Dear St. Martin of Tours Family and Friends,
The Tim Haber, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is still available for any 8th grader who is a child, grandchild, etc. of a St. Martin of Tours parishioner. Requirements and reward information are listed in the foyer of the church. I have extended the application deadline until Friday, September 3.
Thanks to so many who are doing so much to keep our parishioners engaged in social clubs, activities, prayers, keeping the flowers fresh and lovely, and so much else. Not to mention how generous you have been in our weekly offertory.
But as I have stated before, prayer is more important than anything else in the world. Especially with the pandemic still chugging along, national and international uncertainties of every kind, the continued rise of atheism and anti-Christian sentiment; the list could go on I suppose. So much is out of our hands that the only hands we can turn to are God’s hands and the hands of his beloved Mother, the saints, and the angels.
You may have noticed, therefore, a proliferation of images of Mary in our church. We already had in our church three images: Mother of Perpetual Help, The Immaculate Heart, and Our Lady of the Apocalypse (in the sanctuary with the 12 stars). A few years ago, an anonymous donor commissioned an image of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. And right now, to complete the 8-day celebration between the Assumption (Aug 15 and the Queenship of Mary (Aug. 22), a smaller free-standing statue of Our Lady has been placed om a pedestal near where the baptismal font usually is. So that’s five images!
A thought occurred to me last Sunday: The free-standing statue of Our Lady looks very “American,” as though she stepped out of an Art Deco mural from the 1920s. Perhaps we can set up a place in the church for Our Lady of America? It so happens there is a devotion to “Our Lady of America, Immaculate Virgin,” which has its origin in the revelations of Sr. Mildred Mary Ephrem (1916-2000). It had received great ecclesiastical support until May 7, 2020 when a commission of American bishops declared along with five other bishops that the apparitions were not of supernatural origin. Such declarations of regarding authenticity, while not infallible (see for example the history of the Divine Mercy), are nevertheless to be observed and respected. Only private devotion to “Our Lady of America” is allowed, nothing public.
Even so, let us recall that America already has a wonderful and special manifestation of Our Lady: The Immaculate Conception! This is why last December 8, our parish was consecrated to her protection, and a special plush heart was made to be placed over her breast to signify her love for us and our trust in her! So, for those of us who wish to pray in a special way for our nation, prayers, flowers, candles, and votives may be offered before her image to the right of the entrance of the church.
As for our lovely American-looking image of Mary, we place her elsewhere on our campus, waiting in the wings. After all, tomorrow is another day.