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 24, 2005

Faith Seeking Understanding for September 25, 2005

The Sacred Heart Major Seminary “Desert Classic” golf outing takes place tomorrow at St. John’s golf course. This event is the major fundraiser that supports the Desert Formation Experience (DFE) for the seminarians who have just completed their first year of Theology studies. Traditionally, the pilgrimage had been to the Holy Land, but with recent unrest and turmoil in Palestine and Israel, the pilgrimage was modified to follow the footsteps of the great Saints of Western Europe. My classmates and I made our six-week pilgrimage to Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy. We were blessed to visit the Marian shrines of Lourdes and Fatima, as well as to pray at the resting places of St. John Vianney, St. James (Santiago di Compostela), St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and many more. Perhaps the greatest highlight was to encounter our beloved Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, at the end of the pilgrimage in Rome.

Pilgrimages are an excellent way to experience a deepening of our personal faith. By visiting the places in which our Lord and the Saints have walked and ministered, we can encounter them in a new way and appreciate the meaning of their lives under a different light. The change of scenery and schedule can often open our hearts to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in a fresh and exciting way; such awareness can be startling, but it is always fruitful and rewarding. I will be leading a pilgrimage (with Corporate Travel in Dearborn) to Italy in October 2006. We intend to visit Assisi, Siena, San Giovanni Rotondo, and finish with several days in Rome, including a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI. We are still in the planning stages, but if you are interested – even slightly – please call (734) 455-5910 or email so we can refine the itinerary and other details.

This coming week the Church celebrates the feasts of Sts. Cosmas and Damian on the 26th (3rd century martyrs, named in the Canon of the Mass, and patrons of physicians and surgeons), St. Vincent de Paul on the 27th (the great 17th century apostle of charity, whose incorrupt body can be seen in Paris to this day), the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael on the 29th (traditionally known as “Michaelmass”, this feast begins the European academic year), and St. Jerome on the 30th (patron of Scripture scholars, because of his work on translating the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin). This coming Saturday, we honor St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower.

St. Thérèse is most known for her heavenly intercession and common “gifts” of roses at the conclusion of a novena (prayers said for nine consecutive days) requesting her assistance. Such heavenly generosity in obtaining these “signs” – and more importantly, graces – stems from a remark she made near the end of her life: “My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.” Thérèse Martin was born on January 2, 1873, to a devout Catholic family; while still quite young, she showed a great depth of soul and entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at the age of 15. According to her fellow Carmelites, her religious life was “unremarkable,” yet she had achieved great holiness by the time she died of tuberculosis in 1897, only 24 years old.

St. Thérèse recorded her heroic path to sanctity under the orders of her Mother Superior; thankfully, it became published as her autobiography entitled The Story of a Soul. This book, along with her other writings, gives us a glimpse of Thérèse’s “Little Way”: a path to holiness, not based upon our efforts, but entirely upon the merciful love of our heavenly Father. Because of her remarkable insight into the Gospel and unique teaching, Pope John Paul II declared her to be a Doctor of the Church in October of 1997. St. Thérèse is a delightful Saint, and she has captured the Catholic imagination in a way that few cloistered religious ever have. Her writings are widely available, and offer us marvelous opportunities to grow in our own spiritual lives; include her autobiography or other writings in your reading list. Recently, Leonardo de Filipis and Luke Films have produced Thérèse, a movie based upon the life of St. Thérèse. Please visit for more information. It may still be showing at the Southgate Cinema 20, but please check their website for current show times.

Have a marvelous and blessed week, and don’t forget that October is the Month of the Rosary. Perhaps all of our families could pray the Rosary throughout this month, spending some quality “family time” with our Blessed Mother. God bless you all; please pray for vocations!