21 October 2016
Feast of St. Gaspar
Happy Feast Day! I am on my way to Miami to speak at the Archdiocesan Catechetical Conference. The theme of the conference, “Transformed by God’s Mercy,” reflects the challenge of Pope Francis to the church to “make more evident its mission of being a witness of mercy.” The keynote address and workshop I will give tomorrow will reflect how the Corporal Works of Mercy are practical and prophetic ways to live this revolution of God’s tender mercy and extend it to all who experience rejection rather than welcome.
Our founder, St. Gaspar, certainly encouraged the community to be actively engaged in the works of mercy. “Be especially concerned for the poor, particularly those most in need and deprived of every comfort,” he wrote. “As Jesus says that he considers done to himself what one does for the poor, and the prayers of these people are heard in a special way by the most merciful God (97).”
Two weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew unleashed untold devastation on many communities. The people of Haiti, still trying to recover from 2010 earthquake, are in desperate need as they try to rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The Kansas City Province is donating $10,000 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami which is coordinating bulk shipments of supplies to the people of Haiti. Catholic Charities works directly with Caritas in Cuba and Catholic Relief Services in Haiti to bring much needed relief. Please continue to hold in prayer all those who are suffering the loss of loved ones, homes, and livelihood because of the hurricane.
We are grateful to the Companions of St. Francis Xavier in St. Joseph who are hosting the community gathering this Sunday to celebrate the Feast of St. Gaspar. Also on Sunday, the members of St. Patrick Church in Sedalia will be celebrating their 150th anniversary. I will be joining our Precious Blood priests who have served the parish through the years along with our Central Missouri Companions and parishioners to celebrate this important milestone for the faith community of Pettis County.
May we meet in prayer across the miles this weekend as we celebrate our founder’s feast and seek to give witness once again to the God’s great mercy revealed most eloquently and powerfully in the Precious Blood of Jesus!
With peace in the blood of Christ,
Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.
21 October 2016