Faith in Action Blog
Starting tomorrow (Saturday, September 29), EWTN is sponsoring a Novena to the Mother of God for the United States, seeking Our Lady’s intercession and Our Lord’s blessing on the country as we approach the upcoming elections. The novena has the nihil obstat of one of the College's graduates, Rev. Gary Selin (’89), the formation director at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
The inspiration for the Novena, says Fr. Selin, came from its author, Rev. Frederick L. Miller, S.T.D., of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland, who spent last year in sabbatical at St. John Vianney. During that time, the two priests discussed the state of the Church in America, the elections, and what Catholics could do for their country.
“I was concerned, as the year was going on, that we Catholics in the U.S. — starting with us clergy, but also the lay faithful — were not looking at the election enough from the spiritual perspective,” Fr. Selin recalls. From there, he and Fr. Miller thought of the Novena, which, in keeping with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom this summer, would “continue that spirit of prayer and fasting for our country.”
It was important to both priests, says Fr. Selin, that the Novena call upon the aid of the Blessed Mother. “I know from history and my own personal experience,” he notes, citing events from the Battle of Lepanto to the fall of Communism, “that when we invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary in time of great need — when we go to Jesus through Mary — Jesus has come through with very special graces.”
Thus the timing of the Novena to the Mother of God for the United States, which begins on the Feast of the Holy Archangels (September 29), and concludes on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7), just prior to the start of the Year of Faith (October 11). “Coming into an election, where so much is on the line for the Catholic Church and for our country with regards to attacks against religious liberty, the attack against the beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and even the marital act,” Fr. Selin explains, “we’re callings upon God through the intercession of Mary for very special graces on our country.”
Fr. Selin adds, however, that the act of transforming a nation must begin with our own, interior conversions. “First and foremost in this whole issue of the election, we have to start with ourselves, asking: How have we been faithful to God’s commands? How have we lived a deep prayer life, avoiding sin, growing in holiness and in our dedication to the Holy Eucharist? Then our public acts will be a beautiful overflowing of that commitment of faith.”
Fr. Selin has long had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. His senior thesis at the College was titled, “Mary: Archetype of the Church.” The Mother of God, he says, “has always been close to me in my vocational discernment and leading me here.” Likewise, she must play a role in the future of the nation: “Work has to be done in the public sphere — and that’s the work of the lay faithful to get out there, and we priests have to preach and encourage — but we cannot forget Our Lady.”
An update on Rosie Grimm (’10), courtesy of one of her sisters:
“Please continue to pray for my sister Rosie. She had scans recently. Here’s her Facebook post: ‘Mostly good news: The tumor in my neck is no worse and possibly better, and the tumors in my lungs are either stable or growing pretty slowly. The bad news is that the trial I want to get into has not opened yet, and they aren’t sure when it will open, though hopefully it won’t be too long. Since I’m asymptomatic, we have a little time to play with, but of course I’d like to get start ASAP. So please pray that the approval for the trial comes through quickly.’ She’s heading back East on Monday to get an initial screening for a trial, as a first step. Thanks for your prayers, so much!”
Please continue to keep Rosie and her family in your prayers.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Our Lady, Health of the sick, pray for us.
St. Rita, pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us.
Bill Dunn (’97) has written to inform us of the death of Paul Meyer (’94):
“I have just learned the sad news that Paul Meyer died recently of a very sudden illness. He had apparently gone to the doctor about three weeks ago after not feeling well, and was sent to the hospital. About a week later he died from a rare and very aggressive form of cancer.…
“Paul and his wife, Kimberlie, were active members of their parish in the diocese of Tulsa, and in recent years they had adopted four children from China in order to provide a Catholic home for them, and also to help promote the culture of life in a country that has state-mandated abortions.
“A group of us in the Tulsa diocese have been organizing a classical studies program for homeschoolers which is to begin this fall, and Paul was going to serve as our math and science teacher. Paul and Kimberly were homeschooling their children while Paul worked as a freelance software engineer and also as a physics teacher at a local college.
