May 28, 2020
After I had a conversion in my faith in college, one of the first saints that I learned about was the man known as the “Joyful Saint.” Saint Philip Neri lived in Rome in the 16th century and was known for his holiness, simplicity, but especially his great joy and sense of humor. Sometimes as a confessor he would assign someone the penance of walking around with a silly hat, so that they would grow in humility. I probably would have had to wear a lot of those hats!!
On the Vigil of Pentecost in 1544, Philip was praying in the Catacombs of St. Sebastian and received a mystical grace from our Lord. During his prayer in the darkness of the catacombs, a globe of fire appeared to him and then entered down his mouth into his chest. Physicians after his death discovered that his heart had been so enlarged from this experience that several of the surrounding ribs had been cracked. Multiple witnesses during his canonization process testified to hearing his heartbeat from across a room. The fire of God’s love had so permeated the life of Saint Philip Neri that his heart had been physically changed and enlarged by God’s grace within him.
This past Tuesday, we celebrated the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri and the miracle of his heart offers us an invitation in our time as we too approach the Solemnity of Pentecost. Countless forces have been at work on our own hearts in these days. Forces of fear, anxiety, and stress. Our hearts have been stretched by the need to give to spouses, children, co-workers, and friends in new and unique ways. Perhaps it feels like we have nothing left. So maybe now all we can do is surrender and say “Lord, I’m yours. Here is my heart. I give you permission to fill it with an abundance of your grace. Pour into me the gifts of your Holy Spirit.” The gifts of the Spirit, given particularly at Pentecost, are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This weekend, I would invite you to simply come to the Lord as you are, to open your hearts before Him, and allow Him to gently re-fill it with His much needed gifts.
Video Mass for Sunday, May 31. Here is the recorded Mass celebrated by Fr. Tim and Fr. John for this upcoming Sunday (the Solemnity of Pentecost). We provide a worship aid to help you better enter into the prayer of the Mass. We continue to be thankful for the work of our liturgists Brian Eggers and Mary Robertson, and our cantor Amy Sobczak. Thanks also to David Vartanian and his son Blase of DV Productions for their tireless efforts in helping to make these filmed Masses possible.
Eat, Drink & Be Catholic @ Home. On Wednesday evening, Fr. Tim led and recorded a reflection entitled "Leaving the Upper Room" for the series Eat, Drink & Be Catholic @ Home. As we prepare to celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, we invite you to watch the video on our Family of Four Parishes YouTube channel.
Parish Financial Support. We are so grateful for your financial support of the parish. Thank you so much, it has been amazing to witness the generosity of so many! Please continue to mail in your envelopes and contributions to our parish office (Three Holy Women Parish, 1716 N Humboldt Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202) and our parish staff will process these.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Fr. Tim (Cell: 414-762-7986; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; email@example.com) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.
Sincerely, with love,