Saint Agnes, Virgin Martyr

Today’s readings There are a lot of saints in today’s Mass, but then, honestly, there always are.  Father John and I have an ongoing joke, that when one of us has the early 6:30 Mass, we say to the other, “I woke up the angels and saints for you.”  Now, obviously the angels and saints… Continue reading Saint Agnes, Virgin Martyr

Saint Francis Xavier, Missionary Priest, Diocesan Patron

We celebrate the memorial of Saint Francis Xavier as a feast today, because he is the patron saint of the Diocese of Joliet.  Francis Xavier was a sixteenth century man who had a promising career in academics.  He was encouraged in the faith by his good friend, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and went to join the new… Continue reading Saint Francis Xavier, Missionary Priest, Diocesan Patron

Saint Andrew, Apostle

Today’s readings As is the case for most of the apostles, we don’t know a whole lot about Saint Andrew.  And I think that’s appropriate, because what we need to know about the apostles is that they were followers of Jesus, and were devoted to him.  We too are called to that same great devotion.… Continue reading Saint Andrew, Apostle

Saint Cecilia, Virgin Martyr

Today’s readings For those of you who are musicians, whether you play an instrument or sing, this is your feast day.  Today we celebrate Saint Cecilia, a virgin and martyr  of the early church who is the patron saint of musicians.  Saint Cecilia was a force for good among those who knew her.  She worked… Continue reading Saint Cecilia, Virgin Martyr

Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

Mass for the school children. So today, you notice, I’m sure, that I am wearing red vestments.  I’m wearing red vestments because today’s saint, Saint Josaphat, was a martyr.  Do you know what a martyr is?  That’s right, it’s a saint that gave his or her life for Jesus, for the faith.  So the red… Continue reading Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Martin of Tours/Veterans Day

Today we have the opportunity to celebrate some heroes.  One hero is today’s saint, Saint Martin of Tours, who was actually a veteran and a fierce defender of our faith.  The other heroes are our nation’s veterans, who have fought in wars to protect us and to protect our freedoms. St. Martin of Tours is… Continue reading Saint Martin of Tours/Veterans Day

Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Today’s readings There’s a great scene in one of my favorite movies, “The Princess Bride,” when Vizzini and Inigo Montoya are sword fighting, and Vizzini keeps using the word “inconceivable.”  After a while, Inigo says, “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”  Well, today we celebrate the feast of… Continue reading Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Saint Teresa of Avila (Teresa of Jesus), Virgin, Mystic, and Doctor of the Church

Mass for the school children. Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Teresa of Avila, also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus.  Saint Teresa was a mystic, one who had deep experiences of prayer that enabled her to have visions.  She was known to have a very deep relationship with Jesus.  She once wrote, “We need no wings… Continue reading Saint Teresa of Avila (Teresa of Jesus), Virgin, Mystic, and Doctor of the Church

Pope Saint John XXIII

The firstborn son of a farming family in Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo in northern Italy, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was always proud of his down-to-earth roots.  After his ordination in 1904, Fr. Roncalli returned to Rome for canon law studies.  He soon worked as his bishop’s secretary, Church history teacher in the seminary, and as… Continue reading Pope Saint John XXIII

Saint Pius of Pietreclina (Padre Pio)

Today’s readings At the age of 15, Francesco Forgione joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio. He was ordained in 1910 and was drafted during World War I. After he was discovered to have tuberculosis, he was discharged. In 1917 he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. On September 20,… Continue reading Saint Pius of Pietreclina (Padre Pio)