“Paul was a kind and humble man, and in his quiet way he radiated a deep and abiding joy which was rooted in his Catholic faith. Paul had a good heart; he loved God above all things, and he always tried to help others to grow closer to God in their own journey through time.”
A full obituary is available on the website of Tulsa’s Fitzgerald Funeral Home.
Please pray the repose of Paul’s soul, and for the consolation and well-being of his wife, Kimberlie, and their four children.
Rosie Grim (’10) reports via Facebook that she is applying to participate in several clinical trials for an anti-cancer drug that is not yet on the market. She may also require another surgery on the tumor in her neck. Still, she says, “I’m feeling fabulous and have started jogging.”
On Wednesday she left with her father and brother for a pilgrimage to Lourdes, England (where she will visit sites related to Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman), and Cascia (home of her beloved patroness, St. Rita). Please keep their intentions your prayers.
In addition to their prayers to Bl. John Henry, the Grimms have also invited friends to join them in the following devotion to St. Rita:
+Dear Rita, model wife and widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help, full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid for the relief and cure of Rosie. To God all things are possible; may this healing give glory to the Lord. Amen.
+Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer notified alumni last night that after a week-long search for John Morris (’03), a freshman at the College in 1999-2000, authorities had discovered his body.
Mark asked alumni to “pray for the repose of John’s soul and for the comfort and solace of his family and friends during this very difficult time.” He added that “Rev. Hildebrand Garceau (’78), one of the College’s chaplains, will say a Mass for John next Thursday, June 14 at 5:20 p.m. in the College’s Chapel. Of course, everyone is welcome to attend.”
May his soul, and those of all the faithfully departed, rest in peace.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer has sent out this prayer request for John Morris (’03):
“Please pray for the safety of John Morris ('03) who has been reported missing since May 26. He went missing after spending the day with friends at a baseball game in his home town of Durham, North Carolina. He was going to make a quick stop at the grocery store on his way home, but never came home. His roommate and friends say this is ‘completely out of character’ for John and are very worried about him.”
The alumni of Thomas Aquinas College are joining together to say the following novena to St. Anthony of Padua for for John's return:
O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart. For the safe return of John Morris:
You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request: for the safe return of John Morris, which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!Read more
After a long struggle with cancer, Mary Kathleen Lear (Katie) Gates — mother of Nora (Bulcher ’04) and mother-in-law of Peter Bulcher (’05) and tutor John Baer — died this past Saturday. A mother of 8 children and the grandmother of 29, Mrs. Gates was a pioneer in homeschooling and a member of several choirs. Her complete obituary is available via the Ventura County Star.
A rosary for Mrs. Gates will be held on Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at St. Sebastian Church, 235 N. Ninth Street in Santa Paula, Calif. A funeral will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m., also at St. Sebastian. Interment will follow at Santa Paula Cemetery.
Please pray for the repose of Mrs. Gates' soul and the consolation of her family.
Please keep praying for Rosie Grimm (’10). The latest report from her family reads:
“We didn't get good news ... the nodules in Rosie’s lungs have grown somewhat. They’ll be meeting next week to discuss the next step. Thanks, as ever, for your prayers ... this is hard news, but we know God has a plan.”
The Grimms asks that friends seek the intercession of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, on Rosie’s behalf, through the following prayer:
O God, who bestowed on the Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow your kindly light and find peace in your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fullness of your truth, and that Rosie be speedily and completely healed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
God our Father,
your servant John Henry Newman
upheld the faith by his teaching and example.
May his loyalty to Christ and the Church,
his love of the Immaculate Mother of God,
and his compassion for the perplexed
give guidance to the Christian people today.
We beg you to grant the favors we ask
through his intercession
so that his holiness may be recognized by all
and the Church may proclaim him a saint.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
William Sockey (’75) and the National Pilgrim Virgin StatueAmong the many Thomas Aquinas College alumni who are actively defending religious freedom in the face of the HHS Mandate is Bill Sockey (’75) — and he is doing it through prayer.
As the Custodian of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue, blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI and given to the United States by the Bishop of Fatima in 1967, Mr. Sockey brings the statue to dioceses across the United States. In this capacity and with the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), he has for the last three years promoted a campaign urging Catholics to make reparation for the sins of the country and to pray daily for national peace.
