From A to Z with Father Zbigniew - a Christmas Message
May each of you enjoy a Blessed Christmas today and every day because every day is a blessing from God and a reason to celebrate. God sent us Jesus - His most precious Son - because He loves us - each and every one of us - SO MUCH!
The little baby on the cover of this week’s bulletin is Casey. Casey is a miracle. Yes, every child is God’s miracle but Casey has a special story. We printed that story last year but I would like to share it again with you and the many visitors who will be with us for the first time. It was written by Casey’s Mom, Sarah. Thank you Sarah for sharing.
Never underestimate the power of prayer
I have known of Father Solanus for a long time. My grandmother always wore his badge pinned to her gown whenever she was admitted to the hospital; holy cards and booklets were common, his face was a familiar sight. Three years ago my mom gave me one of the treasured badges asking me to pray to him. Why? My husband and I had been struggling for years to conceive…years. It had gotten to the point that we finally said on my 30th birthday that this was the year to really try, and if needed, seek medical help.
Late last summer as many parishioners may remember, we were invited to go on a retreat to the Father Solanus Center in celebration of Father Z’s birthday. Not only did I want to honor Father’s special day, I had coincidentally never been to the Center. I was eager to attend. I recommend that everyone take time for themselves to go on a retreat. There is something so special about that time spent reflecting on your faith.
For those who are not familiar with Father Solanus, he was (and still is) known to perform miracles of all sorts, interceding for answered prayers for the faithful. Because of this, he is in the process of becoming a Saint. I didn’t go to the Center hoping that my prayers would be acknowledged, let alone answered. I went for the experience.
The highlight of the center is the tomb, where Father Solanus has been laid to rest. On his tomb, the faithful write their prayer intentions. Do I ask for prayers for my family? A typical request of mine. No, I ask for prayers for a family that I have been longing to have. Healthy babies, boys would be nice. is written on the small sheet of paper, to be placed on the tomb followed by prayers and reflection. I left with greater appreciation of his well-known saying, “Thank God ahead of time.”
I found out a month later that I was pregnant, and later discovered I was having a boy. My faith tells me this was all thanks to prayers, trust and believing. Casey Daniel was later born on May 15th. Healthy and happy, he is my husband’s and my entire world. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and thank you Father Solanus for your blessings.
I know many of you could share stories of miracles that have taken place in your life. I also know that many of you are praying for a miracle - for your child, your spouse or yourself. Pray unceasingly. Pray to Fr. Solanus. Pray to your Guardian Angel! Guardian Angel my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits thee here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen. The prayer to our Guardian Angel is a regular part of any service in our church. There is a reason for that. We need protection from temptation, from danger and from evil, every day, all day. So if I have one message this Christmas to everyone it is to pray unceasingly and never stop praising God. Pray all day, every day. The world seems upside down but we can make it right - starting from ourselves and then one person at a time, wherever and to whomever the good Lord sends us.
Chris and Phil Lawson believe that it is their mission to help keep the light of Christ burning bright and they do just that every year at Christmas. They dedicate hours of their time (after working all day) to hang the colorful and bright lights that you see outside St. Barbara’s church for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday. When I asked them why they do it their answer was - “We want the church in the middle of East Dearborn to look amazing - we do it in the spirit of Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.”. I do believe folks will be inspired to drive by St. Barbara’s to admire the beautiful scene! That includes the manger and the lights that our devoted Ushers put up as well. The light is truly shining brightly in East Dearborn because each of us, each of you, do all that do out of love for Jesus Christ and His church. For all your dedication and sacrifice for our churches- in whatever way, in all ways, may the Baby Jesus raise His little hand and bless you and everyone you love this Christmas. Wesołych Świat. Buon Natale. Feliz Navidad. Merry Christmas.