He only shuts up when he is writing!
From the Pastor: Mother’s Day and Ordinations
This Sunday is Mother’s Day! Of course, you knew that already, either because you really remembered it or else because somebody near and dear slapped you upside the head when you forgot. You would think that a day which helps us keep the fourth commandment would be an easy one for Catholics to remember. You would think that a day which commemorates someone so necessary for one’s very life would never go unheralded. You would think...wrongly. Why, you ask? Because men. That’s it. No further explanation needed. No verbs, no adverbs, no adjectives, no conditional clauses, no nothing. Because men. Every girl and woman remembers Mother’s Day every year. Not just those who expect a Mother’s Day card, gift or, at least, acknowledgment. No. All females throughout the land know and prepare for, in some manner and fashion, Mother’s Day. They do something for their own mother. They do something for their husband’s mother. They help their own small children draw colorful Mother’s Day cards and then delight in the “surprise” when they receive them. They remind their boyfriends (remember, these are not all the same women with husbands and children and boyfriends!) to do something for the perhaps future mother-in-law. And, when the big day comes, they remember. Yet huge numbers of men, who have been reminded in numerous ways for weeks on end, forget. Men and women, believe it or not, are different. Only women can be mothers and only men can be priests. What? How did I jump to that? Husband-fathers, priest-fathers. Both groups are reserved for men. Or, if you like to whine, you may prefer it to be stated that both groups discriminate against women. As God ordained from the beginning. Oh, look! I took the topic of Mothers and transitioned to men, then to priests and now with the inclusion of God and the word “ordained” I get to adroitly introduce the next paragraph. That was so smooth you probably didn’t even realize I did it. Unless you read the last couple of sentences, anyway. So don’t read them, please. Or, unread them. Or something.
One of these men (who may or may not have forgotten Mother’s Day), Deacon Elixavier Castro, will be ordained to the blessedly discriminating Priesthood this coming Saturday, May 20. The Ordination Mass will be held at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg at 11:00 am and all are welcome to attend. (I have canceled the Saturday morning Adult Catechism Class so that I can attend his Ordination Mass.) The faithful are also invited to a Vespers service wherein we will pray Evening Prayer at Christ the King in Tampa, specifically asking God’s most bountiful blessings upon him. That will occur the night before the ordination, Friday, May 19, at 7:00 pm.(I will also miss our Family Rosary and Game Night so that I can be there praying for him.)
Now, after writing this, you would think that I will remember Mother’s Day. I can tell you from past experience that you just may remember...wrongly. Why? Because men. That’s right. Did you already forget that only men are priests? (Read this with a Tarzan voice:) “Father, man. Not woman. Not ape. Man.” (Sorry if I forgot you, mom! And sign my brother’s name to that apology as well.)
And now to tie this all up nice and sweet. With a bow. Like a girl would do. While we are on these topics, have you ever read the document from the Congregation for Clergy titled, “Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity”? It encourages all women to join the Blessed Virgin Mary in prayer for the men who share in the true Priesthood of her Son, Jesus. It encourages women (blessed discrimination!) to become Spiritual Mothers, and does so in a delightful way. In which other document would you ever find quips like this:
Every priest has a birth mother, and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. For example, Giuseppe Sarto, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son’s ring and, suddenly pensive, pointed out her own simple silver wedding band saying, “Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine.” Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, “Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!”
It is on account of this document that our Spiritual Mother’s group (Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!) publicly prays for priests every Wednesday after the 8:00 am Mass during Adoration. I have put a link to the document up on our parish website and encourage you to read this delightful document. Women, Spiritual Mothers, do not forget to pray for their sons, not once a year, but every single day. Why? Because Mother Mary.
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka