"Chosen and precious in the sight of God" (1 Pt 2:4). Those words of St. Peter, our parish patron saint, aptly describe how I felt at the beginning of this month. I want to share with you this Sunday the joy I experienced on May 1. As you all know, May is traditionally dedicated to devotion to Mary. Catholics have come to identify praying the Holy Rosary as the primary way of expressing our love for Mary in May. As a priest once noted in his homily, you will get May if you remove the "r" in Mary. The "r" stands for rosary. We prayed the rosary during the Eucharistic Adoration that preceded our daily mass on May 1. It was a befitting way to start the first day of May- to honor Mary and make her our companion.
May 1 was also the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of the Dominican Province of Nigeria, which I belong to. It would have been a big feast if I lived in a community. But, as providence would have it, six of my Dominican brothers came to Elizabethtown, and we had a community-like feast! We concelebrated mass and went out to Hershey Bistro for lunch. It was one of the happiest days of my life as a religious! But, my joy did not stop with the camaraderie I shared with my brothers; the joy extended into the rest of the day.
My joy grew because of the quality of our Monthly Eucharistic Adoration. The worship of Jesus in songs and silence by many parishioners in attendance was uplifting. I was happy many showed up, as I requested at Sunday masses, and Jesus assured us that we did receive his grace as we left for our respective homes. Then, following Adoration, I joined the Council of Catholic Women (CCW) in praying the rosary again and singing hymns to Mary. I concluded the singing with a Gregorian chanting of Salve Regina. Afterward, I joined the RCIA (OCIA) and ended their mystagogy class with a repeat prayerful chanting of Salve Regina! O, dear Mother Mary, I love you!!
I am convinced all of us at St. Peter are "chosen and precious in the sight of God" because of all we do to give glory to Jesus and honor to Mary and Joseph. So let's keep crowning Mary with roses of our beads offered to her in prayer. The crowning of Mary this Sunday bears testimony to our love for Mary; let's keep that love incredibly alive by praying the rosary every day of May! Hail Mary, Full of Grace!!
Keep singing Alleluia! "We are an Easter people, and 'Alleluia' is our song!"- St. Augustine of Hippo.
In Jesus, through Mary,
Fr. Bernard, OP