Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
In the autumn months we have some important and meaningful feast days to celebrate as we journey to the end of the liturgical year.
We celebrate the birth of Mary on September 8, reflecting on her parents, our St. Anne and Joachim. We remember St. Peter Claver on September 9, who served in Columbia and ministered to African slaves. We commemorate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14 followed the next day with Our Lady of Sorrows. It is no accident that we acknowledge the stinging pain of a grieving mother at the foot of the cross immediately after celebrating Christ’s victory over death by the triumph of that same cross. Standing alongside the beloved disciple John as Jesus died, Mary and the other women in their state of despair could not anticipate the glory of the resurrection revealed three days later that first Easter Sunday.
Other saints remembered are St. Matthew on September 21 and the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on September 29 which has special significance for the Edmundite Community given our apostolates at St. Michael’s College today and Mont St. Michel in 19th century France. October has an all-star line-up with St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Jude (my confirmation name), and Jesuit martyr St. Isaac Jogues who was known to have visited Isle La Motte. For November I only mention St. Edmund of Canterbury, patron of the Society of St. Edmund, who is celebrated on the 16th.
I share these thoughts because we believe in the Communion of Saints. We honor all of the saints on November 1st and we reflect on the lives of so many who carried the faith into the world and witnessed to the joy of the Gospel. They are models for us, even though they were not perfect. There is a fine line between saint and sinner. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. All of us are limited and sinful in our ways but we are redeemed and loved by God, and our capacity of doing good is as endless as our imaginations. Like the saints, we are all loved sinners called by God to make a difference in the world by our living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we conclude the pilgrimage season, please consider making a gift to the Shrine for operating costs and the new roof being installed on the Boucher Building. We have $100,000 more to raise of the total $250,000 cost of the roof and acoustic improvements. Please help us close this gap.
During the month of November, we traditionally remember our deceased loved ones when we pray for All Souls. I invite you to submit the online petition form, including the names of your deceased relatives and friends so we can remember them in our Edmundite Community Masses. Thank you for your continued support of the Shrine. God bless you and keep you safe!
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.