Quotidian (4)

4 June 2018 | Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

In the Extraordinary Form, it is the memorial of St. Francis Caracciola, Confessor (d. 1608), who burned with such love for the Most Blessed Sacrament that he would spend almost the whole night in adoring It.

It is also the memorial of St. Clotilde (d. 545):
Clotilde was a Burgundian princess who in about 493 married Clovis, King of the Franks. Brought up a Christian, she had their children baptized, and in due course Clovis himself was baptized, somewhere between 496 and 499, marking the beginning of Christian France. When Clovis died in 511, and especially after her son Clodomir died in 524, Clotilde devoted herself to works of charity and founded many churches and religious institutions, setting a pattern that was later followed by many royal widows in Europe. She herself died by the tomb of St Martin of Tours in 545.

I’ve always enjoyed hagiographies of saints who grew up amid privilege but used their wealth and stature to grow the Church by entering religious life after their family obligations were more-or-less satisfied.

It is also, in the Order of Preachers calendar, the memorial of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., the first Dominican martyr. Icons and statues often have the saint depicted with a knife, sword, or axe cutting into his head, as at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Wake Forest, NC.

Last week (Quotidians 1, 2, and 3), much of the family was under the weather in some capacity, but we weathered the storm, so to speak, and had a nice weekend. We went to a birthday party at Adventure Landing (formerly Putt-Putt Golf and Games), complete with ticket-dispensing games, putt-putt miniature golf, and laser tag, which all the children, including my older daughters, greatly enjoyed; the youngest seemed entertained by the flashing light.

Later that Saturday, we attended the parish family picnic at Sacred Heart, which had hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, nachos, and all sorts of fair foods. The picnic, which was hosted by the Knights of Columbus, was also a fundraiser and raffle to benefit the parish youth ministry’s summer mission trip. Yesterday our parish, Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, celebrated Corpus Christi. Fr. Justin, a Passionist and the rector of the Cathedral, will soon be leaving, and Sunday’s sermon — on his life as a priest and his devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament — may have been on of the last times my family hear him preach.

Today begins the final week of my eldest daughter’s first year of Pre-K at Thales Academy. She will have five weeks off before she begins Kindergarten. In all, MM has largely enjoyed her time at Thales and we as parents are quite pleased. There is someplace inside of me that thinks that five-years-old is too young for proper schooling and her time should be devoted to playing with her sisters, exploring the creek behind our house, attending daily mass, learning to clean her room and do simple chores around the house, and listening to stories from her parents and grandparents, memorizing prayers and poems, and growing an actual kinder-garden, which we’re doing at the top of our driveway around the mailbox (and needs to be thinned out after a few days of rain).

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Quotidian (1)

28 May 2018 | Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Augustine of Canterbury.
It is Memorial Day in the United States of America.

On Saturday, St. Thomas More Academy, the small Catholic prep school where I teach, held its sixteenth commencement exercises for the graduating Class of 2018. It was a memorable event, complete with a visit and apostolic blessing from His Excellency Luis Rafael Zarama,  our newly installed Bishop of Raleigh, and a commencement address by Dr. Paul J. Griffiths, who was my advisor at Duke Divinity and the Warren Chair of Catholic Theology. Other guests including Monsignor Jeffrey Ingham, pastor of St. Joseph’s and our unofficial chaplain at STMA, and Father Phil Tighe, former pastor at St. Catherine’s in Wake Forest and current Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Raleigh. Lastly, seated right behind the bishop were two STMA alumni seminarians.

STMA students had attended His Excellency’s August Installation Mass, the March Chrism Mass, and in April a priest’s funeral at which Bishop Zamara was its principal celebrant, but this was our first event in which he was able to offer us his words and blessing. The Bishop’s remarks were generous and encouraging: directed to the students, he urged them to stay close to Jesus and the Sacraments and to allow the Savior to serve ‘as the control tower as these graduates take off into the airspace’ of their adult lives; he also urged parents to stay in touch with their children as they head off to school, notably to call, not to text.

I had not connected with Paul much since leaving Duke, but it was good to see him and to hear his words to our graduates. He spoke about work: sweat-work, beauty-work, and leisure, and how in a good life these three are braided together in service to the Lord and His Church. He’s recently written a work on Christian anthropology, entitled Christian Flesh, something that has been in the works for a few years and due out in September. He will retire from Duke this summer without seeking another academic post. He says he will continue writing. His recent piece for the May 2018 First Things is “A Letter To An Aspiring Intellectual.”

This morning my wife was under the weather, so the girls — all three of them — and I went to Mass  at Sacred Heart, which has been downgraded to a church but is not (yet) a parish, though the Passionists, Fr. Justin and Fr. Justin, have continued to offer daily masses Monday through Saturday for many of the downtown faithful.

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MM and Va visit the grotto at Sacred Heart.