LETTER TO THE STIGMATINE LAITY – FOR LENT, 2015

Stigmatines – St. Joseph’s Hall
554 Lexington Street
Waltham MA 02452-3097

 February 18, 2015
ASH WEDNESDAY

Dear Stigmatine Lay Member,

A blessed Lent to you all! Due to our severe winter, we really have not had much contact since our gathering [for those who could make it!] for the Mass and supper on the 199th anniversary of the foundation of the Stigmatines, November 4th [1816 – next year is the second centenary].

In this period as well, two members of our Province died, known to most of you: Fr. Henry J. Linse, CSS – who died at the age of 95 [pre-deceased by his brother, Fr. George Linse, CSS, who died also in January over 2 decades ago] –and Fr. Joseph Connolly, CSS – who died three weeks later, February 6th, 2015, at the age of 84. Please pray for them and for those who mourn them.

It has been decided that we will not have a March meeting –hoping that much of this snow will melt [!]. This means our next gathering will be for Mass and supper on the Feast of the Stigmata, which is celebrated on the Friday following Mercy Sunday. So, the Feast of the Stigmata will be celebrated this year on April 17th – and as the festivity approaches, you will be informed by letter inviting you, regarding the time of Mass and supper.

As we endure here in New England the rigors of one of our most severe winters on record, we might do well to ponder the life of our saintly Founder, Fr. Gaspar Bertoni. So much of his life, he spent as an invalid, confined to his room – and mostly to his arm chair and bed. Perhaps with the many spiritual masters who see that holiness is much associated with deadening routine, and involuntary limitation to free movement, due to age and illness with which none of us is totally unfamiliar! If this is our own present personal lot, let us associate ourselves to that wonderful idea of St. Paul that we are being invited [as was St. Gaspar!] to make of our lives an oblation to the Mercy of God [cf. Rm 12:1] – and with St. Peter who invites us all to join our sacrifices to that one sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

A blessed Lent to you all – let us pray for each other, and the Stigmatines’ Apostolic Mission in the Church, and also our own! God bless you all – hope to see you on April 17th for the Feast of the Sacred Stigmata.

Very sincerely yours,

 Fr. Joseph Henchey, CSS
Acting Spiritual Director

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