Saturday, August 8, 2015

Our "Cure of Ars"

     This past Tuesday, August 4th, the Church remembers and honors the Cure of Ars, the parish priest of the French town of Ars in the early 1800's - Saint Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney.  This holy man is recognized as the patron of parish priests, and is one of my favorite saints from my youth.  I guess what drew me to him was the fact that he was not a great student, and had special difficulty with Latin (not one of my favorite disciplines in school), and also the fact that he was a simple parish priest, which I was hoping to become as well.  But he was a man of deep personal faith and possessed a great and deep love of the people entrusted to his care.  In my high school days when I became a Third Order Franciscan with the local Friary in Uniontown, I chose the name Jean Marie.


     On this past Tuesday, I journeyed to Saint Pius X Church in Mount Pleasant for a regional mass and gathering of God's people with our new bishop, Edward Malesic.  Bishop Malesic has scheduled a number of masses and gatherings throughout the diocese (this was the third of these) and is using his first few weeks visiting parishes and communities in order the meet the people and pray with them.  I have to say that he brings with him the spirit of a pastor and a personal appeal that is refreshing.  About fourteen priests gathered for a relaxing dinner, followed by the mass, filled with prayer and song, warmth and laughter, and a great homily that affirmed our existence as Church. 

The bishop then meets every person who visits with him at the reception.  He has to be exhausted by the end of the day, but those who meet him come away with memories and a spirit of joy.  

Pictures courtesy of the Diocese of Greensburg Facebook page
It took Jean Marie Vianney a long time to win the trust and the acceptance of the people of Ars, but when he did, God worked great things there.  In our day things move more quickly, and the Bishop took very little time in winning the acceptance and trust of the people of the Greensburg Diocese as their Cure, or pastor.  What great things await us.  I look forward to his visit in our area on the 18th of August.

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