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The Catholic bulletin. [volume] (St. Paul, Minn.) 1911-1995, March 11, 1911, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90060976/1911-03-11/ed-1/seq-3/

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The Church clothes herself in pen
itential garb and asks her children to
unite with her in considering the pas
sion and death of our Lord and Savior.
To the wilds and the solitude of the
desert she leads us in spirit, and asks
us there to behold our beloved Lord
fasting forty days and nights in prep
aration for His passion and death.
Holy Church would have us enter
into our Divine Lord's thoughts and
there see revealed His love for every
one of us by the atonement He makes
in our behalf and the infinite graces He
lays up to save us. She bids us realize
that as long as we call upon Him to
save us by the application in the holy
sacraments of the infinite merits of His
passion, He will hear our call.
Our Lord's life on earth was indeed
a hidden life. For thirty years He
lived in the obscurity of Nazareth, and
even in His three years' public life,
we read of Him more in the hamlet
than the city on the mountain, in the
desert, and by the sea. And so He cli
maxed this spirit of seclusion and re
tirement by His forty days' preparation
for His suffering and death.
Did He not do all this to teach us
and get us to imitate Him? He needed
no solitude to bind Him to His Father,
for He never was separated from Him.
He did all this for example, that we
who know and meet the evils and see
the dangers of unrestraint might the
more readily practice mortification of
spirit and betake ourselves at least
from time to time to seclusion and soli
Lent is the time that most favors
this. It is a time set apart by the
Church for prayer and fasting—for re
straint, recollection and piety. The
good Catholic conforms, everyone who
desires to save his soul responds and
so marked and general is the observ
ance of .this season that the outside
world cannot but notice it and be in
fluenced by it. It is a time of grace
and blessing. So the Church proclaims
it, and applying the words of St. Paul,
that it is "the acceptable time, the day
of salvation," bids all the faithful to
pass the season in a truly holy and
self-denying manner.
Let us, then, respond to the call and
always make a good Lent. Its days
should be full with mortification of
every kind appetites, senses must all
be restrained, lest they lead us to
ruin. And while we take our eyes off
the things around us, we can look into
things unseen live more in faith and
things of the soul than in the idle spec
ulations of the mind and the gross in
dulgence of the body live more in the
future than in the present live more
in death than in life. And while we
thus will be mortifying the bodily man,
the spiritual in us will rise to a purer
life and to closer union with God, in
preparation for the joys of eternity.
Let Lent be well passed, and it will
be a great means of passing well our
whole year afterwards.
And while we are denying the body,
cannot we refresh and satiate our soul,
If we will, at the banquet of the Holy
Table? Let us do so often, that we be
nourished and made strong with this
bread of life, to ever conquer our
temptations and be always united with
God and be ever ready to meet Him.
During Lent Holy Mother Church
bids her children pause and consider
ill a serious way how they stand with
God. That they may do this the bet
ter she sets apart the Lenten season
as a time of special devotion. She
opens it in the most solemn way by re
calling the lowly origin of man's body
that he may regulate the unruly pas
sions of his lower nature and bring
them into subjection to the soul. "Re
member," she says to him, "O man,
that thou art dust and into dust shalt
thou return." The body upon which
you bestow so much thought and care
is of little importance in comparison
with the immortal soul of which you
are heedless. Yet your eternity of hap
piness or unhappiness depends upon
tbe state of the soul. Do not neglect
the body, but do pay some attention
to the soul let it share your solicitude,
if it doe3 not engross it.
How necessary this warning of the
Church is will appear plain to anyone
who weighs in a balance the minutes
devoted to the welfare of the soul and
of the body. So light is the amount
in the soul's scale that it is scarcely
appreciable, some ten or fifteen min
utes would represent the average,
while in the body'3 scale minutes count
up to hours. Yet we claim to be rea
sonable beings. Judge us by our ac
tions, and do we prove ourselves wor
thy of the claim? Again, let us test
ourselves by our aspirations, and how
do we stand? Does the desire of
Heaven find a place in our mind3 and
hearts at all? Earth and its vanities
are so engrossing that they fill both
mind and heart, and even when death
approaches and the glamour of the
World should have lessened, man still
clings to earth and what it has to of
fer, and it requires an effort to turn
the thoughts of the dying man to
Heaven and its real enduring joy3.
