We are blessed at St. James with so many opportunities to know and live our faith and develop our relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. In the Narthex, you will see tables with signs and sign-up sheets for all the opportunities for ministry and growing in knowledge of our faith and deeper in prayer. Each September we focus on these aspects of how you can be involved in one of the many groups, studies, liturgical ministries, and educational opportunities here at St. James. Every year the number of opportunities increase as we provide more opportunities for prayer and the development of our spiritual lives, as we engage in more social outreach, and as we give everyone occasions to expand their knowledge of our beautiful Catholic faith.
All of these opportunities have one aim in mind: to deepen your love for Jesus Christ, expand your knowledge of Jesus and His Body the Church, and give you opportunities to serve your brothers and sisters. We were created to love, know, and serve God in this life so as to live with Him in the next. As a parish community, we provide these opportunities for each other. I encourage you to sign up for something this weekend. The more we give, the more we receive. How does the Lord Jesus want you to be more involved and use your gifts and talents to serve your brothers and sisters in our St. James family and beyond?
A few years ago, a damaged reliquary of many different relics was given to St. James by a parishioner. We then sent it to an expert who repaired the individual containers and reset the relics properly. A few weeks ago, they arrived at St. James. Now at our parish, we have a relic of the true cross of our Lord, a piece of the column of flagellation where Jesus was scourged, a piece of the veil of Mary and a piece of her tunic, a piece of the Mantle of Joseph, and bone fragments of Saints Peter, Paul the Apostle, Anne, Theresa of Avila, Lawrence, Lucy, Aloysius Gonzaga, Camillus of Lellis, Philip Neri, and Sebastian. What an amazing gift! We are looking at ways to display them and we need some money to display them properly and for reliquaries for more dignified veneration. This surprise was not in our budget this year!
On different feast days for the saints or the Passion of our Lord, we will bring them out for veneration and prayer. For instance, September 8th is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will bring out after mass for an hour the veil and the tunic of our Blessed Mother for veneration. On September 14th, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, we will bring out the relic of the true cross for veneration. These are certain days when the whole Church celebrates a mystery of our faith or one of our brothers and sisters who is a Saint in heaven. On that day, we remember them and ask for their intercession so that we can become holy and follow the Lord Jesus with our whole heart like they did!
May you and your families have a wonderful week and may the blessings of Almighty God be upon you!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin