Saturday, January 23rd: A Requiem Mass for Michael Morris will be held at 10:00 am.
Sunday, January 24th: The vestry meeting will be held after mass.
Tuesday, January 26th – Thursday, January 28th: There will be no weekday masses. Fr. Will has been called out of town.
Monday, January 2th – Sunday, February 7th: Kroger is participating again this year in the annual Superbowl of Caring “Tackle Hunger” campaign. Services of Hope will be the recipient of donations made at the Kroger in Uptown (4901 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75235) and needs volunteers to greet customers and encourage them to either purchase a pre-made bag or food or give a cash donation. Services of Hope is trying to schedule 1 – 2 volunteers for 2 hour shifts during store hours through February 7th. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Donna Patterson at 214.276.0235.
Saturday, January 30th: The Feast of St. Charles Stuart, King and Martyr. St. Charles has had a special place in the affections of Anglo-Catholics for almost four centuries. Mass will be at 5:00 pm on Saturday.
Sunday, February 7th: The annual meeting and luncheon will be held after mass.
January 22: Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
Vincent was a deacon of Saragossa (Spain) martyred during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian. He studied under the direction of Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, and distinguished himself in learning. Valerius ordained Vincent a deacon, and he served as preacher for Valerius, who had an impediment of speech. By order of the governor, named Dacian, Valerius and Vincent were arrested and brought in chains to Valencia, where both were imprisoned for a long time. Eventually Varlerius was banished, but Vincent was cruelly tortured on the rack, the gridiron, and with scourging. He was again imprisoned in a cell with potsherds and broken glass strewn across the floor. He was next placed in a luxurious bed in an effort to weaken his fortitude, but he remained steadfast in his confession of Christ, and died in the bed. His renown spread far and wide. A church was built over the site of his burial in Valencia, and several churches in Rome were early built in his honor. Numerous of these churches claim to possess some of his relics.
January 24: Francis de Sales
Francis was born to an aristocratic family in what is now the French Alps in 1567. Educated in the best schools, Francis had a crisis of faith because of his consideration of the Protestant doctrine of Predestination, becoming convinced that he was damned. This led Francis to despair, and made him physically ill. Praying before a miraculous image of our Lady at the church of St. Etienne-des-Gres, Francis was suddenly freed from his despair, and made a vow of chastity and consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin. He continued his theological studies and received Holy Orders in 1593, to the annoyance of his father. He developed a reputation for learning, excellent preaching, kindness to all, humility, and holiness. He preached incessantly in the areas of France and Switzerland that had fallen under the sway of Calvinism, and converted (or “reverted”) many to the Catholic faith. Eventually he was made bishop of Geneva, where he continued his constant preaching, visitations, and frequently ministered the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). He wrote constantly, and his teachings on the spiritual life (most famously in “Introduction to the Devout Life”) are still widely read today. His school of spirituality is characterized by confidence in God, who is Love, and is often called “the Way of Divine Love”. He died suddenly after a brief illness at Lyons. After receiving the last Sacraments, he lay in bed repeating the words “God’s will be done! Jesus, my God and my all!” His heart was moved to Venice by the community of nuns he helped to establish during the French Revolution, and there it is venerated to this day, with many miracles and cures having been reported. The goal of St. Francis’s method of spirituality is simple, loving, generous, and constant faithfulness to God’s will; and to this end, St. Francis recommended constant remembrance of the presence of God, filial prayer, a right intention in all actions, and constant recourse to conversation with God throughout one’s day, offering up little prayers.
January 25: THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL
This day marks the end of the Octave of the feast of the Confession of St. Peter. Peter and Paul are almost always commemorated together in the Church’s liturgical celebrations. This feast memorializes the event recorded in Paul’s own words, in Acts 22: “As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? And I answered, `Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, `I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’” Saul had been a great persecutor of Christians until this moment, this personal encounter with the risen Christ. At Damascus, Saul would receive baptism at the hands of a man named Ananias. After spending time in solitude and prayer, Paul would begin his life’s work of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ among the Gentiles, and spreading the faith throughout the known world. Paul’s work was completed in Rome, where he was beheaded under emperor Nero at a place called Aqua Salviae (now called Tre Fontane). He was buried nearby, along the Ostian Way. Emperor Constantine had a basilica erected over the place of his burial. The Basilica Church of St. Paul’s-Outside-The-Walls remains to this day, one of the four great ancient basilicas of Rome. In 2006, the Vatican announced that a sarcophagus had been discovered underneath the high altar of St. Paul’s-Outside-The-Walls with the inscription “Pavlo Apostolo Mart” – “[to] Paul the Apostle [and] Mart[yr]”.