No wonder, then, the Church, ful
filling her duty as the representative
of God, endeavors to make man think
seriously of his origin and his destiny.
No wonder she bids him consider the
superior claim of the soul over the
... 'body. For the body comes from the
flnst and shall return to the dust, but
the soul comes from the hand of God
and is destined to return to Him.
W Vy, *o:«
4 -Mft 4r"" A""** V
In a true Catholic spirit, then, let us
enter on the holy season of Lent. Let
the lesson of the ashes placed on our
brow on Ash Wednesday be impressed
on our hearts. If we cannot observe
a rigid fast or even abstinence through
out, but avail ourselves of th* dispen
sations granted by Mother Church to
those of her children who by reason of
health or work have a right to tjiem,
let us at least make up for it by some
special act of mortification or devo
tion. For mortification for men it
might be the giving up of all intoxicat
ing drinks in honor of the Sacred
Thirst, or foregoing the use of tobacco
for women, the eating of sweets and
dainties. For devotion, for both men
and women, the best practice would
be attendance at week-day mass, the
special Lenten services of their church,
the stations of the cross, a visit to the
Blessed Sacrament, the recitation ot
the beads or some other suitable
prayers. Lent thus spent would in
deed be profitable, and a worthy prep
aration for a joyful Easter and the
Paschal communion.
So a good Lent means a good life
for another year at least, for this is its
purpose, to bring about a better life for
everyone. It is a time of reflection
and resolution, but, above all, it is a
season of grace and strength and bless
ing which, if corresponded with, re
news spiritual life within u3, and
makes us burn with the love of God
and the desire to live for Him alone in
the exercise of our faculties and pow
ers. On all sides we see in Lent most
edifying examples given us by every
grade of society. The tender maiden,
the strong mechanic, the ordinary la
borer, the banker, the physician, the
lawyer, the high-born lady, the steady
housewife, the servant maid, the teach
er, all are represented by numbers
more or less of their class piously pass
ing the Lenten season through the
keeping of it3 fast and observance of
its public devotions and exercises. It
is a most consoling sight to the clergy,
and many a "God bless you" is envoked
by them on the good, holy people by
their fathers in Christ. Let Lent al
ways mark an era in the salification
of all.
—From "Seedlinoa,'' bp Bishop Cotton.
By human respect is meapt the fear
of displeasing the wicked, the fear of
being ridiculed and laughed at, of be
ing despised and disliked in our en
deavor to serve God faithfully and to
save our soul. It is an act of cow
ardice, which prompts the person who
allows it to get the better of him, to
offend his God and to run the risk
of losing his own soul, rather than
incur the chance of being scoffed at
by those who are the enemies of God,,
or of being pointed at as being sin
gular and narrow-minded, because he
does not think, speak and act as they
Our Blessed Lord has said: "He
that is not with Me is against Mfe
and he that gathereth not with Me,
scattereth." (Luke xi., 23.) Our
Divine Master wishes us to under
stand from these words that he who
has not the will and the courage to
declare himself openly as His disciple
is not worthy to be called a disciple,
and that he will be looked upon as an
enemy rather than as a friend.
If we examine our lives we shall
see how often human respect has been
the cause of our offending Almighty
God. We have but to look around us
in this world and we shall see how
much the devil makes use of human
respect to induce people to commit sin
and to neglect the good which they
ought to perform.
In addition to avoiding sin, we must
also perform good works in order that
we may acquire merit during our
short stay in this world. We must,
therefore, be careful to avoid these
obstacles which may make us careless
in the performance of this duty. Hu
man respect is one of these obstacles.
There are those, perhaps, who will
stay away from Mass on Sunday be
cause they think that others may pass
remarks upon their clothes, although
these clothes are such that are deemed
quite good enough to go to places of
amusement and so on. They are
afraid of their neighbors' remarks, and
so out of human respect they will stay
away from Holy Mass. Others who
have ample time on their hands will
not go to Mass on week-days for fear
of being pointed at as would-be saints.
