I am pleased to inform you that the Archbishop has appointed Deacon John J.Stoverink to serve here at Saint Joseph Parish. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1993. He served first at Saint Ambrose Parish for twenty-two years and then at the Cathedral Basilica for six years. Here, Deacon John plans to become involved in pastoral care for the sick and homebound, in being present to the students and catechists at the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion, and in assisting in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Deacon John has been married to his wife, Joanna, for thirty-eight years. They met each other through the Archdiocese Catholic Singles program. Deacon John is recently retired after forty years in information technology, during which time he first served as chief information officer for the City of Saint Louis and later managed information technology security and operations at Saint Louis Lambert International Airport. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from The Citadel and Master of Arts degrees in business and information technology from Webster University. May I kindly ask that you join me in welcoming Deacon John and his wife. Please know that Deacon Del Leonardo, who has faithfully served at the Parish for many years now, will continue in his service as Senior Deacon here and in his chaplaincy to the Filipino community.
This weekend on the 4th of July, we commemorate Independence Day and so call to mind the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1776. Undoubtedly, the most important words in this pronouncement are that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our country, let us pray that her people will continue to advance in the protection and promotion of the right to life of all persons, from conception to natural death. In this regard, we recall the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis who said in his address to the joint session of the United States Congress, “A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton” (September 24, 2015).
You may have noticed that the altar at church has received a new look. The previous candleholders on the sides of the altar have been replaced with the candleholders that were near the Crucifixion scene. Recently I learned that the candleholders that were on the sides of the altar are of aluminum and had been used at the catafalque in Requiem Masses many years ago. Given that the altar candleholders near the Crucifixion scene are to be used on the altar and are of fine quality, they have been restored and are now being used at the altar.