Dear Star of the Sea School Parents,
As you know, since I am a member of the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph, besides a life of deep-rooted prayer, I am also involved in many different ministries within the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Many of you have asked me what the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph ministries consist of. First of all, there are special opportunities, like the present one at Star of the Sea School, where one of our members may be called to serve in a particular situation where we are needed for a period of time.
On the whole, we spend most of our time outside of prayer serving in the following areas: parish missions, parish retreats, retreats for those discerning priesthood or religious life within the Archdiocese of San Francisco, spiritual direction for seminarians, weekend retreats, spiritual direction for priests and religious nuns and sisters, healing and deliverance ministry, healing masses, supply priest ministry, directed retreats at the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph Monastery and social justice ministry. We are also part of a liturgical renewal ministry using Gregorian Chant within the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass and we also have workshops for small groups of people and occasional radio programs which we title the “Catholic Spiritual Life Academy”. There is more, but I think this gives you a good idea of our active apostolate.
Since the last week of April, 2015 it seemed best that I suspend almost all the active ministries just mentioned until the middle of June, 2015 in order that I could focus my time and energy on the pastoral needs of Star of the Sea School. Both the members of the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph, Chancery personnel and Mr. Hanley understood that this was necessary.
During the next school year of 2016, I will be at Star of the Sea School 3 days per week. I will be in contact with Mr. Hanley about our involvement in our Contemplative of Saint Joseph active ministries in order to make sure that it does not interfere with my first priority, which will be the parents and children at Star of the Sea School.
Let me end my first letter to you on a spiritual note. Saint Francis de Sales wrote a wonderful book called The Introduction to the Devout Life. He was writing primarily for men and women who were not priests or nuns. One of the sayings from the book that I appreciate is on the theme ‘Calmness of Soul.’ This is what he writes:
“Every morning compose your heart and soul for a tranquil day. Then, all throughout the day be careful to often recall your resolution, and bring yourself back to it, with a prayer, a movement of the heart, an act of the will of the soul. If something unsettles you, do not be upset, or troubled; but having discovered the fact, humble yourself gently before God, and try to bring your heart and soul once again into a quiet, still, peaceful, recollected, faithful, hopeful, silent, spiritual attitude. If you fall into turmoil, do not worry, simply say to yourself, ‘Well, I have made a false step in my inner life; it is OK, God is all merciful, now I must simply be more careful interiorly, and more watchful and mindful.’ Do this each time, frequently when you fall – then you will eventually find peace in the Heart of Jesus. Then, when you find this peace beyond understanding, use it profitably, making constant acts of charity, and seeking to be calm in the trifling things, and in the big things. Above all, do not be discouraged; be patient; wait; strive to attain a calm and gentle interior life, a heart that is tranquil during the day and night and a soul that is calm.”
My last day for this school year will be Friday, June 12. I will see you all again in late August. May God’s blessings be abundant upon all of you and your children all summer long!