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From the Pilgrim Desk of Fr. Ryan - Our Associate Pastor
July 3, 2022 - Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and
looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

I’m writing from Casa Santa Brigida in the heart of Rome. This peaceful convent and guesthouse is the home of the Briggitine Order. The building was originally constructed in the 14th century. St. Bridget of Sweden lived here for 19 years. You can visit the room where she died in 1373. It’s been amazing to “live” here too. Across the street, we celebrate daily Mass in the Church of San Giralomo della Carita. St. Philip Neri lived at San Giralomo from 1551 to 1583 and founded his Congregation of the Oratory here. It has been humbling to celebrate daily Mass there.

Just down the street is the Venerable English College, where England sends her seminarians to study in Rome. Nearly 500 years ago, during the Elizabethan persecution, seminarians would process to the Chapel to pray a Te Deum in thanksgiving when one of the College alumni (and likely, one of their friends) had been martyred back home in England. We can pray in that same chapel and give thanks to God for those martyrs’ witness.

I have celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. Peter. I have visited the graves of five other Apostles, countless saints, and beatified. I couldn’t adequately express in words what it is like to pray here. But I can say this, I am grateful to God to be here. I’m grateful also for the opportunity to lead and mentor the 24 Seminarians I am directing.

In the gospel today, our Lord sent His disciples to preach. Soon these seminarians will be ordained priests and like the disciples, be sent by Christ to preach. They will teach what Jesus taught. They will serve as Jesus served. But let’s not forget that Jesus sends all of us – all of us – to preach the Gospel.

We, Jesus’ disciples, have nothing to fear. We have been given authority to know Christ and to share Him with the world. Christ will conquer all that gets in our way! So let us strive to know Jesus Christ and discover what that means in our everyday life. We are called to be great saints like St. Bridget, St. Philip Neri and the English Martyrs. We’re called to be saints and disciples, like Peter and the Apostles. We’re called to be holy – to be saints! And we can do that right where we are!

We will never be closer to Jesus Christ than the moment we receive Him in Holy Communion. Let us ask Jesus, as we receive Him, to help us become the great saints we are called to be.

Oremus pro invicem – Let us pray for each other.

Fr. Ryan P. Brady
Associate Pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge / St. Linus Parish

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