Brothers and Sisters,
Hasten to the Blessed Sacrament.” This guidance from the venerable Mother Mary Lange to her fledgling community, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, our Church’s first African-American religious congregation, remains pertinent to all Catholics everywhere. Like so many saints, Mother Mary Lange was a trailblazer. She not only recognized God in the lives of the neglected and forgotten by the Church and society, she decided to do something about it, offering essential education and faith formation to young girls of color right here in Baltimore City —what an inspiration!
Yet, even this trailblazer, Mother Lange, understood that the foundation of her ministry was in Jesus’ abiding presence in the Eucharist, which provides the strength to transform our world. Adoration is a yearning for our greatest treasure—Jesus! Whether saught in our Good Shepherd Chapel, at one of our monthly Festival of Praise events, or during an outdoor holy hour, we should use these spaces and opportunities to enter into prayer with Jesus present in the Eucharist, spending more time listening than talking, seeking the Lord rather than solving the world’s problems and taking a leap of faith when our Lord’s calls us to build his Kingdom.
In our first reading, Solomon succeeded his father, David, as King. Even in his youth, Solomon knew to seek wisdom over power, riches, and fame. In the past few weeks alone, I’ve been fortunate to meet many young Catholics with similar mindsets while helping at the 45th High School Leadership Institute at O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland. Despite the limited life experience of these teens, their stories demonstrated profound spiritual maturity illustrated by their appreciation for the priceless treasure that is the Eucharist and their willingness to cultivate the discipline necessary to live lives filled with prayer and service. They inspired me with their eagerness to follow Christ’s ways over their own, opening themselves to share their lives and love with others. I’ve also seen the blessings from our Parish teens’ initial meetings with Mary, our new youth minister, alongside intern Anna, assisting. Last week, they recognized John Paul, affectionately called JP by his friends. As an OLPH parishioner, JP uses his gifts to serve, whether through opportunities at Mount Saint Joseph High School, where he will soon be a Senior, by helping out at OLPH with our Middle School Impact and Confirmation formation programs, or by leading praise music at OLPH and neighboring parishes while playing in his Christian band King’s Credence. Still, here’s the fantastic news, JP is one of many young people – including those who recently made great efforts supporting OLPH’s Vacation Bible School program along with the several Middle and High School parishioners who are off to the Catholic Youth Summer Camp in Damascus in Ohio (check out what campers are up to at damascus.net). I’m infinitely grateful to all these young folks as they answer the call and use their lives as vessels for Christ, sharing his good news with the world!
Before I close, I have an invitation to all parishioners to learn more about the beautiful community present at OLPH’s sister parish St. Veronica in Cherry Hill (806 Cherry Hill Road, 21225), by joining them along with Bishop Lewandowski on Tuesday, August 1, for a prayer walk through their neighborhood. The event begins with a light dinner at 5:15 pm with a short walk to follow. Trust me; you’ll feel blessed in sharing their witness of faith with the community.