationally celebrated.  How beautiful it is that we can gather for our patron saint in our own country, that sacrificed much to liberate the victims of such atrocities; a reminder still today, of the protection of all life from the moment of conception until natural death.

On some Feast Days, Catholics process through the streets and host festivals with plenty of pomp and circumstance.  And with some feasts, parishes often have a special Mass and may even have a nine-day novena, which usually concludes on the day of the feast itself.  Each year, including this year, we have prayed as a parish the Miraculous Medal Novena because Saint Maximilian Kolbe recommended that people wear this medal as an external sign of their Total Consecration to the Immaculata.  Mindful of Mary’s promise to St. Catherine that “all who wear it will receive great graces,” St. Maximilian saw the medal as a means of safeguarding the consecration of those who belong to Mary, work for her, and become one with her, so that she might use them as her instruments and act through them.

In the overwhelming richness of our catholic Faith, you can find saints for different places and saints for  different occasions.  The idea isn’t to replace or diminish the role of Christ as the one sole mediator but to show how the family of faith continues to remain a part of each member in different ways.

One of the best things that I have experienced in my time as your pastor is witnessing the great pride that parishioners take in Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish, and the mission of the Church.  I continually witness your dedication and see this faith manifested in each member in different ways.

Our Parish Feast is a great event for many reasons.   It builds our community from the first days of planning, to the final events.   We work together for the Lord and for our Northern Cape May County  community at large.  It also provides us with an opportunity to pass on the richness of our Catholic Faith for generations to come.

I look forward to celebrating with you anew this year.  May God bless you all for your faith, your dedication and your continued support of our parish.

Fr. Pete

 

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Novena of the Miraculous Medal

O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Our Lord Jesus and our Mother,
penetrated with the most lively confidence in your all-powerful and never-failing intercession, manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal,
we your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain for us the graces and favors we ask during this novena,
if they be beneficial to our immortal souls,
and the souls for whom we pray.
(Here privately from your prayer requested)

You know, O Mary, how often our souls have been the sanctuaries of your Son who hates iniquity.
Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone so that our every thought, word and deed may tend to His greater glory.
Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at length attain to that blessed abode where you are the Queen of angels and of men.
Amen.