In 1821, poet Heinrich Heine wrote “In the Wonderful Month of May,” and his words were set to music by numerous Romantic composers such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Söderman, and Franz. May is a wonderful month in the Catholic church as well, filled with feast days and celebrations that bring us comfort, peace, and joy.
On May 1, we celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955, because Joseph is the pre-eminent example of the holiness of human labor. Jesus was a carpenter like his father, and he learned his trade working side by side with Joseph. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers is one of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching, and beginning with the Book of Genesis, God created man to care for the earth and be productive in his labors. As we start to turn the corner on the deadly pandemic that so altered our lives for over a year, we especially honor and thank those essential workers, who faced fear and danger every day to ensure we were cared for. Pope Francis dedicated this entire year (December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021) to St. Joseph, who is the patron of the Universal Church, as well as fathers, husbands, and workers. By praying to St. Joseph, we find COMFORT.
he entire month of May is dedicated to Mary, who is the patroness of all humanity, the Americas, and mothers. From the cross Jesus gave us his mother to be our mother as well when he said: “Woman, behold your son! Then He said to the disciple, Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27). During the month of May, Mary is celebrated as Queen of Heaven and Earth, and we will honor Mary specially on Thursday, May 13 with our traditional May Crowning. Mary is a holy model, consoler, and intercessor for our spiritual journey. By praying to St. Mary, we find PEACE.
On Saturday, 100 students from St. Michael’s School as well as our Religion Education Program celebrated their First Holy Communion. This most holy sacrament is important, not only for the recipients, but for the entire parish, because it unites us as members of God’s Kingdom on Earth. Fr. Brent explained to the children that “You Are What You Eat” (see homily attached below). By eating healthy food, our bodies stay strong, and by receiving the Body of Christ, our souls stay strong. Moreover, while we receive Christ in the Eucharist, He also receives us. I remembered with great fondness this very special day when my own children received this important Sacrament for the first time. Then and now, it is always a feeling of great JOY.
Comfort, peace, and joy…what more could we need?