Monday, February 24, 2014

Feast of Bl. Tommaso Maria Fusco

Happy Feast of Bl. Tommaso Maria Fusco

Bl. Tommaso Maria Fusco was born to a devout Catholic family, who instilled Catholic values and charity.  His parents both passed away before he reached the age of 10, at which time he went to live with his uncle Fr. Guiseppe.  He dreamt of the altar and joined the seminary, becoming a priest in 1855.  His life was full of sadness due to the loss of many of his family members, but this only increased his devotion to Christ and his Sorrowful Mother.  He founded the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood and blessed the opening of their orphanage.  He would often repeat the following phrase as he patiently worked through hardships:  "May work and suffering for God always be your glory and in your work and suffering, may God be your consolation on this earth, and your recompense in heaven. Patience is the safeguard and pillar of all the virtues".  He was beatified by Pope John Paul II as an guide of holiness for priests and the people of God. 
I want to talk about something other than just our saints today.  I want to tell you about our seminarians.  This weekend I was blessed to attend A Knight With the Seminarians event at our local Knights of Columbus.  This is an annual event where we get together to honor our seminarians.  Let me tell you, this is the highlight event of my year.  I love to meet the seminarians, introduce my children to them and hear their stories in a low stress, out of mass, out of the church environment.  This year a priest, not a seminarian, about my age sat at our table.  Fr. Fernando is a priest from Mexico who is a professor at the Seminary.  I have met some priests and seminarians at this before, but he had the light of Christ emitting from him.  I truly loved getting to know him, as did my children.  How often do you get to ask a priest if he broke his arm by falling off the altar--he didn't by the way, he broke it falling off his bike.  He was so personable.  We spoke about our favorite priests, and asked him about his.  I LOVE hearing these stories!  It led into why he became a priest and why he joined the Oblates.  My favorite question came from my 10 year old, who asked why is your crucifix so big and all of the other priests have little crucifixes?  Being an oblate, he is a missionary (FYI-the image of our saint today made me think of Fr. Fernando).  Me being a relatively new Catholic, had NO idea.  It truly is the little things in the faith that I sometimes miss.  If you have access to spend time with our priests or seminarians, DO IT!  You will never regret it, and neither will they.  I sometimes wonder if being a priest is the loneliest job in the world.  How many people build a bond with their priest and talk to their priest like people.  Invite a priest to dinner, if you are a K of C member, suggest an event to honor seminarians, do something today build that bond with a member of the clergy, remember, they are people just like us, they just had a different calling. 

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