Today is the Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, the co-founder (with St. Francis de Sales) of the Visitation Sisters. The oldest Monastery of cloistered Visitation nuns in America is right here in Mobile, Alabama. It is right down the street from where I lived when I was in high school and Imust have passed it a million times. But last Saturday morning was the first time I passed thru the gates. I celebrated Mass for the Men of St. Joseph Retreat that took place at the Monastery's retreat house last weekend. The community of nuns also attended that Mass and I could not help but be struck by the fact that there were nearly as many white veils as black veils among the 14 or 15 nuns - for the uninitiated - that means they hava lot of novices. Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting Carol, a young woman who will be entering the postulancy of that monastery on Friday. She will be the 7th Sister in initial formation and 2 more are going to be entering soon. God is clearly doing great things among those nuns! God be praised. I was happy on the Feast of St. Jane Frances to offer a blessing to this young woman who is soon to become one of Jane Frances' daughters!
The Gospel for Mass today is from Matthew 18. Jesus demonstrated the "greatest in the Kingdom" by showing his disciples a child and assuring them that if they did not become like that child, they would not enter the Kingdom. Since Jesus used a child as a visual aid for his teaching, I thought it okay to show everyone the perfect little one in my life too and I showed them this picture of me with my newborn niece (born yesterday at 7:02 am). I was so moved by her near perfection as I stared into her beautiful little face yesterday. I love that she is the example of what we are to become if we are to part of the kingdom: no earthly economic value, completely dependent, easily pleased, and a blank slate morally and intellectually. Jesus calls us to that kind of dependent innocence to claim our place in his kingdom.
Fr. Bart Hutcherson, OP
Fr. Bart Hutcherson, OP is a Roman Catholic Priest & a Friar of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus-USA. He is on the Pastoral Staff at Most Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch, California, and uses this page to post Homilies and Scripture reflections.