Today is the feast of the American Saint. – Rose Dischene. She was born in France to a wealthy family. She was a storng willed child and would sue this as a path to her holiness in life. She entered the Visitation of Mary convent at 19, and remained despite family opposition. As the French Revolution broke, the convent was closed, and she began taking care of the poor and sick, opened a school for homeless children, and risked her life helping priests in the underground. When the situation improved, Rose personally rented the former convent, now a shambles, and tried to revive its religious life. The spirit was gone, however, and soon there were only four nuns left. They joined another community, the Society of the Sacred Heart, whose young superior, Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat, would be her lifelong friend (this is the saint who was patron of the former parish in Mount Airy). In a short time Rose was a superior and supervisor of the novitiate and a school. But since hearing tales of missionary work in Louisiana as a little girl, her ambition was to go to America and work among the Indians. At 49, she thought this would be her work. With four nuns, she spent 11 weeks at sea en route to New Orleans, and seven weeks more on the Mississippi to St. Louis. She then met one of the many disappointments of her life. The bishop had no place for them to live and work among Native Americans. Instead, he sent her to what she sadly called “the remotest village in the U.S.,” St. Charles, Missouri. With characteristic drive and courage, she founded the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi. Though Rose was as hardy as any of the pioneer women in the wagons rolling west, cold and hunger drove them out—to Florissant, Missouri, where she founded the first Catholic Indian school, adding others in the territory. “In her first decade in America, Mother Duchesne suffered practically every hardship the frontier had to offer, except the threat of Indian massacre—poor lodging, shortages of food, drinking water, fuel and money, forest fires and blazing chimneys, the vagaries of the Missouri climate, cramped living quarters and the privation of all privacy, and the crude manners of children reared in rough surroundings and with only the slightest training in courtesy” (Louise Callan, R.S.C.J., Philippine Duchesne). Finally at age 72, retired and in poor health, Rose got her lifelong wish. A mission was founded at Sugar Creek, Kansas, among the Potawatomi and she was taken along. Though she could not learn their language, they soon named her “Woman-Who-Prays-Always.” While others taught, she prayed. Legend has it that Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled bits of paper on her habit, and came back hours later to find them undisturbed. Rose Duchesne died in 1852, at the age of 83, and was canonized in 1988. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne is November 18. St. Rose, pray for us!
Give yourself a unique experience this Advent (which begins November 29th) and receive daily devotionals from a wonderful group of Black Catholics. This is the first year it is happening and it promises to inspire, equip and help you prepare for Christmas in a wonderful way! Please visit ADVENT MAKE SIMPLE and sign up. Please share this wonderful resource with others as well. To God be the glory!
We have 15 days until Thanksgiving. Have you started to count your blessings? Father Chris and the Parish want to know what YOU are thankful for this year. While some will be able to gather for the 9am Mass on November 26th, we are aware that some will worship from home. Please take the time to complete this simple form to let us know that for which you are grateful in 2020!
Our parish desires to share the Gospel with our young people, knowing the freedom we can all find in Christ! Please share Father Chris’ video teaching with your young people and download this wonderful handout:
The life of every human person is precious. This is a basic tenant of our Christian Faith. Each year, when we are not battling COVID, the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia gathers with 1400+ people to celebrate life and get charged up for another year of serving families facing unplanned pregnancies and building a culture that cherishes each life from the womb to the tomb. This year, the STAND UP FOR LIFE DINNER is virtual. Please consider joining Father Chris, Richara and others (from your own home, eating your own food) for this 45 minute no-cost presentation. It will be well worth your time as you continue to be formed as a disciple of Jesus! If you would rather join our St. Raymond WATCH PARTY (and watch it with others in the Rectory Basement), please contact Father Chris.
This Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Want to pray a Prayer to Christ the King? Want to be inspired by a great sermon on Jesus as King? Want to learn more about why we have this feast? Join us this weekend. Despite COVID restrictions in our City, we will remain open for the Glory of God and the good of His people!