A Note From Fr. Timothy
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
Just as Fr. LeRoy brought up in last week’s bulletin article the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 24th), I want to discuss this week another great solemnity we get to celebrate this month: The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29th).
This liturgical celebration has always been a favorite of mine. St. Peter and St. Paul stand as monumental individuals in the early life of the Church. Though their missions were different, both were and are strong protectors of the faith, as well as leaders, teachers, and preachers. Both men were called and sent by God to bring the Good News to the world. Both knew intimately the mercy of God and what it meant to be forgiven and loved.
Eventually, their paths led them both to the city of Rome. Peter as the first Bishop of Rome, and Paul as perhaps the greatest missionary in Church history. It was in Rome that both would be martyred for the faith – Peter crucified upside-down upon a cross, and Paul beheaded by a sword. Upon the place where Peter was buried now stands perhaps Catholicism’s most famous Church: The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in The Vatican. The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls was erected over the burial place of St. Paul, some distance from where he was executed and outside the main walls of the old city.
As many of you know, I grew up attending Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Gilman and still have a great fondness for that church and community. The two onion-domed bell towers of the church, visible for nearly a mile outside of town in any direction, stand before the world just as those two stalwart saints who gave such great witness to Christ by their lives. I can remember the parish bazaars we would have sometime around the patronal feast day. June 29th also happens to be the birthday of one of my sisters, so our family always had another reason to celebrate that day. And being now connected with the Saint Cloud parishes of St. Peter and St. Paul as part of our Area Catholic Community, it is nice to be able to observe this holiday in a special way once again.
I encourage all members of our ACC to observe the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul with devotion this week. Attend Mass with us this Wednesday at St. Paul’s Church. Pray for the intercession of these two great patrons.
Jesus has founded his Church upon the rock of St. Peter and given St. Paul to inspire and grow the faith. May they establish, protect, and provide for the Church and all its members, and continue to win new converts to the faith by their example and prayers.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski