04-01-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Charlie Goraieb

On the morning of March 25th, we joined Pope Francis and millions of Catholics throughout the world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Many of us who were there experienced great spiritual power and joy, knowing that we were doing something efficacious to help bring peace to that troubled part of the world. One of the many titles of our Blessed Mother is “Queen of Peace.” By entrusting ourselves and others to her, we can be certain that, in the economy and time frame of the heavenly realms, she will intercede with her Son to thwart the evil intentions of those who seek to destroy the freedom of others.

The newly ordained Fr (St) John Vianney was sent to the small town of Ars, near the City of Lyon. Because of his poor academic record, his Bishop thought it prudent to relegate him to a backwater town where he could quietly exercise his priestly ministry.

The first thing this wise priest did was to commission a statue of Our Blessed Mother. Before the statue was completed, he wrote the names of all of his parishioners and had it inserted in her Immaculate Heart. This simple and pious act was the beginning of spiritual revolution that reverberated throughout all of France and beyond. Not only were there many conversions among his flock, but he was sought by people from far away, seeking spiritual advice and the grace of the Sacrament of Confession. His secret, of course, was to rely wholly on the grace of God and the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. Imitating the Curé de Ars, Pope Francis has wisely asked the whole Church to do the same. For one magnificent day, our whole Church was united in fulfilling its mission of being a beacon of light to the whole world. A truly historic event.

For those who attuned to the messages and spirituality of Our Lady of Fatima, there is the temptation to see what occurred that day as the completion of Mary’s request that the Pope would unite with Bishops throughout the whole world to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What Mary said was that this consecration was needed to avert Russia from becoming an evil, Godless empire that would spread its errors throughout the world. For many historic (and unknown) reasons, this did not take place immediately upon Mary’s request. Several Popes attempted to do so, but were not able to unite all of the world’s bishops. Part of this was due to the lack of communication methods that are available to us today; there was also the problem of communicating with Catholic Bishops who were serving behind the Iron Curtain. But on March 25th, 1984 Pope St. John Paul II did, in conjunction with the world’s bishops, consecrate Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Sr Lucia, the last living visionary of the Apparitions at Fatima, confirmed that Pope John Paul II fulfilled the conditions of Mary’s request. In 1989, the Iron Curtain came down without a shot being fired. By 1991, the mighty, impregnable empire of the Soviet Union simply ceased to exist.

Practical Matters: We are seeking to hire someone with bookkeeping experience for accounts receivable and payable. Hours and salary are open to negotiation. If you would like to work for the parish and have these skills, please apply by contacting Rita Villegas: Rita@olmctempe.com

Thank you and God bless, Fr Charlie Goraieb