instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, January 05, 2004

Immigrant shepherd and shepherd of immigrants, pray for us!

Today is the feast of St. John Nepomucene Neumann, fourth bishop of Philadelphia and patron saint of short Central Europeans who travel a lot. Of the 1,927 men who have been ordained bishops for dioceses in the United States (a number I made up just now, so don't quote it), St. John is the only one to have been canonized a saint. So far.

It seems to me circumstances today are such that a confraternity of Catholics who promise to pray daily for their bishop and for all the bishops of the United States, under the patronage of St. John Neumann, would be timely and fruitful. Until it gets organized -- and I think the Redemptorists are just the folks to organize it -- we might simply commit ourselves as individuals to reciting every morning a simple prayer, along the following lines:
Almighty God, You called St. John Neumann to a life of service, zeal, and compassion for the guidance of your people in the new world. By the help of his prayers, keep our bishop N., and all the bishops who serve your Church in the United States, strong in faith and love. May they be conformed to the Sacred Heart of your Son, leading their flocks to salvation through Him Who lives and reigns with You for ever and ever. Amen.
No doubt all good Catholics already say similar prayers, but I suspect the Church in the U.S. isn't making full use of the graces of St. John's canonization, which came at a time (1977) when making full use of the graces of canonizations was out of favor.