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!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Faith Seeking Understanding for September 18, 2005

This coming week, the priests from the Archdiocese of Detroit will gather together at the Convocation. As we meet, discuss, recreate, and pray together, please keep us in your prayers, that it may be a fruitful time with each other and with Cardinal Maida. As a new priest, this is my first time at the convocation, so I will have the opportunity to meet my new brothers in the priesthood. This might be an excellent week to have a family discussion about vocations: marriage, priesthood, and religious life. God calls each of us to holiness, but He does so in a particular state in life. If we develop our relationship with Him through prayer and the Sacraments, especially while we’re young, we will be able to respond when He calls. Perhaps He is calling you to serve Him with your entire life as a priest or religious!

Conferences, retreats, and days of reflection also can help us attune our hearts to God and His will. Two weeks from now, the 10th Annual Call to Holiness Conference will be held at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights, on September 30 – October 2. This year’s conference features EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo and Jeff Cavins, as well as Bishop John Quinn from Detroit and Emilio Allué from Boston. For more information, visit or call (800) 427-2024. The conference includes daily Mass, extensive opportunities for Confessions, Eucharistic Adoration, excellent speakers, and opportunities for fellowship.

The saints also provide excellent examples of holiness, particularly for our everyday lives. This week, the Church celebrates the feast days of St. Januarius, St. Andrew Kim Taegon and companions, St. Matthew, and St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

St. Januarius is best known for the miracle associated with a vial of his blood, kept in a church in Naples, Italy. Several times each year, including his feast day of September 19, the congealed blood liquefies, often increasing in volume and mass. Many scientific experiments have been conducted upon the relic, with no clear explanation of the phenomena. Certainly, such odd occurrences are not conclusive proof of our Faith; rather, we always trust in the truth of the Gospel, but can be aided in our belief by such apparent miracles. St. Januarius, the bishop of Beneventum, died a martyr’s death in the early fourth century, in Diocletian’s persecution.

St. Andrew Kim was the first native Korean priest; he and his companions were tortured and beheaded in 1846 at Seoul. Pope John Paul II canonized these Korean martyrs in 1984. Through their intercession, we continue to pray for the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, especially in areas of persecution and trial. We celebrate their feast on September 20.

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, is remembered on September 21. In Mark and Luke’s Gospels, he is referred to as “Levi.” We read in his own Gospel (Matthew 9:9) the account of his conversion: “[Jesus] saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” Would that we were so quick to follow our Lord! Matthew, like the other Apostles, was martyred for the Faith. We can honor St. Matthew by reading his Gospel and praying for the grace of conversion in our lives.

Finally, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, or Padre Pio as he is more popularly known, is celebrated on September 23. St. Pio was a remarkable Capuchin friar with a great reputation for sanctity even while he lived. He was born in 1887 and received the stigmata (the mystical wounds of Christ’s passion) in 1918. Fifty years later, he died, with the scent of roses emanating from his wounded hands, feet, and side. I was blessed to be present in Rome when Pope John Paul II canonized St. Pio in 2002. We intend to visit his monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo in October 2006, when I lead the pilgrimage to Italy. Please call or e-mail if you are interested.

If you would like to help distribute Holy Communion at the Heartland nursing facility or to other homebound parishioners, or if you have a homebound family member who would like to receive Holy Communion, please call or e-mail me.

Have a blessed week!