Others again are afraid of kneeling
down to say their prayers or to say
their grace before and after meals
when in company of those who make
light of such things. We even come
across some who, when they accom
pany those who are not of their faith
to a Catholic church, are almost timid
to genuflect and give due reverence
to Our Divine Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament. .,
Let us then renounce all human
respect. Let us serve and love God
fearlessly, in spite of what the world
may say or think of us. And if we
have to suffer something sometimes
in order to do what is right, let us
esteem ourselves happy remembering
the words of Holy Writ: "The just
shall live for evermore, and their re
ward is with the Lord and the care
of them with the Most High. There
fore shall they receive a kingdom of
glory and a crown of beauty at the
hand of the Lord." (Wisdom v.,
—From a pastoral of the Bishop of Meneoia.
v 5 1
Epistle: Brethren, ~We pray
and beseech you In the Lord
Jesus, that as you have received
of us, how you ought to walk,
and to please God, so also you
would walk, that you may
abound the more.
Gospel: And as he. was yet
speaking, behold, a bright cloud
overshadowed them and lo, a
voice out of the croud, saying,
This is my beloved Son, In
whom I am well pleased hear
ye him.
St. Thomas was born of noble par
ents at Aquino in Italy, in the year
1226. At the age of nineteen he re
ceived the Dominican habit at Naples,
where he was studying. Seized by
his brothers on his way to Paris, he
was held captive for two years in their
castle at Rocca-Secca but neither the
caresses of his mothers and sisters nor
the threats and stratagems of his
brothers could shake him in his voca
tion. -While St. Thomas was in con
finement at Rocca-Secca, his brothers
endeavored to entrap him into sin, but
the attempt only ended in the triumph
of his purity. Snatching from the
hearth a burning brand, the Saint
drove from his chamber the wretched
creature whom they had there con
cealed. Then making a cross upon the
wall, he knelt down to pray, and forth
with, being rapt in ecstasy, an angel
girded him with a cord, in token of the
gift of perpetual chastity which God
had given him. The pain caused by
the girdle was so sharp that St.
Thomas uttered a piercing cry, which
brought his guards into the room.
But he never told this grace to any
one save only to F. Raynald, his con
fessor, a little while before his death.
Having at length escaped, he went
to Cologne to study under Blessed Al
bert the Great, and after that to Paris,
where he taught Philosophy and The
ology for many years. The Church has
ever held his numerous writings in the
highest esteem as a treasure-house of
sacred doctrine while in naming him
the Angelic Doctor she has indicated
that his science is more divine than
human. In him the rarest gifts of in
tellect were combined with the tender
est piety. Prayer, he said, had taught
him more than study. His singular
devotion to the Blessed Sacrament
shines forth in the office and hymns
for Corpus Christi which he composed.
To the words miraculously uttered by
a crucifix at Naples, 'Well hast thou
written concerning Me, Thomas what
shall I give thee as reward?' he re
plied, 'Nought save Thyself, O Lord.'
He died at Fossa-Nuova, in 1274, on
his way to the General Council of
Lyons, to which Pope Gregory had
summoned him.
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Steamboat Landing.
Street Cars pass in front of the Hotel for
in the City..
iryin the Parish.
father Michael was parish priest of
all the wild district along the coast,
and of the islands outside in the ocean.
Of these islands one was much larger
than the others and in this had he
been born. His father was a poor
man like all the islanders and Father
Michael got his college education free,
because he chanced to be of the same
name as one of the "wild Geese" who
had established a burse in the famous
College of Salamanca, in Spain. Fail
ing blood-relations, this burse was to
go, for the time being, to any young
Irish student of the name. And so
Father Michael got through college,
and made good use of his time there.
He was doctor both of theology and
philosophy and to look at him you
would never think it. In stature he
was small like his father and was
everything but distingue in appear
ance or carriage. There was never
theless an attraction in the simplicity
of his manner and when you entered
his little thatched residence, and were
ushered into the one apartment that
served for dining-room, sleeping-room,
reception-room and library and to
your astonishment saw a fine copy of
Suarez side by side with the Salma
ticenses and A Lapide on the shelves,
you began to think you were in no
ordinary man's company.
