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Message for March 21, 2024

Grad Students have busy schedules and Young Professionals as well.  Finding common free time for a weekend away is more intense than mere jello wrestling.  Thus we have usually had regular Thursday Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly as our Lent-long Retreat.     Our last one is tonight and I would invite everyone to join us all.   The attendance and reverence last week were quite touching, especially since I realize so many of the deadlines, obstacles and schedules that you each face!

God is at the heart of our lives.

God is the origin of all the people whom we love and all the good that we see in the world. 

Who better to thank for His help, who better to ask help from, than the good God!

“All I know of tomorrow is that Providence shall rise before the sun!”  Lacordaire’s lines was my mother’s favorite and I find that it’s yours as well. It certainly teaches us how to refine, reorder and simplify our lives, by being open to God and to God’s will, trusting in it with confidence. 

Since you so often have exams I’d like to tell you of a famous one just 425 years ago tomorrow!

St Francis de Sales, the first French doctor of the church, patron of writers, advocate of the calling to sanctity the laity all, leader of the Catholic Reformation and remarkably successful missionary to the Calvinists near Geneva, winning back tens of thousands was sent by his bishop in Annecy to Rome. Among the papers was the request that DeSales would succeed him. Pope Clement VIII de Medici called for him to be examined by all the cardinals and bishops of the whole Roman Curia. 

Since that diocese long had an indult forbidding this, de Sales was taken by surprise but the pope insisted, revealing his actual reasons:  de Sales was so learned that he wanted a chance for the cardinals to witness his brilliance. But quite a firing line it was!  The cardinals included Federico Borromeo who founded the Ambrosian Library (second to the Bodelian in being a free public library) and following his uncle St Charles as archbishop of Milan for 35 years; St Robert Bellarmine SJ, Alexander de Medici who became Pope Leo XI; Ven Caesar Baronius the great historian and Catholic apologist who succeeded St Philip Neri as superior of the Roman Oratory; Camillo Borghese who had supported Galileo and honored his discoveries and whose name later as Pope Paul V is prominent atop the facade of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and so on.   De Sales was asked thorny questions in the De Auxiliis controversy and answered successfully, further in both sides finding him fair and just. 

Let us ask the intercession of good St Francis de Sales for each of you as you face PhD Generals and then your thesis defense years later!  Know of our prayers for each of you every day!

Our greatest yearly retreat is Holy Week!  Please enter the hour here as we celebrate together each event in Our Lord’s journey for love of all of us and the whole world.  Invite others!  Join us all!  Let us pray with all our hearts!

God Love You!

Father George Salzmann OSFS. 


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