By Karen Clifford
SOUTH BEND — Refreshment of the mind, body and soul was a theme during Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades’ first visit to St. Catherine of Siena Parish at St. Jude in South Bend on July 18. Bishop Rhoades celebrated the 10 a.m. Mass and afterwards joined parishioners for a Polish luncheon, games and entertainment at the St. Jude festival.
Bishop Rhoades’ homily reflected on Luke’s Gospel about Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary and Martha. The Gospel’s portrayal of Martha’s frustration at her sister Mary’s choice to not help her in her household duties, but instead to sit and listen at Jesus’ feet had personal meaning for the bishop.
“Five or six weeks ago I went home for my nephew John’s high school graduation. I was only home for two days for his graduation, and it was great to see them. The evening I got there I was sharing conversation with my brother-in-law, my nieces and nephew in the living room and having a great time, and my sister is in the kitchen doing all the work preparing a meal for her family and her brother,” Bishop Rhoades recalled.
He remembered the look of frustration as his sister worked alone. “I could see (the frustration) after about 45 minutes when she came in and the kids weren’t helping, her brother wasn’t helping, and her husband wasn’t helping. I could see that she was a little annoyed that someone wasn’t at least setting the table. I thought of today’s Gospel and said ‘Robin, Robin, you are worried and anxious and troubled about many things. Johnny, Molly and Mary Kate have chosen the better part.’ I thought she was going to hit me. So she said, ‘Okay I’ll join you.’ What a mistake, because I was so hungry!” Bishop Rhoades remarked jokingly.
Making the time to be refreshed in the Lord should be a priority in our lives, Bishop Rhoades stressed. “Besides keeping the Sabbath, if we only could make time to spend 15 minutes each day with the Lord. We could spend it in front of the Blessed Sacrament or in a private room in our homes by saying the rosary, reading the Scriptures or speaking to the Lord.”
After the Mass, Bishop Rhoades blessed a mulberry wood carving of St. Catherine of Siena given to the parish by Tom Grzesiak and Bruce Downs. St. Catherine of Siena pastor, Father John Delaney, noted that people can see “Catherine of solitude” from one angle on the carving and “smiling Catherine” from another angle.
Downstairs in the church, a Polish luncheon was offered for St. Jude festival guests.
Florence Rafalski, an 86-year-old parishioner, was responsible for leading the kitchen team in preparing the meal. “I hope I can keep cooking for the festival until I’m 90,” said Rafalski.
Festivities and fun continued outside as parishioners enjoyed demonstrations by the Marian High School cheering squad and Poms team, games and food.
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