Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Faith Seeking Understanding for September 4, 2005

Most of our school-aged children are now back in school, the football season is off to a great start, and autumn is just around the corner. In fact, now that school is back in session, it can be a great time for everyone to do just a bit of “homework” and learn more about our Faith, whether you’re just starting school this fall, or you’re celebrating your 80th High School reunion. One great resource for this is our new model of religious faith formation: Whole Community Catechesis. But this doesn’t mean that we only learn about the Church and our Lord Jesus Christ once a month!

Learning about the Faith doesn’t have to be dull, tedious, or boring. It certainly shouldn’t be limited to schoolrooms and churches, either! Since our Faith – a faith in Jesus Christ and His Cross – ought to be at the center of our lives, it ought to change us as individuals. We get to know our friends by spending time with them. We get to know God better by spending time in prayer, speaking with him. But we also grow in knowledge and love of God by studying His teachings. What does the Church teach about the Sacrifice of the Mass? About Eucharistic Adoration? About the other Sacraments and sacramentals?

This, however, is just the beginning! When we begin to read the writings of the saints, of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, we discover that the Church has centuries and centuries of wisdom: wisdom, not just about prayer and doctrine, but wisdom about life, because God became a man so that we could live life abundantly! The saints show us how to handle suffering, how to deal with difficult people at work and in our families, how to love our parents (and our children!), how to laugh, and how to cry.

This week, we celebrate another feast of the greatest Saint who ever lived: the Blessed Virgin Mary. September 8, nine months after our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, is celebrated as the Birthday of the Virgin Mary. The Church only celebrates the birthdays of two saints in the Sacred Liturgy – Mary and John the Baptist – because they were sanctified before their birth: Mary, from the first moment of her existence, and John, at the Visitation when he leapt in Elizabeth’s womb. These two great saints, like all of us, were not made holy because of who they were, but because of God’s magnificent and generous mercy. They were saved through Jesus’ suffering and death on the Cross, just as we are.

As a way to celebrate, throw a birthday party for our Blessed Mother this Thursday. Decorate a cake, eat ice cream, and sing; and for her present, pray the rosary together as a family, dedicating your lives to the service of her Son. There’s no better way to honor God and His Mother (and to enjoy some family time, too!).

Now that the fall sports are beginning, let’s pray to St. Sebastian for his intercession for all athletes, and that we have successful (and injury-free) seasons! St. Paul reminds us not to just strive for trophies that tarnish, but for the eternal victory of heaven.

Finally, I have been approached by John Hale from Corporate Travel to lead a week-long pilgrimage to Italy next fall (September – October 2006). Depending on interest (especially from SJN parishioners), we plan on visiting Rome, Assisi, San Giovanni Rotundo (St. Padre Pio), and the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. We may also be able to see either Florence or Siena. The pilgrimage will be more than just a tour, giving us the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of many great saints. Please call me at (734) 455-5910 or e-mail at the from St. John Neumann if you’re interested in participating in this pilgrimage. Have a blessed week!