On January 5, we will celebrate one of the few canonized saints from the U.S. -- John Neumann. He
was born in what is now the Czech Republic, and after studying in Prague, he came to New York and was ordained a priest. He did missionary work in New York, when he joined the Redemptorists and became its first member to profess vows in the United States.
At 41, as bishop of Philadelphia, he organized the parochial school system into a diocesan one, increasing the number of pupils almost twenty-fold.
Gifted with outstanding organizing ability, he drew into the city many teaching communities of sisters and the Christian Brothers.
Well-known for his holiness and learning, spiritual writing and preaching, on October 13, 1963, John Neumann became the first American bishop to be beatified. Canonized in 1977, he is buried in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.
Neumann took seriously our Lord's words, "Go and teach all nations." From Christ he received his instructions and the power to carry them out. For Christ does not give a mission without supplying the means to accomplish it. Today the Church is in dire need of men and women to continue in our times the teaching of the Good News. The obstacles are real, but when Christians approach Christ, he supplies the necessary talents to answer today's needs.
God bless all of you for continuing the Good News of the Church's teachings on the sanctity of Life, with Christ as your guide, no matter the obstacles.
Blessings in the New Year,