Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Last week, while preparing for daily Mass on the Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, I recalled how often over the years I have heard parents express disappointment about their adult children who have abandoned their    active practice of Catholicism. Will these precious lost souls ever return to the practice of the faith? Saint Anthony might hold the key.

     St. Anthony himself lost something very precious once. As a Franciscan who lived in the 13th century, St. Anthony was a particularly gifted teacher and preacher. He owned a psalter (a book of the Psalms) that was very dear to him. Before the invention of the printing press, books in general were precious since they had to be copied by hand. Additionally, St. Anthony had made many notes for his sermons and classes in the pages of his copy.   It was invaluable to his ministry, and when it disappeared one day, he was grieved by its loss, and prayed fervently that it would be found.

As it turned out, an unhappy novice had decided to leave the religious life and, when he had departed the monastery, had taken St. Anthony’s psalter with him! After the Saint’s prayers, the novice not only returned the psalter, but also returned to the religious life. Today, the actual psalter is on display at a Franciscan friary in Bologna, Italy.

 St. Anthony is now known both as the finder of lost items—and of lost souls! Be sure to invoke his aid if you have misplaced something, or if you have a friend or family member who needs some guidance back to the right path of attendance at Holy Mass on Sundays.

With prayerful best wishes,

Fr. John Mahoney