My dear friends,
As we continue our journey through this pandemic, I want to call attention to a significant milestone that we reached this past week, and a few events that are upcoming that will hopefully give us some sense of normalcy which has been in short supply.
Last Tuesday, September 15th, our parochial school celebrated it’s 95th birthday. On September 15th, 1925 before the city of Coral Gables was even incorporated, our school opened its doors for the first time. As many of you know, it was called St. Joseph Academy at the time, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph and until 1958, went all the way up to the 12th grade. Pictures of our high school graduates from the 30s, 40s, and 50s still adorn the walls of our school library. We have a treasured past at St. Theresa, and in these times in which our students are not physically in school, we ask for the intercession of our patroness to help us return to school and to guide as we gear up for the centennial celebration of both our school and our parish which are not that far away. We thank the Carmelite Sisters for their stewardship of our school for the last 30 years and for “forming our students in the mind and heart of Christ.”
There are three events that are upcoming that we will not cancel as a result of the pandemic. The first is on Thursday, October 1st which is the Patronal Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux. That day we will celebrate our patroness at each of our daily Masses, and there will be an added surprise to these Masses. Back in January, a parishioner of a neighboring parish bequeathed to us a first-class relic of St. Therese. We brought out the relic during a healing Mass in late February, and I was planning to do a more formal presentation of this relic to the parish during the spring, but as with all things, the pandemic got in the way. On October 1st, the relic will be present for all to venerate as we celebrate the life of our extraordinary patroness.
On Sunday, October 4th, which is normally the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we will have our customary “Blessing of the Animals” in the green space behind the church at 7:00 p.m. That day is also Respect Life Sunday, and I encourage our parishioners to unite with the Knights of Columbus and Respect Life Ministry to participate in the Life Chain that customarily occurs along US1. (More on that next week.)
Finally, we turn to the protection of our Blessed Mother, as we will gather on Wednesday, October 7th at 7:30 p.m. in the grotto on the grounds of the rectory for our biannual outdoor rosary. It is vitally important for us to pray the rosary as a parish during the month of the rosary in light of all the tragic events happening in our nation and to entrust our nation the Immaculate Conception, our country’s patroness, so that she may protect our land keep us united in peace. Chairs will be set up on the rectory lawn six feet from each other, masks will be required, and sadly unlike other years, there will be no refreshments afterwards. But we will gather to do what is most important: to pray!
I look forward to seeing you at these events!