Grandparents' Day Mass

Adapted from the homily.

Paul Revere was a Son of Liberty, a militia officer, a silversmith, and, rarely mentioned, a grandfather. As most grandparents do, Revere passed several qualities onto his grandson, Joseph Warren Revere. Joseph was likewise an American patriot. He served first in the Navy during the Mexican-American War before switching to the Union Army in the Civil War, where he fought in many battles. Paul's bravery served his grandson well.

Grandparents have a tremendous influence on their grandchildren. They are Christ-like figures because of this effect. A grandparent's faith or virtue will inspire a child to the same. Even a trade or hobby can be picked up by a grandchild. Grandparents also assure us that we are loved and liked–again, another divine act. We could even call ourselves grandchildren of God because of this reality.

Paul Revere had courage. It obviously was bold and daring to ride through the night warning colonists that the British army was advancing. This courage was imbued in his grandson. Though not quite the same, Joseph had his own version of a midnight ride. While on furlough during the war in October of 1862, Joseph walked into a Catholic Church to pray. He was struck by the church and particularly by the priest with whom he spoke in that church. Shortly thereafter, Joseph was baptized and received into the Catholic Church–a courageous act. He finished the war as a brigadier general and remained a practicing Catholic until his death in 1880.

As mentioned above, Paul was a silversmith, and thus an artisan of sorts. Well, this craftsmanship was passed onto his grandson. Joseph, after his conversion, painted The Espousal of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, which hung in his home parish as a gift. I'm sure Paul would have been proud.

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Father James Wallace

Letters from a Pastor to His People

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