Pastor's Column for June 24, 2018

Bob Terry had been in a wheelchair for the past 3 years but is now free to walk with the Lord. We celebrated his life & funeral Mass last Saturday and extend our sympathies to Shelley Aigner and to his two living children. He was always smiling when Shelley brought him to Mass & I am glad he was able to pray with us even though his prayer was from his heart. May he and all the faithful departed rest in God’s peace.

Pope Francis has chosen 14 men to be the newest cardi- nals in the Church and will elevate them this Friday, June 29th, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. One of them is his chief aide in helping the homeless and poor in the city of Rome. He has also named prelates who are in Iraq & Paki- stan where Christians are a minority. You’re probably wondering when I will “receive the red hat” as we say (the Pope gives the new cardinals a red “biretta” or hat that they wear for certain occasions). I have a black biretta but I’m not counting on it ever turning red. While I like to visit Rome (as I will be in October with some parishioners), I don’t really want to work there. Daily pasta would be great but I’d have to buy a lot of new clothes. Speaking of Pope Francis, when we had our last school Mass, I asked the children if they knew what well-known person was about to be married (Prince Harry). One of them answered with great enthusiasm: “Pope Francis!” Now that would have been a wedding people would have tuned in to watch!

I’ve been a bit negligent sharing some of our parish’s history with you as I’ve promised as we celebrate our 70th anniversary. So here’s a bit of history from our beginning: The first Mass of the parish was celebrated at the Ben Franklin Auditorium on Sunday, October 17, 1948. There was a simple announcement in the bulletin of Our Lady of Good Counsel that spoke of the birth of St. Leo’s and gave the parish boundaries. The Diocese had already bought land from Alvin to Portman on the other side of Broadview, close to Schaff Road. It was all empty & full of weeds. But Fr. Lux didn’t think it was a suitable place & so he spotted the land where the church currently sits but said that it was a swamp. And the woman who owned the land would never sell to a Catholic! But Fr. Lux had connections & he had someone else buy the land from her! He bought the land right up to the railroad tracks (on the other side of 480 now), knowing that a highway would be going through (he later sold the land to the State so they could build 480 & that helped pay for the church). Our first Pastor was a shrewd and clever businessman as well as a prayerful priest.