An Other Forty Days

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton underwent her own forty day trial. In the early 1800s, she and her husband planned a trip to Italy. It was hoped the Italian climate would improve William Seton's health, for he had tuberculosis. But, as the saying goes, God had other plans. Husband and wife were quarantined in the New York port for forty days, and William died on account of the quarantine. They were basically stuck on a cold, wet, and small ship with little food.

Elizabeth survived and continued on with the journey to Italy. Now, Elizabeth was an Episcopalian from a very wealthy New York family. A "high society" young woman, she was a skilled musician, equestrian, and conversationalist, not to mention both beautiful and highly intelligent, speaking French fluently.

Elizabeth was so inspired by Catholicism on her trip abroad, falling particularly in love with the Eucharist, that upon her return she converted to the Catholic faith. She started a school for girls in Baltimore, the first parochial school and the start of the epic United States Catholic school system, as well as a religious order.

The rest of Elizabeth's Ann Seton's story is amazing—too much to recount here. She was the grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying. She produced great fruit. Jesus says today, "The Father will honor whoever serves me" (Jn 12:26). Let us also honor Elizabeth and be inspired by her.

Tomorrow, Monday, I have an Emerald City Gala planning meeting with the Gala executive committee. If you haven't heard the news, our large fundraising gala is back! It will be this September 15th at the Rosemont Convention Center. This event is for the entire parish and the funds will go to a variety of capital projects around the parish, supplementing what we have raised from TTWCI. Please mark your calendars and come to support our great parish. I'm incredibly grateful to Kim McAuliffe, the gala's chair, and everyone on the committee who has been helping her.

Following my Gala meeting on Monday, the Pastoral Council will meet. The Pastoral Council has done terrific work in helping make our parish vibrant, the latest success being the Kevin Matthews event earlier this month.

On Tuesday I will hear confessions at St. Patrick's High School. It was nice to attend the St. Pat's Green and Gold Fundraiser a few weeks ago. That same Tuesday night my theology talk will be on Henry VIII and the English Reformation—a fascinating period in church history.

Wednesday the Religious Education 5th graders will hold a Stations of the Cross at 7pm in the Church.

The St. Juliana School play, Beauty and the Beast, is this weekend! If you have never been to a performance by the St. Juliana Fine Arts Association, you must attend. Our plays are amazing productions—one of the most underrated events here in the parish. All the best to the students and thank you to Jennifer Sloan, Michele Gallagher, and all the other parents who have helped.

I will once again have my head shaved for St. Baldrick's, which is this Saturday. Thank you to all who have contributed to me and the St. Juliana Team for this good cause.

The Men's Club Elite Eight Party is this Saturday at 7pm in the school hall (school basement). This is a great event and I'm grateful to John Gallagher and everyone else who has helped organize the party.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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