OK, it’s a bit of a stretch. However, our saint today, St. John Neumann, who was born in Bohemia in 1811, spent his student and seminary days in the Diocese of Budweis, but was not ordained there because the bishop felt there were too many priests already. By all accounts, he did not show early signs of greatness or distinction, but he was a bright and determined lad, who felt his vocation to the priesthood strongly. Strongly enough, in fact, to journey to the United States, in its young and wild days, in hopes of being ordained and doing missionary work. He eventually became a U.S. citizen, a Redemptorist priest, and finally bishop of Philadelphia. He was dedicated to promoting holiness of life among the ordinary Catholic people, established many schools especially for immigrant people, and built many churches, visiting the outlying areas of his large diocese. He also had to deal with strong and prevailing anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiments of his day. And he died quite young, in 1860, at age 49. For us, I think he is an example of how God works, if we let him, through our ordinary lives, with dedication and hard work. This is well captured in the title of a 1977 biography by Jane Hindman, An Ordinary Saint. And here’s a brief biographical video.
We had dancers the last few days, today we have our first set of musicians. Eleven Pipers Piping. Pipers? Here’s the Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music:
Wait for the drummers!
St. John Neumann