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Holy Family Cathedral » Knights of Columbus » Notes from the Knightstand: Summer 2016

Notes from the Knightstand: Summer 2016

by Martin Reidy

 

Most Rev. Peter B. Wells

Most Rev. Peter B. Wells

Ordained a simple priest

and assigned to dear HF

he shook up Rev. Halpine

he really must confess!

 

He also changed the way

many things were done

and pizza at the Rectory

was but only one!

 

He was like a comet

a flash across the land

for in a blink was gone

to shake up the Vatican!

 

He rose up thru the ranks-

a Monsignor soon by name

and with a Papal “Thanks!”

an Archbishop he became!

 

But he forgot not dear HF

and being grateful, understand

he offered Holy Mass

as a priest where he began!

 

And now he’s off to Africa-

will it ever be the same?

(and, perhaps some day-a Cardinal?

hmmm!-that’s a thought to entertain!)

 

Yes! By now I’m certain

it’s the priest you knew so well

it is, of course, no other

than Archbishop Peter Wells!

Well, I do not know if Archbishop Wells—known first to many of us as Father Wells—hit the Vatican like a whirlwind but he certainly hit Tulsa like one: here and gone before one could say. “Welcome, home!” I see that Namibia is a part of his jurisdiction. I always wanted to visit two places in my life: Finland & Namibia! Made it to one but not the other. But who knows? Monsignor Gier might just plan a trip to the Skeleton Coast! End to excitement!

This is the last Newsletter until August so as I remove the clutter from the Keep to clear a spot for the hammock – as summer is an excellent time to catch up on some intellectual and spiritual readings and what is a better place to lull away a lazy summer afternoon than in shaded hammock with a few good books and pitcher of iced tea (but more on that later). Come the 13th of May we remember, and hopefully celebrate, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima upon which a commentary is called as well as a bit of musing. Why? Well, in the early Middle Ages the Iberian Peninsula was the scene of bloody and predatory fighting between Christian and Moslem forces. The area around what is now Fatima was such an area of contention but nominally under Moslem control. The Moslem Governor of the region had a lovely daughter, Fatima, who was much sought after by both Moslem and Christian swains, and it was the Christian Gonzalo Hermingues who won the fair maiden’s hand. Fatima converted to Christianity as was necessary to be married to a Christian but Fatima, most unfortunately, died shortly after the wedding. Gonzalo, much distraught, entered a Cistercian Monastery in Alcobaca and had Fatima interred in the local church. A few years later the Abbot sent Gonzalo to found a new Cistercian monastery which Gonzalo did and he took the remains of Fatima with him to be reburied in the small church adjacent or near to the monastery. (Note: Cistercian monasteries were known for their being located in what we would describe as wild and unsettled places so as to be as far from the secular world as possible.) Gonzalo proceeded to name the monastery after his deceased wife, Fatima, and eventually a small village developed as was the custom with such undertakings. There it remained – a veritable backwater until May 13, 1917, when the Virgin appeared and the rest is, as they say, history – or is it? Well, the monastery is long gone but the small church is yet there I am so informed though I know not whether or not Fatima is so interred. Fatima, the wife, was named for Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima, of whom it has been said that Mohammed prophesied that Fatima would be the “first woman in Heaven AFTER Maryam, Maryam being the Arabic for Mary. Thus it is that Shiite Moslems, who have an inordinate respect for the daughter Fatima as well as the Virgin Mary, expresses a somewhat claim to the Shrine through the daughter of Mohammed. Hmmm! Could it be that the story of Fatima has yet chapters untold as only God can write them?

With that I wish you “Happy Reading” and were you not to have a book or two in mind allow me in my hubris to offer a few titles for your consideration. Any book by Fr. Richard Rohr though if you are over 40 you may wish to consider Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the two halves of life; any book by Fr. Ronald Rolheiser; The Devil and how to resist Him by Fr.Gerald Vann written in 1957 but reprinted in 1997; Listen to the Silence: A Retreat with Pere Jacques who was executed by the Nazis for hiding Jewish children in his French boarding school; a moving tale of survival in Dachau by Fr. Jean Bernard in his memoir Priest Block 25847 and IF you could ever find a copy of A Matter of Conscience by Werner Bergengruen which is a morality mystery novel set in Italy in the Middle Ages and well worth your time. Monte Cassino had a copy at one time – and may yet.

Well, once again it is space, not time, that limits this anthology of books but it is hoped that you are able to find a suitable tome to your liking. With that we wish to one and all, “Happy Summer and Pleasant Reading.”  PAX!

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