Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of November 19, 2000


Dear Parishioners,

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, November 24. Even though we are living through one of the craziest presidential elections ever, we Americans have plenty to be thankful for! I think we will all be more thankful when the election mess is cleaned up and we can get on with it!

I think Iíve mentioned here before that it would make sense to me to have Thanksgiving Day as a holyday of obligation in this country. (Recall that the holydays of obligation do vary from country to country.) Every American Catholic must not forget the Source of all blessings and good things! It is a perfect day to begin with Mass before we gather with our families and friends to give thanks to God for all of our blessings. We will have two Masses Thanksgiving Day morning: English at 9:30 and Latin at 11:00. Please try to attend either one.

Let me bring to your attention THE PARISH STEWARDSHIP CARDS!

PLEASE! If you have not turned in your commitment card, please do so this week. We want a prayerful response from everyone. The phone committee of the parish council will call those we do not hear from. So, if everyone turns their card in, it will save lots of work. As I said last weekend, if you cannot participate at this time mark it "$-0-." That way we know that you saw the card and made your own prayerful decision.

Be sure to mark both top and bottom of the card in reference to your financial gifts. This is a bit confusing. Some have already turned their cards in and not marked the bottom, even with a zero (-0-). We will need to contact them again to make sure we understand their intention. Although the card is perforated, do not separate the card. We will do this in the parish office.

Again, we ask that everyone turn in his or her card as soon as possible. We would like to get things together on our Stewardship Campaign and United Catholic Appeal before the end of November.

I know I mentioned the following to the Parish Council, but I donít think I ever printed this in my weekly bulletin letter:

Earlier this Fall, I wondered "out loud" in my letter as to how and why our parish was named under the patronage of Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary. Shortly after, I received a note from our resident Italian historian, Dr. Jim Divita of Marian College. He set the record straight. Itís interesting.

I had asked why we were not named after a saint that was popular among the Italians. For example, Saint Joseph or Saint Anthony. Thatís easy to answer. When we were founded in 1909, the other two patrons had been taken. Saint Joseph Parish founded in 1873 and Saint Anthony in 1891.

Dr. Divita goes on to explain that Pope Leo XIII was devoted to the rosary and began to encourage all Catholics to pray the rosary in the 1880ís. A major devotion to Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary began at Pompeii, just outside Naples, Italy, at the end of the 19th century. In fact, Pope John Paul II recently canonized Bartolo Longo, the lawyer who initiated this devotion as well as building an orphanage.

Rosary devotion and the devotion at Pompeii became very popular among Italians and Italian immigrants. Italian churches named Holy Rosary exist not only here, but also in other cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. Chicago also has a parish, which began as an Italian parish, named Our Lady of Pompeii.

Our founding bishop, Bishop Silas Chatard, and our founding pastor, Msgr. Marino Priori, would have been familiar with the growing Italian devotion to Our Lady under this title. Dr. Divita also reports that he is sure that Msgr. Priori was familiar with Pompeii, because he has a photograph of him visiting there. An Italian artist did the original painting on the apse wall of our church, which was ruined by water damage. It was a reproduction of the painting of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary venerated at Pompeii. It is the same one depicted on our parish banner.

Mystery solved! Thank you, Dr. Divita!

Our annual "Giving Tree" project for Advent begins this weekend. Marie Pittman-Oechsle is again taking charge of this for us, another example of parish stewardship of time and talent. Marie will explain again how this project works this weekend at all the Masses.

Sincerely yours in God's Providence,

Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, V.G.