He had one ambition it was to
build a church on the island where he
was born. It was not so much a per
sonal ambition, as a longing that had
haunted him from childhood, to serve
the island and this desire he had in
herited. It happened thus. From
childhood he had seen the dangers that
the poor islanders yearly, and month
ly, and weekly ran, by night as well
as by day, to receive the blessings or
the rites of their Church. From his
earliest days he had heard his father,
longing, with the longing almost of an
aged Simeon, to see a church there,
and to see a priest there. And the
father, good man, left in his last will
and testament, "the half-acre at the
corner of the boreen free, gratis, as
long as grass is green, and water runs,
for a chapel of the Holy Souls, and
the $100 fortune I got at my eldest
son's marriage as my offering to help
to build it."
It is no wonder, therefore, that it
lay like a trebly sacred desire in the
depths of the priest's heart. And day
by day in his own uninteresting rou
tine—if indeed the common life of any
priest can be devoid of interest or of
event—he saw the ceaseless dangers
to which the poor people were exposed,
and to which they sacredly and unhesi
tatingly exposed themselves. Thev
came to Mass on a Sunday, and wind
and tide maybe dangerous as they
came to the mainland, or as they re
turned. They came to the Sacra
ments and the like danger threatened.
They came with a sick call and it was
the same. He therefore desired with
desire to see a church built there.
But there was, superadded to all
this, something that he would not let
the ground know. He was getting
into years. Nature has made a law,
that the child after playing during the
day will long for its mother's arms
in the evening and the child observes
that law. A similar law has nature
made for the toddler or totterer of
second childhood and the second
child, no less than the first, bows his
head after the burden and heat of the
day, and longs for rest.
It is not every frame can bear up
against the irregular, the necessarily
irregular life demanded of the priest.
That is true of almost of every priest
who has the work of the confessional
or the work of the parish, peremp
torily calling upon him for continual
attendance. But Father Michael had
both and unaided had "to work a
parish," that was a dozen or fifteen
miles in length, and almost as many
in breadth. And the Big Island lay
at the farthest extremity of this
"stragglesome" parish. If only there
was a church there, he would get per
mission to resign his parish, and serve
that, and spend the remainder of his
days where he had spent the begin
ning, saying Mass in the church, read
ing his Breviary among the limestone
rocks, and by the majestic waves.
Now, don't tell it that was
his great secret that was the darling
wish of his heart. Oh, if he saw the
walls raised, and the roof laid upon
them, and an altar erected! Oh, if
he did!
When strangers would come to the
place, he would talk of it, as if it was
a thing that merely was up in the
clouds. And when he came across
somenoe with architectural knowl
edge, he would say, that "a friend"
had some notion of building a church
there and he would endeavor to
worm out of him a conjecture as to
the probable cost. And talking to
same of the priests he would say how
happy it would be for the poor island
ers if they had a church there but he
spoke as if he himself had no personal
interest in the matter at all.
He thought that, with exceptional
tact and wisdom, he had concealed his
secret. Poor man, everybody knew
it but he thought they did not. And
so one day it seemed to him that it
Was Providence had inspired the
Bishop to say to him: "Father
Michael, I wish someone would, for
charity to God and for compassion on
the poor islanders, build a church on
tiiis island. I would make him parish
priest of it."
"With your permission, may I try,
"Oh, God bless you, Father Michael
I shall be so happy."
"Have I your Lordship's leave and
all faculties?"
"Oh, all leave and faculties, and my
blessing along with them."
II.—In America.
Father Michael at once nifUl* his
preparations to go across to America,
the Eldorado of the Irish race. But
the first thing he did, a thing charac
teristic of him, was to ask for prayers
on all sides. He knew a few convents
of nuns, not many, for he was not ac
quainted with the big world these he
interested in his mission. The people
of his own parish, and especially of
the Big Island, he bound by promise
to recite in their homes the Rosary of
the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Holy
Souls every night. His undertaking
he placed under the protection of St.
