Guided by the Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Parish is a Eucharistic community that seeks to live the Word of God, instill the legacy of faith, and proclaim the love of Christ through service to all.

Monday - Friday:             7:00am
Wednesday - Friday:        5:30pm
Saturday:                         7:30am 
Saturday (Anticipatory):       5pm
Sunday:      7am-9am-11am-5pm
Saturday              8:30 am-10am
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August 30th, 2015

Relics and the Naming of Saints

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
          Several Sundays ago two visitors from Ohio, a married couple, walked through the front doors of the church and handed me a gift. I had never met them; they had never been to OLOL before. But what they gave me—gave you, really—is invaluable. They had stopped by a few days earlier to pay a visit to the church and to pray. They were overwhelmed by the beauty of the church and the spirituality of our parish, dedicated as we are to the patronage of Our Lady of Loreto. They had been looking for a home for one of their dearest possessions. They were struck the day of their visit that OLOL was the place to which the Holy Spirit was calling them to give their gift. That Sunday they gave me, gave us a relic of the Holy Family: a piece of the crib of Jesus, of a veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and of a cloak of St. Joseph, her husband and the foster father of Jesus. I have placed this relic in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the first one on the right as one faces the tabernacle, in between a relic of the true cross of Jesus and one of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles.  
          OLOL is blessed to have acquired a number of relics. In addition to the three I have mentioned we have relics of the following saints: Gemma Golgani; Raphael Valencia; Maria Goretti; Ignatius Loyola; Alphonso Liguori; Dominic; Pius X; Rose of Lima; Vincent de Paul; Therese of Lisieux; Francis of Assisi; Theresa of Avila; Gaspar del Buffalo; St. Martin de Porres; and Frances Xavier Cabrini, all in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
          We do not worship relics. Relics are “remains” of the men and women who have gone before us yet accompany us with mercy on our journey to heaven and intercede for us in our pilgrimage on earth. We “display” relics in a chapel, especially one containing the Blessed Sacrament, as a family might hang a picture of a grandparent, family member, or dear friend, or keep one in an honored place in one’s home. We place a lighted candle on the relic box of the saint on his/her feast day, as you might light a candle in prayer for a loved one, reminding us that the saints love us and enkindling our love for Christ and the communion of his holy ones.
          The church asks that anyone who privately owns a relic entrust it to the church so that the church can display it publicly for the veneration of the faithful and the growth of the Christian faith. I too invite anyone who might have a relic at home or know of a family member or friend who does to consider entrusting it or urging your loved ones to entrust it to OLOL for public veneration. With the relic you will be acknowledged so that the whole parish can pray for your family and needs.
          Finally, I urge young families to pick up again the ancient Christian tradition of naming their children after saints. Our culture has gotten into the habit of naming our children with names that will portray and proclaim their uniqueness and individuality. Contrariwise, naming a child after a saint helps parents, the community, and especially the child to know and understand that he/she is part of a grand, historical heritage of faith, of a faith community, and literally of the communion of saints. This is especially true for children who are named after loved ones whose names are the names of saints. For example, my parents named me Edward after a paternal great grandfather, and Louis after a maternal uncle, both of whom died shortly before I came to be. As it turns out St. Edward and St. Louis were both European Catholic kings. I have always considered it special that I was given such an exalted Catholic heritage as well as a valued familial one. St. Edward and my great grandpa Edward, St. Louis and my Uncle Louis, I know, love me, accompany me with mercy, and pray for me on my pilgrimage to the communion of saints, to heaven, to Jesus.

Father Ed

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