Now, as a consequence of the HHS mandate, a new intention has been added to this prayer — as requested by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — for the preservation of religious freedom. So far over 25,000 new members of WAF have pledged to say this prayer and make this reparation every day.
The prayer is:
“O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee and I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love thee.
“O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever suffering I will encounter today for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and as reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Previously Mr. Sockey served as the vice-president of Catholics United for the Faith and the World Apostolate of Fatima as well as the executive director of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning, and the St. Thomas More Center for Catholic Family Life.
For more information about the World Alliance of Fatima — including arranging a visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue to your diocese, see — www.wafusa.org.
Charles GoodrichOn May 14, 2008, two-year-old Charles Goodrich, son of Kathleen (Ellis ’99) and Glen (’00), was killed when struck by an out-of-control pickup truck whose driver and passengers were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This Friday the Goodrich family and many of their friends will gather by Charles’ gravesite, as they do every year around the anniversary of his death, to pray — for the three people in that truck.
Mrs. Goodrich explained this tradition in a Facebook posting last year:
“This coming May 14 is the third anniversary of my son Charles’ death. Most of my friends know this, though I suspect that some of you never heard about it, so really quickly, the bare facts are these:
“I was walking to the store pulling my two and a half year old son in a wagon, carrying my four-month-old infant in a baby carrier. At about 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon, a couple of known gangsters were joyriding through the school zone I was walking through. The man at the wheel, Roberto Villanueva, two weeks out of prison on parole (and unlicensed) was high on cocaine. The owner of the pickup truck, Albert Garcia, was in the passenger seat drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle. Cindy Nunez, a mutual friend, was in the back seat. Horseplay in the front caused the truck to jump the curb, striking Charles’ wagon and killing him pretty much instantly. The driver regained control and sped away.
“Later on, Albert Garcia pleaded guilty (against the advice of his attorney) to various charges, and asked for full sentencing - he was the one most responsible for the accident. He is serving the third year of his 20 year sentence. Roberto Villanueva, a previous offender, negotiated a little more, but did eventually plead guilty to various charges, and was sentenced to seven years. According to his attorney at the time of sentencing, he has reconnected with his Catholic faith while in prison, and has requested Masses to be said for our family on the anniversary. Cindy Nunez, I don’t know about, but her daughter came to Charles’ visitation and abjectly apologized - their family is very broken.
“So here is what I want. The anniversary is TAC Graduation Day, and most of you will be busy. So on Friday, May 13, I’ll be at the Santa Paula cemetery with my children, at 3pm, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those three poor children of God. When people tell me they are praying for me, I appreciate it very much, and I know that it is the only thing pulling me through. But I am entirely wrapped in love and grace, surrounded by friends and family, supported by strangers and strengthened by the sacraments. These three people are vilified, tormented by guilt, and in probably the last place on earth where they can find comfort. They need your prayers.
“Christ said ‘Today I am sending you with My message of mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my Merciful Heart.’
“Come to the cemetery and join me in prayer, if you like, or if you can’t be there, pray wherever you are. If you don’t have time for the whole chaplet, pray this prayer: ‘O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus, as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.’
“I’m not tagging or targeting anyone in this note. I would like as many people to know about it as possible, because I want as many prayers offered for their conversion and peace as possible, but I don’t want to hold myself up as a model of anything at all. Share it with anyone that you think would like to know about it —- share this note on your Facebook profile, send it to your e-mail list, whatever you like. But please pray for this dear intention of mine.”
For those who are interested in joining the Goodriches in their prayers this year, Mrs. Goodrich recently sent out the following invitation:
“Some people have asked me if we are doing anything public to make Charles’ feast day this year. As I did last year, I’ll be going over to the Santa Paula Cemetery on the Friday before (that’s this Friday, May 11) at 3pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the needs of the three people who were in the truck that day. Anyone is welcome to join me, in body or in spirit, at that hour or at whatever hour of the day they are able to join in. Feel free to pass this message on to anyone who may be interested.”
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.