A Word From Rev. Msgr. Richard Hanneke


Sunday, September 14, 2014

 Dear Friends: Today we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Sounds rather strange: exalting an instrument of torture and death. Shouldn’t we be focusing more on the teachings and examples of Christ? We should, and if we do, the teachings all lead to the Cross. It’s not a sign of torture and death but one of triumph, victory and new life! The Cross of Jesus Christ is central to our faith. St. Paul exalts the Cross as the occasion of His transformation. We hear in the second reading: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Phil 6:2) The Cross is not defeat but our restoration to the divine life and dignity the Father intended. 

Just like the Israelites of old, on that day in the desert when the seraph serpents (bronze seraph serpent, symbol of medical healing) bring death to many, those who looked upon the seraph serpent mounted on a pole did not die but lived. 
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, raised up, mounted on the Cross of Calvary assures the believer he shall not die but live eternally with our God on high. Do not the arms of Christ stretched wide on the cross hold all that separates us from our God? Jesus’ final words, “It is finished,” signify the death of all that separates us from God and initiate the new creation and the union of God’s desires. We Exalt in the Cross of Jesus! 
Next week from September 15-19, the priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will join Archbishop Robert J. Carlson for the 2014 Convocation. This meeting occurs once every four years and offers our clergy a unique opportunity for 
prayer, reflection and discussion as coworkers, brothers and friends. This year’s Convocation will be facilitated by Catholic Leadership Institute, a leading organization in Roman Catholic pastoral leadership formation of which Archbishop Carlson sits on the Episcopal Advisory Board. Due to the absence of most of our priests, a schedule of daily Masses can be found in the St. Louis Review. Our Lady of Lourdes will celebrate Mass on Monday, Sept. 15, at 6:45 and 8:00 a.m., and on Tuesday through Friday, Mass will be at 8:00 a.m. only. Neighboring parish schedules are listed below. 
Please keep Archbishop Carlson and the priests of our archdiocese in your prayers during this special time. 
- Gratefully yours, Msgr. REH 
Area Parish Service Schedule -September 15-19
St. Joseph’s in Clayton: Communion Services at 8:00 a.m. 
Monday-Friday and Mass at 12:00 noon 
Christ the King: Communion Services at 6:30 and 8:00 a.m. 
Little Flower: Mass at 7:00 a.m. Monday-Friday and School 
Mass 8:15 a.m. Wednesday 
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Dear Friends,
They’re back! Our kids, that is, are back in school, here at Lourdes and elsewhere. May it be a grand year. In one of my previous assignments, I knew an older woman who was the mother of 11, the grandmother of 50+ and great grandmother of more. Every morning at Mass during the Prayers of the Faithful she would pray for the one having a birthday. After mentioning his or her name(s), she would conclude with, “May they always stay close to Jesus.” I think of this wonderful woman and her powerfully simple prayer as I see our kids coming and going to school. I am mindful of the little ones coming to OLOL, those attending one of the private or public schools (St. Joseph PSR begins today), or high school or college, and my prayer is the same for all, “May they always stay close to Jesus.” That is the mission of our parish and the duty of our parents: to show the beauty of Christ’s face and love for everyone. Our parish, through a variety of educational programs, is here to assist our parents in “being the first and best of teachers of their child(ren) in the ways of faith. May you also be the best of teachers by what you say and do.” 
The religious education of our children is so important, and the ongoing need for faith formation and education for adults is equally important. For most of us, our formal religious education and formation ended after grade school or high school and for some after college. Just as we would not make our adult decisions with the mind of 14 or 18 year old, what we learned as children about our God has to grow and deepen. I encourage all to look at the variety of opportunities in our parish: scripture studies, retreat opportunities and RCIA for those looking into the Catholic faith are all wonderful opportunities for us to grow deeper in the knowledge and love of our faith. If you know of some other worthwhile adult education or faith formation that would benefit our parish, let me know. It is not just the children that we pray stay close to Jesus, but all of us to stay close and grow deeper in love with the One who loved us to death. 
I would like to introduce Mr. Patrick Waldschmidt to the parish. Pat is a permanent deacon candidate who has been assigned to OLOL as part of his pastoral formation. Pat will be present and involved in various parish ministries, as well as assisting at the altar. God willing, Pat will be ordained deacon in two years. Welcome to Pat and Therese Waldschmidt! 

 Gratefully, Msgr. REH