Archive for the ‘St. John Nepomucene Neumann’ Tag

Feast of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos (October 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS (JANUARY 11, 1819-OCTOBER 4, 1867)

German-American Roman Catholic Priest

Alternative feast days = October 4 and October 12

Franz Xaver Seelos, born in Füssen, Bavaria, on January 11, 1819, devoted his adult life to the service of God.  His mother was Frances Schwarzenbach.  Our saint’s father was Mang Seelos, a parish sacristan and a textile merchant.  Seelos, named after St. Francis Xavier (1505-1552), received the sacrament of baptism on the day of his birth.  Our saint, confirmed on September 3, 1828, received his First Communion on April 2, 1830.  He, having discerned his priestly vocation while a boy, graduated from the Institute of St. Stephen, Augsburg, in 1839.  He continued his education at the University of Munich, where he studied theology and philosophy.  In 1842 Seelos graduated from the University of Munich and matriculated at St. Jerome Seminary, Dillengen an der Danau.

1842 was a year of turning points in the life of our saint.  He joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) on November 22.  St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori had founded the order in 1732.  Seelos felt drawn to the order, due to its work with the abandoned, the poor, and immigrants.  He left the seminary on December 9, 1842, with the intention of ministering to German immigrants in the United States of America.

Seelos spent 1843-1867 in the United States.  He, having sailed on March 17, 1843, arrived in the New York City on April 29.  Seelos, ordained to the priesthood in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 22, 1844, ministered to German immigrants faithfully.  For nine years he served in St. Philomena Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  For six of those years he was the assistant to and spiritual student of St. John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860).  For three of those years Seelos was the local Redemptorist novice master.  At. St. Philomena Church our saint was a popular confessor in three languages (French, German, and English) and from many people from various backgrounds.

Our saint’s final thirteen years were full of faithful service, too.  Seelos served in Baltimore (1854-1857), Cumberland (1857-1862), and Annapolis (1862-1863), all in Maryland.  Along the way, in 1860, he avoided becoming the Bishop of Pittsburgh.  In 1863, Seelos, as the Superior of the Redemptorist seminary, persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to exempt seminarians from the military draft.  Later that year our saint lost his job, for alleged leniency.  Seelos spent 1863-1866 as an itinerant priest in states in the North, from New England to the Midwest.  In 1866-1867 our saint served in a German immigrant parish in New Orleans, Louisiana.  On October 4, 1867, he, aged 46 years, died of yellow fever.  Seelos had contracted the disease while ministering to people afflicted with it.

Pope John Paul II declared Seelos a Venerable then beatified him in 2000.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DENIS, BISHOP OF PARIS, AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN LEONARDI, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF THE MOTHER OF GOD OF LUCCA; AND SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS

THE FEAST OF ROBERT GROSSETESTE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOLAR, PHILOSOPHER, AND BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF WILFRED THOMASON GRENFELL, MEDICAL MISSIONARY TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos,

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of St. John Nepomucene Neumann (January 5)   1 comment

neumann

Above:  St. John Nepomucene Neumann

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN (MARCH 28, 1811-JUNE 5, 1860)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia

St. John Nepomucene Neumann made a mark on the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, especially in Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Neumann was a native of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.  His father, Philip, was German; his mother, Agnes, was Czech.  Our saint, one of six children, studied theology, botany, and astronomy at Budweis, Bohemia.  Then he studied theology at Charles Ferdinand University, Prague.  Neumann did not become a priest in Europe due to the illness of the bishop on the day set aside for the ordination and because of the glut of priests in his area.

So Neumann came to America.  He arrived in the Port of New York in 1836.  On June 28 of that year he became a priest.  Given the option of serving in Buffalo or a rural area, our saint chose the latter, which was more difficult.  He lived simply in a log cabin, walked miles from farm to farm, and used his 12 spoken languages effectively when relating to his multi-ethnic flock.  Neumann also defended Roman Catholicism in debates with hostile Protestants; he relied upon the combination of logic and his mild manner to defeat his opponents verbally.  In 1840, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Neumann became a Redemptorist; he took his vows at Baltimore, Maryland, the following year.  For a time our saint was a missioner in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  In 1844 he became the pastor of St. Philomena Church, Pittsburgh.  Three years later Neumann became the Vice-Regent and Superior of the order in the United States.  Then, in 1852, he became the Bishop of Philadelphia.  As bishop our saint oversaw the construction of 50 churches and the beginning of the construction of the cathedral.  He also opened about 100 parochial schools and increased enrollment from about 500 to about 9,000.

Neumann, the author of newspaper articles and two catechisms, died at Philadelphia on June 5, 1860, after a stroke.  He was 49 years old.

Pope Benedict XV declared Neumann a Venerable in 1921.  Pope Paul VI declared him a Blessed in 1963 and a saint 14 years later.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Father, you called St. John Nepomucene Neumann to labor

for the gospel among the people of the New World.

His ministry strengthened many others in the Christian faith:

through his prayers may faith grow strong in this land.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13

Psalm 146

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Matthew 28:16-20

–Adapted from Christian Prayer:  The Liturgy of the Hours (1976), pages 1062-1053 and 1423; and The Vatican II Weekday Missal for Spiritual Growth (1975), pages 1613 and 1908-1926

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