08 December 2011

You should see this performance

Tuesday evening Leonardo Defilippis of St. Luke Productions performed his powerful and moving drama Vianney at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Several unexpected difficulties kept us working on the set and set-up all afternoon with the only break allowed for a quick bite to eat before the performance.  Several generous volunteers gave freely of their time and stayed with us, working diligently and well; to them, I offer my humble and heartfelt gratitude.

A small crowd came out on a cold night to learn more about the CurĂ© of Ars and all, young, old and in between - greatly enjoyed the performance.  If you haven't yet seen it, you still have a chance to do as Leonardo will be in the area for a few days:
  • December 9th @ 7:00 p.m. @ Easter Illinois University Newman Center in Charleston, IL
  • December 11th @ 7:00 p.m. @ St. Francis Xavier Church in Jerseyville, IL
  • December 12th @ 7:00 p.m. @ St. Angela Merici Church in Florissant, MO

On the back of the program I made, I put the following words:
Pope Benedict XVI has described Saint John Vianney as “the model of priestly ministry in our world” who led the faithful entrusted to his pastoral care primarily through the example of his holy life.  In his life, he lived what he taught his parishioners to pray: “My God, grant me the grace to love you as much as I possibly can.”

Is this not the purpose of these days of Advent?  As we look forward with joyful anticipation to the Lord’s return in glory, we know that he comes to judge the living and the dead.  Saint John of the Cross teaches us that we will be judged according to our love.  Hence it is of great importance that we seek to grow in love in this life, to have an ever-increasing capacity for love.

It is hoped that this evening’s performance of the life of the CurĂ© of Ars will deepen the faith, hope and love of those in attendance so as to celebrate with great joy the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.  It is only in growing in love of Jesus, who was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, that we can celebrate Christmas with the joy that comes from the Gospel.

It is also hoped that this evening’s performance will spur us on to beg the Lord ever more fervently to give us more priests.  But not only this: it is hoped that we will be led to cooperate ever more fully with the Lord in encouraging young men to ask the Lord if he might indeed be calling them to his service as priests.

Saint John Vianney memorably called the priesthood “the love of the heart of Jesus.”  May he raise up for us more such men who love his heart!

The staff of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Office for Catechesis and the Office for Vocations wish you a blessed and holy Advent and a truly merry Christmas!

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