From the Pastor’s Desk,

The Ascension of Our Lord occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter. It is the final act of our redemption that Christ began at His birth and continued through the Triduum. On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The reality of Christ’s Ascension is so important that the different Christian creeds all affirm, in the words of the Apostles’ Creed; that “He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” The denial of the Ascension is as grave a departure from Christian teaching as is denial of Christ’s Resurrection. Christ’s bodily Ascension foreshadows our own entrance into Heaven not simply as souls, after our death, but as glorified bodies, after the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment. In redeeming mankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the material world itself to the glory that God intended before Adam’s fall. The Feast of the Ascension marks the beginning of nine days of prayer before the decent of the Holy Spirit. Before His Ascension, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit to His apostles. Their prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit, which began on Ascension Thursday, ended with the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, ten days later. In the 1990’s The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops began to look at moving the celebration to the following Sunday. Many countries had already done so in the 70’s and 80’s. Several reasons were given, the two most important being: 1) Ascension is so important to our Christian Faith; 2) celebrating it on Sunday meant more people would truly celebrate it. This coming weekend we are also celebrating and honoring our mothers. This celebration is not particular to our country. In fact, as Americans we are late comers in giving these special women, “our mothers,” a special day in which to honor them. Many nations across the face of the earth have for centuries set aside a special day for honoring those who have given us life. It was not until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson set the first National Mother’s Day in our country. That first year, American citizens were urged to display the American flag in honor of those mothers who sons had died in World War I. As Catholic Christians, we have for almost 2000 years been showing respect and honor to the Mother of Jesus Christ. In giving Mary that special love and respect, hopefully we see our own mothers right there beside her. Mary in saying yes to the Archangel Gabriel, changed her whole life around. That is also the case of our own mother, when she said yes to us the moment we were conceived. Motherhood is not something to be taken lightly by anyone. As we remember our mothers, whether living or deceased, remember them in prayer. The flowers are nice, taking them out to lunch or dinner is great, but remember them in prayer. Our mothers spent countless hours in prayer for each of us. The nights they stayed awake until we walked in the back door. All the chauffeuring to music events, sporting events, to the pool, to the movies, you name it, our mothers did it out of love. So spend some time in prayer for them, because God knows how much prayer our mothers have sent heavenward for us, their sons and daughters. Welcome to The Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis , who has been named our seventh Bishop!

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