Tuesday, February 19, 2008

“Saint Who?”

Did you know that this Friday, February 22, is the first day of the novena for St. Katharine Drexel?

You can find the novena starting on page 54 of the recently released Saints for our Times: New Novenas & Prayers

“Saint Who?” you may ask… We’re so glad you did!

Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia in 1858. In her mid-twenties she inherited her father's fortune along with two other siblings. Already involved in philanthropic works, when she petitioned Pope Leo for missionaries to help the Native American people, she acted on his invitation, “Why not be a missionary yourself.”

Katharine returned to the States and within five years she began the

Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament dedicated to education and advocacy for some of the poorest and most marginalized people in the American society at her time.

Mother Katharine died in 1955 and was officially recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church in 2000.

Alexandria historical note:
St. Katharine contributed funds to the church, school and rectory buildings of Joseph’s Parish in Alexandria. Read about it here.

“The patient and humble endurance of the cross – whatever nature it may be – is the highest work we have to do” --St. Katharine Drexel

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A new release just in time for Valentines Day

Did you notice Song of Love on the new release table?

Song of Love is a small hardcover edition of the Song of Songs illustrated with miniatures from the Borso d’Este Bible.

The world celebrates love in any number of ways: good, bad (and sometimes ugly), all of which point to the underlying truth of our existence: we are created and sustained by love.

How fitting, then, to reread the great book of love poems from the Bible on this holiday. As the introduction to Song of Love tells us:

"The songs are first of all a celebration of human love in its various aspects: desire, physical attration, belonging, communion, complete giving. It is a love that also knows silence, solitude, fear and separation, but in the end prevails over all obstacles because 'love is strong as death' (Song 8:6)

"Besides being a celebration of human love, the Song of Songs has been read by Jews and Christians alike as an allegory in which the love of the lover for the beloved is seen as a parable of the love of God for creation. In this sense it can be read by all who are seeking to enter more fully into a loving relationship with the Creator, and are seeking words to express this love."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The latest arrivals

We're starting this week with a whole bunch of great new titles!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Seek the Face of Christ

Today Sr. Anna and Sr. Sean are off to Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD for this year’s Mount 2008 youth conference. They will meet one of our volunteers, Kathy, who faithfully helps each year at this conference.


Mount 2000 is a Eucharistic centered retreat designed for high school and college age Catholics.

Let’s hear it for the JPII Generation! And let’s keep them in our prayers.

Photos of last year's conferece from the Mount 2000 web-site

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Forty Days

Approaching Easter
"Most of us can give up coffee or alcohol or chocolate for a day or two without really noticing, but to give them up for forty days is quite another matter. Your body will really notice that you have taken something away that it was used to receiving on a regular basis. It will make you feel that loss. Gradually as the days go by, though, your body will not remember its need for that particular fix any more. You will have changed something. Forty days is long enough to change all but the most deeply rooted habits.

"That's not the reason why Lent lasts for forty days, but it is a helpful piece of coincidence. The real reason is that forty days is the period of time that Jesus spent in the wilderness, as we read in Matthew’s Gospel. We keep Lent to try to share some of that experience with him.”

Excerpt from Approaching Easter: Lenten Reflections, Jane Williams, pages 9-10

Monday, February 4, 2008

“Christ made Himself poor for you”

From Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 Lenten Message:

"He gave His entire self for us. Lent, also through the practice of almsgiving, inspires us to follow His example. In His school, we can learn to make of our lives a total gift; imitating Him, we are able to make ourselves available, not so much in giving a part of what we possess, but our very selves. Cannot the entire Gospel be summarized perhaps in the one commandment of love? The Lenten practice of almsgiving thus becomes a means to deepen our Christian vocation. In gratuitously offering himself, the Christian bears witness that it is love and not material richness that determines the laws of his existence. Love, then, gives almsgiving its value; it inspires various forms of giving, according to the possibilities and conditions of each person."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gotta start somewhere

Here it is - the Saturday before Lent starts - already!

As I stand here typing this first blog-post for our newest online presence, I'm looking out at a busy bookcenter. There's a woman looking over the liturgical workbooks, a fellow browsing the church documents (he has a couple of JP II encyclicals in his hand), a family casing out the inexpensive holy doo-dads (and trying to keep an enthusiastic 3 year old from pull every holy card out of its slot); a twenty-something looking through the Bibles and one of our regulars picking out a Lenten devotional.

People from every walk of life, and every level of understanding and commitment to the Faith come through our doors. Something (or Someone!) draws them here.

It is a good place to start.

Sr. Sean