SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER JUNE, 2010 A.D.
My dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
The Year of Our Lord 2010 has been quite a challenging one at the Shrine.
The death of Father Rueda has caused us to even more address the problem of shortage of priests in the Church.
I have officially stated that after my incapacity or death, the Shrine will be given to the Priestly Society of Saint Pius the Tenth with hope that they will be able to continue the work started here 22 years ago.
Currently we have one young man, David Baquerizo, in the Seminary at La Reja, Argentina. With your prayers, sacrifices and his dedication, he will be ordained in 2014, A.D. But this is just a “replacement”. We need priests! Please pray and sacrifice that the Good Lord may raise up many holy vocations! Every Friday we celebrate an Holy Hour after the morning Mass with the intention of vocations to the Priesthood Religious Life. It should be much better attended.
My dear Mother celebrated her 85th birthday on the 11th of May. She had been in a hospital for three weeks after a very serious fall. Now, she is back home at the Rectory and has to rest most of the time with the wounded leg elevated. Our daily Mass congregation has been much reduced as a result. Please keep her in your prayers.
Mama at last agreed to live downstairs after we converted the laundry room into an acceptable little living space for her. She appears happy with the arrangement and even William, the dog, seems content with his mother’s new location.
As many know, I celebrated my “Silver Jubilee” on the 8th of December 2009.
I was ordained priest by Monsignor Biaggio Terrinoni, O.F.M. (Cap.), Bishop of Marsi, Italy 25 years before. How fast the years go by. Please pray for Bishop Terrinoni who is long deceased. Please pray for me, like every priest, a very imperfect person to stand in the place of Jesus Christ at the altar, commanding (and being obeyed by) God to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood if His Son; to say nothing of forgiving sins in His Name.
We had a magnificent Confirmation Ceremony in April. His Lordship Bernard Tissier de Mallerais confirmend 29 Candidates in a packed church.
The weather was foul. The heavy rains and wind deterred many from attending, but is was probably just as well, since we had so little room.
God was good and my Dear Mother and I were given a few hours with His Lordship, both on the evening of the ceremony and the next morning, getting to know better this most evidently saintly and erudite man; a providential choice to be one of the four successors to Archbishop Lefevbre.
Incidentally, you will see in the picture of His Lordship, not with his crozier, but with our processional Cross. Why? No, he has not become an Archbishop! His portable crozier was confiscated in the Minneapolis airport, since according to the authorities, it constituted a “potentially deadly weapon”! (Maybe to the demons!)
Later, in Her month, we celebrated a moving May Devotion. After the Crowning of Our Lady and High Mass, we processed with the image of Our Lady of Walsingham through the streets of Miami! An eccentric English oddity indeed, perhaps unparalleled in the world! (Our Lady of Walsingham is the title of the principal Marian shrine of England, “Our Lady’s Dowry”). I was born just outside of London, England in 1955.
As ever, we will celebrate the Feast of our Patroness, Saint Philomena, on the Sunday nearest to her main festivity (13th of August). This will be on the 8th of August, with the Feast of the Assumption, this year, falling on Sunday, the 15th.
Masses will be celebrated at 8:00 and 11:00 a.m., followed by Veneration of the Relic and Anointing with the Holy Oil of the Saint.
A Novena of Masses will precede the Festival. To participate, please use the cards provided in the Newsletter and return them as soon as possible.
As previously mentioned, I am no longer able to operate the religious goods store. We have quite a lot of old stock and will be selling this until it is gone. Obviously, this will entail a cut in our income from the sales, but advancing age and increased pastoral responsibilities have made this inevitable (I am the only Catholic priest exclusively celebrating the traditional Rites, permanently resident in Florida, south of Jacksonville; in theory, responsible for all sick calls, funerals, etc. over a vast area). Please be generous with your sacrificial donations to the Shrine.
In the Year of the Priest, I beg your prayers and joyfully send you the Blessing of Christ Jesus!
The Reverend Father Timothy A. Hopkins, Administrator.