Dear Friends in Christ,
On Saturday, September 23, Servant of God, Father Stanley Rother, will be beatified in his home diocese of Oklahoma City. Some of you may have already read his story in the biography by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run, Fr. Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma. For a link to the book, click here.
Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles had this to say about the new book, “Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda has a long and well-deserved reputation as one of our finest Catholic journalists. She is a good storyteller, and she tells the story of Father Stanley Rother with sensitivity and intelligence, introducing us to a holy priest, a defender of the poor, and a missionary martyr of our times—one more shining light in the long history of holiness and heroism in the Americas.”
While being praised as far away as Los Angeles, I came to know Fr. Stan from a few of his relatives who belonged to my former pastorate in Hastings, Minnesota. For this reason, having that local connection to Fr. Stan, I wanted to extend the invitation to all at Mary Mother to join St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on a pilgrimage to his beatification ceremony in Oklahoma City.
Fr. Stan is the first American-born martyr and the first U.S. priest to be beatified. The pilgrimage will leave for Oklahoma City from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Friday, September 22 and return to Hastings on Sunday, September 24. Bus cost per person is $290. Hotel cost per room, per night is $105. We will stay 2 nights. A block of rooms has been reserved at Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, Perry, OK. To reserve your room call, 1-580-336-2666 with Code “SEAS Church Group”. If you’d like to join us on the pilgrimage, please call St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church at 651-437-4254, ext. 232. Reservation deadline is Tuesday, August 15.
While Fr. Stanley knew that he was on the “hit” list, and for a time took refuge back home in the United States with his family, he came to the conclusion just before Easter of 1981 that he needed to return to people he loved to serve. He said, “My people need me. A shepherd cannot run from his flock.” Returning to his mission work in Atitlan, Guatemala, he was murdered for his support of the indigenous poor on July 28,1981.
If you would like to join us on pilgrimage, please make your reservations before Tuesday, August 15.
My Love in Christ, through Mary, Mother of the Church,
Fr. Jim Perkl, Pastor
To learn more of Fr. Stanley’s life go to http://videos.oeta.tv/video/3000165426/ or click here.