Dear Friends in Christ,
If you have not yet heard . . . Pope Francis has established the Monday after Pentecost to be the Memorial, or feast day, of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. This new celebration is such a wonderful encouragement for our stated parish mission to: Live Jesus! Just as Mary said “Yes” to welcoming the Holy Spirit, so all who come through the doors of our parish will also be encouraged to say “Yes” to the Holy Spirit. From our founding pastor Fr. Donald Burns, to my predecessor Fr. Jim Zappa, we have understood that the many gifts that God has given to our parish may only bear fruit by the working of the Holy Spirit! As disciples and good stewards of God’s gifts we too desire to say “Yes” to the Holy Spirit that enables us to live the life of Christ and so give birth to Jesus more fully in our words and way of life!
To celebrate this new feast day, I am pleased to announce that a new statue of Mary has been gifted to the parish by the Matt, Jodi, and Brenna Saari family, in memory of their daughter, Avery. The statue is named, “Our Lady of the Smile.” Mary will be placed in our Daily Mass and Perpetual Adoration Chapel in anticipation of the new memorial. Mother Adela, the Foundress of The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, writes the following about the history of this statue and the meaning this image of Mary Mother had to St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
On May 13, 1883, Our Lady of the Smile healed St. Therese of the Child Jesus when she was bedridden. On that day, St. Therese turned her head to a statue of the Virgin near her bed and prayed for a cure. “Suddenly,” Therese writes, “Mary’s face radiated kindness and love.” Therese was healed. The statue has since been called “Our Lady of the Smile.”
St. Therese, the heart that exclaimed a few months before her death, “In the heart of my Mother, the Church, I will be love,” did not always know she could love…did not always feel free to love… But Our Lady smiled at her and she was deeply healed of all her spiritual, psychological, emotional, and corporal sufferings. She was healed by a smile…a simple and powerful “smile” of Our
The Mother’s Smile is a reflection of Her maternal and immaculate love. She smiles to the depth of our hearts, to the depths of our wounds…to our most hidden inner lackings and sufferings. She smiles and we know Her love for us! She smiles and everything becomes so peaceful, so calm in the ocean of our hearts… She smiles and love flourishes in our whole being… She smiles and the voids of our lives are suddenly filled… She smiles and the brokenness in our humanity is restored, is elevated, is healed… She smiles and the path of grace to our hearts opens up with a new freedom…
She smiles and we know we are loved, deeply loved, by a mother’s love! She smiles and our fears are driven away. She smiles and the doubts are enlightened with Her kindness… She smiles and the lackings and excesses in our lives are leveled to the perfect measurement of love… She smiles and our hearts know that there is so much more…so much more… There is tenderness, there is courage, there is freedom, there is fruitfulness, there is communion, there is life, there is love…and love makes us stronger, freer, younger and more joyful. She smiles and we are healed…healed in the depth of our hearts!
May She smile in our hearts… May She smile to us and for us!
As the whole world now will be celebrating with us the name of Mary, Mother of the Church on the Monday after Pentecost, if you visit the chapel for Mass or spend time in adoration, here is a Prayer to the Our Lady of the Smile that Mother Adela also composed:
PRAYER TO THE OUR LADY OF THE SMILE
composed by Mother Adela, sctjm
Gentle Mother, smile in our hearts and heal us! Your maternal smile heals because it is a reflection of your motherly and immaculate love. Smile with the tender force of your maternal love and heal our hearts to know love, to receive love, to experience the fullness of love, to live in the path of love and to communicate freely the love we receive.
Smile into the depth of our hearts and bring healing to our wounds! Smile into our hearts and heal the brokenness in our humanity. Smile and make us whole, with perfect communion of mind, heart, body, and soul.
Smile, Mother, and heal us with your love! Smile toward us and cast out all our fears and anxieties. Smile, Mother, and heal us from all that imprisons love in our hearts. Smile to our minds and heal the memories that hurt the vision of love. Smile to our hearts and heal the experiences that have hardened us and have made us run away from love. Smile to us with your maternal love; and knowing that we are loved, heal us from the fears and hurts that impede us from generously and freely loving. Smile, O Mother, and with the radiance of your maternal countenance, heal our bodies from the lack of transparency in communicating the language of love. Smile, Immaculate Mother, to our souls and heal us from all that is wounded in our communion of love with the Blessed Trinity.
Smile, Mother, smile with your love in the deepest recesses of our hearts and heal us; so that, thus restored and freed, we may know the depth, the height, the width and the length of God’s love; so that we may live in perfect bonds of love with other hearts and so that we may ardently witness to love in the Heart of the Church.
Smile, Blessed Mother… Smile at us, smile for us. One smile from your Maternal Heart will heal our hearts.
Our Lady of the Smile, pray for us.
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.
My Love in Christ, through Mary, Mother of the Church,
Fr. Jim Perkl, Pastor