April 18: Monday Evening at the Mission

The other day, one of the parishioners at St Mary of Mount Carmel Church said he finds the Catholic Catechism from Rome hard going, and it is. Tonight at our mission I’m going to recommend to the people the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, published by the US Biishops in 2006.

I like this catechism for a number of  reasons, it’s easier to read than the Roman catechism and has a lot of stories in it. They’re stories about people who have done a great deal for our church and our world; they’re examples of the faith we profess, saints like Elizabeth Seton, John Neuman and uncanonized saints like Dorothy Day.

Here in St. Mary’s two saints are honored whom I find  particularly meaningful today, especially for those of Italian heritage: St. Lucy Filippini and St. Pio.

I’m interested in St. Lucy because she comes from the same period and region the founder of my community, the Passionists, comes from: the Tuscan Maremma, the poorest part of poor Italy in the 18th century. She believed if you educated girls and women you could change the family and change society. She founded a community of teachers:The Institute of the Religious Teachers Filippini, For more on her and her sisters see here.

Two of her sisters minister in this parish today.

We need saints like Lucy and Padre Pio today.

Unfortunately, we adults think the catechism is for kids and that’s all behind us, but  as Jesus said, we’re always learners. With Catholic schools closing, especially in inner city areas, we need adults to pass on the faith to others.

Our theme for Monday night is “Following Jesus.” We don’t do that just with our feet or with our will, but we also follow him  with our hearts and minds. He is “our Teacher and Lord.”

The story of the Passion and Death is the great book we read these days of Holy Week. Tonight I’m going to look at that book which opened before us in Matthew’s Gospel on Palm Sunday this year. Take a look at the beautiful commentary on the Passion narrative from Matthew by Fr. Donald Senior.

We are going to reflect this evening on the story of the Last Supper and  Jesus’ prayer and agony in the garden.  7 PM

Then we’ll  have Benediction and  remember Jesus who is present and prays for us.

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