Going fishing with Dad is a rite of passage many children. Holding our dad’s hand and feeling his arms around us as we learn to cast become part of who we are and an important memory that warms us even in later life. The best fathers guide us and play with us. They show us strength, support, and security. They teach us important lessons that guide us throughout our lives.
Fathers spending time with children by the side of the water is a universal experience. Jesus was a “fisher of men”. Perhaps he made that comparison because so many generations of men and children have fished with their fathers?
Good Saint Ann’s husband, Saint Joachim, is an example of a good father. He and Saint Ann prayed for a child for many years. When God answered their prayers with the birth of Our Virgin Mother Mary, they thanked God by dedicating her to His service.
We often think of fathers as strong and easily forget they need our love and support. Let’s honor all of our fathers, grandfathers, and other important men in our lives, whether living or deceased. Send us their names and we will place them at the feet of Saint Ann to be remembered in the prayers and Masses of the Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
When you send us these names of men who are important in your life, please consider sending a sacrificial gift. Your financial support is vital to our Mission and Ministry, as are your prayers. In a real way, your partnership with us makes a difference throughout the world.
For example, we all know that presently there is a lack of priestly and religious vocations in America, but do you realize that the situation is quite different in other parts of the Catholic world? By God’s grace, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament is growing in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the Philippines, Africa and India.
In fact, our community in India just dedicated a new residence building for our theology students who are preparing to become priests. We have about twenty students with another five to join them soon. There are currently many students in Africa and Vietnam also. Father Norman Pelletier SSS, our former USA Provincial Superior, was invited as a special guest to the blessing of this new building in India. During his time as Superior General he worked tirelessly for the development of the Congregation in Africa and Asia.
We thank God, because in the last several years priests from our Asian and African provinces work alongside our own Blessed Sacrament religious the United States. Father Jude Fernando SSS (Sri Lanka) ministers as a hospital chaplain in New York City; Father Joselito Hitosis SSS (Philippines) is a hospital chaplain in Cleveland; Father Mark Del Rosario (Philippines) is an associate pastor in Florida; and Father Gnanasekar Paulraj SSS (India) is an associate pastor in Houston, Texas.
The Risen Christ told His disciples not to fear. We should heed these words of Christ and not fear or be discouraged. The Church and the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament is living, growing, and rapidly developing.
Your support helps make all of this possible! We are forever grateful to you for your partnership in spreading the message of the Eucharist and we keep you in our prayers. Please pray for all our students, priests, brothers, and the growth of the Catholic Church throughout the world.
Thank you for all you do to help the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and keep our Catholic faith alive around the world and into the next generations.
Yours in Good Saint Ann,
Rev. Michael P. Noreika, Saint Ann’s Shrine Spiritual Director
Rev. Roger Bourgeois, Saint Ann’s Shrine Chaplain
P.S. Remember to send us the names of your fathers, grandfathers and other important men in your life so we might include them in our Masses and prayers.