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Pastor's Letters


We are very excited this Lent to be offering another Monday evening Adult Faith Formation series of talks. These talks will be via Zoom only, at 7:00 PM on the Mondays of Lent beginning tomorrow and continuing until the last Monday before Holy Week.

I can’t tell you how personally excited I am that we are offering this series! We will be looking at five of the great spiritual traditions that have shaped, and continue to shape to this very day, Catholic piety and spirituality to a profound degree in this part of the Catholic world.

These five great spiritual traditions are those of the Benedictines, Carmelites, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits. Those who have been longstanding members of St. Mary’s have likely absorbed a fair amount of Dominican spirituality from the homilies and other presentations made by the friars here. But I suspect many are far less familiar with most of these other spiritual traditions in the Church.

What makes this series extra exciting is I am inviting speakers from all over the country to make these presentations; this is why the talks will be done via Zoom. Please keep an eye on the parish web page, our social media outlets, and our parish email for the links to join in these Zoom chats.

Our opening talk this Monday will be on Benedictine spirituality, and will be given by the Abbot Austin Murphy, O.S.B. from St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois. Abbot Murphy is a friend of mine and both a wonderful monk and an accomplished scholar, having done his Ph.D. in Theology at Notre Dame, specializing in the thought of St. Augustine.

I highly encourage everyone to tune in for this talk in particular. Why would I say that? Because Benedictine monasticism was the first true spirituality in our western Catholic Church. In some ways, all of the great spiritual traditions that have developed since then (including my own beloved Dominican spirituality) have drawn from, and/or been in some ways a modification of, this foundational tradition. Thus a good understanding of the spirituality that gave rise to the first monasteries of monks under the Rule of St. Benedict is extremely important for understanding the spirituality and piety not only of the early Church, but of the medieval, post-reformation, and modern Catholic Church as well.

During this season of grace where we are all called to cast aside the things of this passing world in order to focus on those things that are truly necessary, I pray that all of us will find some inspiration in these talks to deepen our own life of prayer. Each of these great spiritual traditions help us, in different ways, to draw closer to Christ.

“See” you Monday evening!

Fr. John Paul


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