Entries for November 2023

From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 29, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As we begin this season of Advent, which marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and as such provides us a time for renewal, a new beginning.

The beginning of the year actually points to the “end.” The end of all creation is marked by the long-awaited return of Jesus, the Son of Man. Our readings point to this end as the day of judgment (“Son of Man” being the scriptural title of the judge of all humanity).

The “end” reminds us that we are on a journey. The voyage through life is not an aimless wandering but has a destination and a goal.

Love is the basis for human life. God, who is love, loved us into being. Love is the force that orders all things toward God and a participation in divine life. When Jesus is asked what is the greatest of all the laws, he replies: “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love is the basis and starting point. Love also expresses itself as mercy when a violation of love or justice is encountered. Mercy heals and restores. Psalm 25 expresses the desires that lie at the heart of the righteous — to know and live in God’s way. The longing is expressed by the psalmist in this way: “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.”

The longing is not some abstract or aimless quest, for “good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way and teaches the humble his way.” He loves us so much that he wants us to know him and the path to meaning of life. This Way is not a teaching or concept, but a person whose birth we prepare to celebrate at Christmas.

Advent Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 16, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Thanksgiving inspires all but the hardest heart to pause and consider the things for which he is the most thankful. I am no different. Like everyone else in the United States, I make a mental and sometimes an actual list of things for which I am thankful, especially this year for the privilege to serve as your pastor.

My family is near the top of the list as is my health and my fellow priests and friends. Also at the top of my list is our parish family. Another thing very near the top of my list is this country that I love. However, the first thing on the list is Jesus Christ. This year let, our prayers continue for peace and justice in the Holy Land, in Ukraine, in our city and in our world, and prayerful blessings for those most in need.

Jesus is everything. Everything else on my list is a gift from him.

Psalm 100

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is He that made us, and we are his

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise His name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues

throughout all generations.

On Thursday November 23, 2023, we will celebrate a special Thanksgiving Day liturgy at 7 & 9 AM. I hope that many can attend; if you are unable to attend, our Thanksgiving mass will also be streamed. God bless you for all your generosity. Thank you!

Thanksgiving Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 09, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This past Thursday on November 9, the church celebrated the feast of the dedication of the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. According to the breviary, the Church building was originally established by the emperor Constantine and the memorial of its dedication has been celebrated on this date since the twelfth century.

Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. It is the basilica of St. John Lateran which is actually home to the Pope’s cathedra, or seat of Office. Since St. John Lateran is home to the cathedra of the bishop of Rome, it is therefore the cathedral Church of the diocese of Rome, and thus the Pope’s true cathedral

The basilica of St. John Lateran was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. The official dedication of the Basilica and the

adjacent Lateran Palace was presided over by Pope Sylvester I in 324, declaring both to be Domus Dei or "House of God." In its interior, the Papal Throne was placed, making it the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. In reflection of the basilica's claim to primacy in the world as "mother church", the words Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (meaning "Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head") are incised in the front wall between the main entrance doors.

The Lateran Palace and basilica have been rededicated twice. Pope Sergius III dedicated them to Saint John the Baptist in the 10th century in honor of the newly consecrated baptistry of the

Basilica. Pope Lucius II dedicated the Lateran Palace and basilica to Saint John the Evangelist in the 12th century. However, St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist are regarded as co-patrons of the Cathedral, the chief patron being Christ the Savior himself, as the inscription in the entrance of the Basilica indicates, and as is tradition in the patriarchal cathedrals.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the

Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.

In a sense, St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope's cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church. St. John Lateran is not simply an ordinary diocesan cathedral on the same level as, say, our cathedral here in St. Louis—it is rather the “mother Church of Christendom.”

This is why the feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran is a feast for the Universal Church, and not just for one diocese (as would be the case for the anniversary of a normal diocesan cathedral’s dedication) or for one parish (as would be the case for an ordinary Church).

Thus, the Basilica remains dedicated to the Savior, and its titular feast is the Transfiguration. That is why sometimes the Basilica will be referred to by the full title of Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and of Sts. John Baptist and John Evangelist in the Lateran.

Prayer from St. Augustine on this feast day: "What was done here, as these walls were rising, is

reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechizing, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love.”

God’s Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 03, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

The month of November is a time of prayer, remembrance and thanksgiving for our God and all the blessings He has sent into our lives.

In The Practice of the Presence of God written by Brother Lawrence, he presents a simple but powerful concept that God is always there. Right beside us. Every day, all day. Every night, all night. Never leaving us. Never turning away from us, even when He ought to. Even when we behave in a manner so completely unlovable, so callously hurtful towards He who is love, still He never leaves our side and never loves us less.

I believe we oftentimes think of God in terms of someone we have to make a special point to call, like a long-distance friend, of sorts. It's far too easy to not be mindful of His presence and to find ourselves acting, speaking or thinking in ways that are very contrary to His.

With our minds and our attention being pulled in a thousand different directions in today's modern world, it is harder than ever to stay focused; especially to stay focused on what is ultimately the most important thing...God. Did I pay the electric bill? I cannot forget to stop by the grocery store. I have to get the kids off to school. I am afraid I will not meet that deadline at work. Am I going to be able to make the mortgage payment this month? Where are my keys? The phone is ringing again. Someone is at the door. I'm running late for my doctor's appointment.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

We need quiet time and when we feel that we do not have time for quiet time, which is when we need quiet time the most. We must make time in our day for God. We need to build our day around God, rather than fitting God into our day.

Were we to be more mindful of the reality that His presence is one thing that we can always count on, we would have a much easier (and much happier) time, living out our days on this earth, I do believe.

God Bless,

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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