JUNE 14: FLAG DAY
By Deacon Phil Henneman, Mary of the Visitation, Becker/Big Lake
Flag Day is not a national federal holiday, so why should we care about it? Borrowing words from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, patriotism has its root from “pietas,” which means love of God, love of neighbor and love of country. This Flag Day let us ensure that our loves are in the correct order: to never lose our love of God, first and foremost; to love our neighbors; then our country. When you see all the flags flying, remember pietas, be thankful for our gifts and share the love God has given each one of us with our neighbor.
JUNE 19: JUNETEENTH
By Molly Weyrens, Pastoral associate, Christ Our Light, Princeton/Zimmerman
Juneteenth was instituted in 1866 to mark the first anniversary of the day that African Americans in Texas first learned of their freedom through the Emancipation Proclamation. Catholic social teaching invites us to live out the Gospel call of loving God and neighbor through dignity of the human person and solidarity. Celebrating the fact that our Black brothers and sisters were finally set free is a prime way in which these tenets are lived out. Martin Luther King once shared, “No one is free until we are all free.” May we work to make it so!
JUNE 20: FATHER’S DAY
By Eric Christensen, Parishioner, St. Joseph, St. Joseph
Father’s Day for Catholics is an occasion for joyously honoring and celebrating the fathers in our lives. The gift of fatherhood is a participation in God the Father’s own life, and God calls many of us to the vocation of fatherhood so that we may reflect and make manifest his love in the world. But that’s the tricky part, isn’t it? To love as God loves. To forgive as God forgives. To be faithful as God is faithful. And yet that is the calling of a father. This Father’s Day, let us rejoice and be thankful for our earthly fathers, and may those of us who have children of our own show them love, forgiveness and faithfulness just as our heavenly Father does for us.
JUNE 22-29: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WEEK
By Franciscan Sister Helen Rolfson, Professor emerita of theology and ecumenism, St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville
At the time of the Second Vatican Council, “The Declaration on Religious Liberty” was included in the acts of the council. For a while, it might have seemed an academic question to many American Catholics. In the intervening years, however, questions and challenges have emerged in society that make the issue and that document very relevant, needing the wisdom of Solomon. Religious freedom is intended for three reasons: to protect religious rights of conscience, the right to worship openly, and to safeguard the mission of evangelization and charity. Should citizens be penalized for obeying conscience?
JUNE 29: FEAST OF STS. PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES
By Heather Pfannenstein, Principal, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Richmond, and St. Boniface School, Cold Spring
The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is a celebration of two great apostles who were instrumental in establishing the Church. Both of these great apostles were obedient and said yes to following Jesus, leaving their homes and families to follow Christ. It is important not to just remember who they were and what they did, but for us to live and carry out the message near and far. Like Sts. Peter and Paul, we need to continue to evangelize and proclaim the glory of Christ, crucified and risen. “Believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).
image @ Getty/choness