Mighty Mother

Dear Parishioners,

Let me share with you a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) that I always read this time of year. Hopkins was a Jesuit priest, a theologian, and is regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Victorian era. This is "May Magnificat":

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

School board will meet tomorrow, Monday, at 7pm. Thank you to all who applied to be new members. I'm grateful to this year's school board members who have been especially helpful in analyzing our school's financial and tuition situation, helping with fundraising, researching the new playground for the courtyard, and so much more, not to mention, in general, supporting myself and Mrs. Marshall, our principal.

See inside the bulletin or online for more details about our newly established Father Ahearn Scholarship. Father Ahearn himself established this fund to allow families to attend St. Juliana School who would not otherwise have been able to attend due to finances. We are looking to expand this fund to help more families and ultimately help our school, so thank you for your contribution.

My Tuesday Theology Talk will be on the Moral Life and the Virtues. On Wednesday I will head to the Cubs Game with the 8th grade class and come back that evening at 7pm to celebrate the end of the year RE Mass. Congratulations on a successful year and particularly congratulations to Patty Collins who did a terrific job in her first year as leader of our program.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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