Joseph and the Poor Souls and hav
ing got a ne^ar dark frieze riding-coat,
he set out in joy.
Immediately on landing in New
York he was interviewed by a friendly
paper and the next morning's issue
had a long account of his life and his
labors, beginning with Salamanca and
its honors, and ending with his parish
and its necessities. There were
sketches of the Big Island with the
tempestuous waves breaking against
it, and a fair representation of the
priest himself with his kindly face and
weather-beaten hat, and papers and
magazines bulging in volumes from
the two side pockets of his riding
coat. The letterpress and sketches
would have interested the greatest
The morning paper, however, like
"the certain man that went down to
Jericho, fell among robbers."
"I want a dollar fO^T charity," cried
one of the robbers to his leader, and
he held the paper in his hand.
"A dollar for charity! Give 'Snipe'
a dollar for charity!" laughed the rest.
"Yes, a dollar for charity!" insisted
"A dollar for charity! What char
ity?" they cried.
"For this charity! There is money
in that bloke," he said, pointing with
his finger to the priest's photo in the
"How? Isn't it the way that bloke
is looking for money?" they asked,
"Give me the money and one hour,
and I'll show you there's money in
him," said "Snipe."
"Give him the money," ,thej cried,
"give him the money."
He got the dollar, and went to find
Father Michael. A few had already
called on the priest.
"God bless you, Father welcome
from the ould sod," said "Snipe."
"Are you Irish?" said Father Mi
"From the heart of Tipperary, your
Reverence. My mother was Lanigan,
bred and born be the Rock of Cashel
and my father was one of the Ryans
of Aherlow. And there's a dollar for
your Reverence."
"God bless you for your kindness.
Are you married, have you children?"
enquired the priest.
"Troth, then, I am married, your
Reverence, and no less than a baker's
dozen of the crathers do be shoutin'
for bread."
"It is not fair for me to take this
from you. I could not take it from
you," he cried solemnly. "My consci
ence would not allow me, God bless
you, my good man, keep your money."
"Oh, begannies, conscience or no
conscience, I darn't go home to the
woman, your Reverence. But I'll tell
you, Father, the woman said, if you'd
give her your autygraph, she'd have it
framed and we'll hang it up, plaise
God, next to the picthur of the Holy
jfi&u Virftsyw ewi-.
The priest took a clean sheet of pa
per wrote his name and address in
Ireland and America, and having put
the date, gave it to nim.
"She told me, too, your Reverence,
to caution you again some of them
banks. She said to tell you there was
only one of them safe," and he men
tioned the name.
"This is the very one that a priest
in the city, a friend of mine, has ad
vised me."
"Good day, your Reverence, and may
you have luck."
"God bless you, my friend, and I
wish you and your wife and your
numerous family every happiness and
As he went along the street, "Snipe"
kept repeating the words of the priest,
imitating them, mimicking them, but
all the time repeating them, and mak
ing sure that he had the accent and
tone of the voice exactly.
"I told you there was money in that
bloke," said he, laying the autograph
before his companions. "I got the
blessings for myself and my woman
and my thirteen little children, shout
ing for bread. Oh, but he's a bloke!"
"Your woman, 'Snipe,' and your
thirteen children," and they laughed
and laughed.
"Now, thjs is business," said
"Snipe." "Cut me out an antedilu
vian riding-coat like that," he said to
their tailor-in-ordinary, "with a hat
like this, a riding-coat, a Roman collar,
and I'm ready," and he sat down to
copy and recopy the autograph till he
reproduced it perfectly.
The real Father Michael was hard
at work day by day. It was not at all
so easy a thing "to collect," as his
enthusiasm had imagined. Many said
that the thing was overdone. Others
said that they could not be sure of
the genuineness of the affair. He pro
duced testimonials, but it was an
swered that these could be forged.
Even priests and religious felt that
they themselves, on account of their
own pressing needs, had been asking
too often of people, who had not over
much of this world's wealth, and they
were therefore slow in allowing a
stranger to beg in their parishes, and
slower still to recommend his cause to
their people.
(Continued on page 6.)
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