January 26: St. Timothy
A companion and disciple of St. Paul the Apostle, and a bishop in the early Church, Timothy is addressed by Paul in two New Testament Epistles (1 Timothy and 2 Timothy). Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are noted in Paul’s epistles as women well-regarded for their piety. Timothy practiced asceticism (1 Tim. 5.23) and was well-versed in holy Scripture (2 Tim. 3.15), and was ordained by Paul and made bishop of the city of Ephesus in the year 65. Timothy served in that capacity for 15 years. In the year 97, on January 22, Timothy opposed a pagan festival called the Katagogia, in which celebrants carried a heathen idol in one hand and a club in the other. The mob became enraged at the saint, and murdered him with stones and clubs. His relics were taken to Constantinople under emperor Constantius, where many miracles, healings and supernatural manifestations took place at his shrine. The Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople, where Timothy’s shrine was located, was destroyed by Muslims in the 15th century, and the Fatih Mosque was built on its ruins.
January 27: John Chrysostom
John, born about the year 347 at Antioch, came to be called “chrysostomos” or “golden-mouthed” in Greek, because of his eloquence. He is said to be the greatest preacher ever to have lived, and is to the Eastern Churches what St. Augustine, his contemporary, is to the West. John’s father, an officer in the army, died when he was young, leaving him and his sister to be raised by their mother alone. She saw to it that John received the best education available to him, and he excelled in scholarship. John fell under the influence of Bishop Meleitus, and was baptized and ordained a Reader (one of the Church’s old “minor orders”) around the age of 20. John became a disciple of the theologian-monk Diodore of Tarsus, and himself became a monk, living for several years in extreme self-denial and prayer as a hermit in a cave outside Antioch. Eventually John returned to Antioch and was ordained to the sacred priesthood, and developed a reputation as an eloquent and affective preacher. Many pagans at Antioch came to faith in Christ as a result of John’s preaching. In 398, John was chosen to be bishop of Constantinople. He accepted reluctantly, but ruled effectively. He had a great love of the poor, and started several institutions for their relief. He was also an unsparing critic of the rich and powerful, and on that account fell into disfavor with Emperor Arcadius and his wife, Aelia Eudoxia, who had John banished to what is now the Republic of Georgia. John died en route. His relics were brought to Constantinople, where they remained until stolen by the crusaders in the 13th century. They were returned to the Greek Orthodox by Pope John Paul II in 2004. John’s skull and right hand are now venerated at Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos in Greece. Many of John’s writings survive. He is known as a great expositor of the Bible, and his preaching is marked by simple application of Biblical principles to every-day life.
January 28: Thomas Aquinas
Thomas was arguably the greatest systematic theologian ever to have lived. He was born to a noble family at Roccasecca in central Italy around the year 1225. It is said that a hermit foretold his career before his birth. At the age of 5, Thomas was sent to study under the Benedictine monks at the great abbey of Monte Cassino. From an early age he showed great scholastic assiduity and great devotion to God in prayer. He continued his studies at Naples, and during his early 20’s, received the habit of a poor friar of St. Dominic, much to his family’s chagrin. His brothers even sent a fille de joie to his rooms in an attempt to entice him. Thomas drove the girl from his presence with a firebrand. Thomas made his way to Cologne, where he continued his studies under St. Albertus Magnus, the most renowned scholar of his day. Thomas was large and quiet, and his fellow-students called him the “Dumb Ox”. Hearing of this, Albertus is said to have remarked, “You may call him the dumb ox, but one day his teaching will produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world.” From Cologne, Thomas went to the University of Paris, where he received the degree Doctor of Theology. He then embarked on a life of prayer, travel, preaching, teaching, and writing. He was much in demand as a lecturer and teacher, and became famous for his learning and eloquence. His chief work, the Summa Theologica, is generally considered the greatest systematic exposition of Christian theology ever written. While praying, Thomas was often seen by the friars to be in ecstasy. These ecstasies intensified toward the end of his life. One day, while saying mass, Thomas was seen to be in ecstasy, after which his secretary, Father Reginald, urged Thomas to continue writing; the saint replied “Reginald, I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to me as straw.” Thomas grew very weak. Summoned by the pope to assist at a council at Lyons aimed at the reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Churches, Thomas collapsed at the Castle of Maienza, the home of his niece, the Countess Francesca Ceccano. He was taken to the Cistercian Monastery of Fossa Nuova, which was nearby. As he was being carried in, Thomas whispered “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have chosen it” (Psalm 134.14). Thomas was given last rites, and after receiving holy communion, professed “…I firmly believe and know as certain that Jesus Christ, true god and true Man, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, is in this sacrament… I receive you, the price of my redemption, for Whose love I have watched, studied, and labored. You have I preached; You have I taught. Never have I said anything against You: if anything was not well said, that is to be attributed to my ignorance. Neither do I wish to be obstinate in my opinions, but if I have written anything erroneous concerning this sacrament or other matters, I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life.” Thomas died on March 7, 1274. His sanctity was attested by many miracles, and he was canonized in 1323. Thomas’s shrine at the University of Paris was destroyed during the French Revolution, though his relics were moved to the church of St. Sernin Desprez at Toulouse, to the Cathedral at Naples, and to the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva at Rome.