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“Everyone who breathes . . . has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random. . . . God sees every one of us; He creates every soul . . . for a purpose. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also.”
–Bishop St. John Neumann
2021 Calendars have arrived!

Thanks to generous donors, we have 2021 calendars available at no cost to you! Pick yours up in the parish office during regular hours, or at church this weekend.
St. John Neumann

Today, January 5th, is the Memorial of St. John Neumann. John was born in 1811 in Bohemia to Czech and German parents. From the time he was very young, John was a very good student and loved to read. It is said that his mother referred to him as her “little bibliomaniac.” Back in Europe at this time, it was the custom that a boy would only go to school until he turned 10. But his parents were happy to allow him to attend further education. Eventually, with all his education, he was encouraged to become a lawyer, doctor, or priest. By his mother’s urging and his love for theology and philosophy, he chose the priesthood. He also learned various foreign languages, including English. Though he wished to study for the priesthood, his local diocese already had an overabundance of priests. Also, he had a great desire to minister in America. Consequently, he departed for America, where he was accepted at a seminary in New York and was ordained in 1836. With a special gift for languages, he was well suited for work among the various immigrant populations. After some years working with German immigrants in the Rochester area, he applied to join the newly-arrived Redemptorist missionary order, whose novitiate was in Pittsburgh. There he would remain for eight years, eventually becoming the Redemptorist Provincial for North America. The Redemptorists is a missionary order of priests started in 1733 in Italy by St. Alphonsus Liguori, another well-educated and scholarly priest. St. John worked hard to grow this missionary order. 

In 1852, four years after becoming a naturalized citizen, Neumann was named the fourth bishop of Philadelphia. Among his principal accomplishments was the establishment of a thriving network of parochial schools—the first in the country. He also completed construction of a cathedral, founded a congregation of teaching sisters, opened orphanages, hospitals, and other social service organizations, and introduced the Forty Hours Devotion to America. Exhausted by his labors, he collapsed and died on January 5, 1860. He was only 49. He is known as the patron saint of children and immigrants. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977.

-Deacon Carl Toomey