Dear OSJ Family,
Please try to join us at the 5:30pm Vigil Mass on Saturday July 30th as we celebrate the feast day of our Holy Jesuit Founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola, with our worldwide Jesuit Family and the entire Church.
Admittedly one of my favorite saints, Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491 in Azpeitia in the Basque region of northern Spain. The youngest of thirteen children, at the age of 16 he was sent to serve as a page at the local royal court. Later at the age of 30, while serving as an officer defending the fortress at Pamplona against the French, a cannon ball struck Ignatius, wounding one leg and breaking the other. This began his conversion. After a long recuperation, and reading the life changing book The Life of Christ and the Lives of the Saints, Ignatius allowed the Holy Spirit to touch his heart. He decided that he no longer desired to serve the King of Spain but rather the Eternal King of Peace, Jesus Christ, as his faithful soldier!
He went on to write his infamous Spiritual Exercises, a manual for prayer and greater communion with God, which animates every work of the Society of Jesus—including our parish!
It was with his trusted friend Saint Francis Xavier and six other faithful men that they formed a new religious order, the Jesuits. Since they had referred to themselves as the Company of Jesus (in Latin Societatis Jesu) in English their order became known as the Society of Jesus. Ignatius was unanimously elected on the first ballot of the group to be the first Superior General. Ignatius, whose love it was to be actively involved in teaching catechism to children, directing adults in the Spiritual Exercises, and working among the poor and in hospitals, would for the most part sacrifice his love for the next fifteen years–until his death. He worked out of two small rooms, his bedroom and next to it his office, directing this new Society throughout the world. From his tiny quarters in Rome, he would live to see the Society of Jesus grow from eight to one thousand members, with colleges and houses all over Europe, and as far away as Brazil and Japan. The former worldly courtier and soldier, who had turned his gaze to another King and a different type of battle, died on July 31st and his feast day is celebrated by the universal church and the Jesuits on this day!
Won’t you join us for the Mass and Dinner to help us honor and remember our good and holy founder? Tickets for the dinner are available at the parish office.
Thanks and God Bless
Fr Phil Florio, S.J.