1000 East Maple Avenue
Mundelein IL 60060
June 11, 2017
Dear Stigmatine Lay Member,
This Trinity Sunday tells us much about the charism of St. Gaspar Bertoni. A number of our Stigmatine students of the Founder’s special grace believe that St. Gaspar was much inspired by the Most Blessed Trinity – by the Eucharist – and by the integral Paschal Mystery: the Sorrowful Wounds on Good Friday and the Glorious aspect of these Wounds of the Apostolic Mission on Easter night.
There clearly is a “Trinitarian” dimension to Fr. Bertoni’s great dream for the Stigmatines – a group of individuals, who would strive to live together as a family, and would communicate God’s Word and love in their ministry, as the Father sends out His Word incarnate in Jesus Christ [The Father so loved the world that He sent His only son, did not spare Him – cf. Rm 8:32-Jn 3:16] – and the Father and the Son send out their mutual Love – in an eternal Mission of Truth and Love.
St. Gaspar’s Apostolic Mission lived the Mystery of the Eucharist as Offertory [offer your spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… [cf. 1 P 2:5 – Rm 12:1, ff.: ‘make of your lives an oblation to God’s Mercy…’], Consecration [the Father consecrated Me and sent me into this world… [Jn 10:36] and Holy Communion [The Father and I are one – Jn 10:31].
In previous months, we have shared together some thoughts on St. Gaspar living out the ”Model’ of Christ – the Heavenly “Copy” – striving to imitate the Divine “Exemplar” – the supreme “Paradigm” – whose mind all are called to put on [cf. Ph 2:5-11]. In this Divine Word, for St. Thomas Aquinas, God has expressed His complete Word in Whom there is revealed full truth. The Holy Spirit has been sent to us all to reveal that which Jesus Christ has taught by his life and message.
Changing now for this month, the metaphor from speaking the word, to listening to the message – St. Gaspar heard [digne, attente, devote] the Divine Word deep in his apostolic missionary heart – and strives in His Apostolic Mission to ECHO this Word of God all his life. His ideal for the Stigmatines is coined in his phrase: Verbi Dei quodcumque ministerium [cf. # 163]: any ministry of the word of God whatsoever: from the “Apostolate of the Pen” – to “Evangelical Conversation” – to share the message of hope in God’s mercy.
Usually, on June 11th, the Church remembers St. Barnabas – his proper name was Joseph, but he was called Barnabas, as he came as ’the Son of Encouragement’ [cf. Ac 4:36] being full of the Holy Spirit. St. Gaspar’s Message to us all then is: Lift up your hearts! – By His Wounds, all of ours will be healed [Is 53:5; 1 P 2:34]. Let us listen to this in our hearts!
Fr. Joseph Henchey CSS
Assistant Spiritual Director
Appendix I: The Ministry of the Word of God in St. Gaspar Bertoni - an ECHO of St. Ignatius of Loyola - by Rev. Joseph Henchey, CSS