Passover Supper Central to Both Jewish & Christian Identities

Today’s Word:

O God, You have taught me from my youth, and til the present, to proclaim your wondrous deeds. (Psalm 71:17)

Today is the first day of the eight-day Jewish Feast of Passover. The Passover commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, circa 1230 BC.

The angel of death passed over the homes of the Jewish people in Egypt because they had placed the blood of the slaughtered lamb on their doorposts and lintels.

According to the Wilmington News Journal, “The Exodus story …is central to Jewish identity.”

It is also central to Christian identity.

According to today’s Gospel, Jesus was “reclining at table with His disciples” to share the annual Passover Supper (John 13:12). During the Supper, He handed the disciples bread and wine. Jesus’s act of sharing bread and wine with His disciples is an event Christians will celebrate this Thursday, Holy Thursday. It is an act remembered each Mass in the Eucharistic prayer – the Canon of the Mass.

Both Jews and Christians can pray the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm, “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and til the present, to proclaim your wondrous deeds.”

– Father McLaughlin

Pope Francis Inaugurated as 266th Pope

Today in Rome Pope Francis was inaugurated as the 266th Pope at a Mass in Saint Peter’s Square before a crowd of 200,000.

Pope Francis was elected on March 13, at the age of 76, on the fifth ballot. He is the first pope to chose the name Francis.

Joseph Biden, Jr. Archmere Class of 1961

Joseph Biden, Jr.
Archmere Class of 1961

The Archmere Connection…

Heading the American delegation to today’s ceremony is Vice President Joseph Biden, Archmere Class of 1961.

Also attending is Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of Orthodox Christians. Patriarch Bartholomew’s attendance marks the first time the Orthodox leader has attended the Papal Inauguration since the Catholic Church divided in 1054.

Who is Francis?

Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. He is one of five children. He graduated from a technical high school and earned a Master’s in Chemistry.

At the age of 21, he had part of his right lung removed due to pneumonia.

Pope Francis entered the diocesan seminary in 1955 before joining the Jesuits in 1958. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969. He taught high school literature, philosophy, and theology.

After six years as Provincial of the Jesuits, Pope Francis became the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, and later Archbishop in 1997. He became a cardinal in 2001.

His motto as bishop and Pope is “lowly but chosen,” based on Matthew 9:9-13.

Pope Francis speaks Spanish, Latin, Italian, German, French, and English.


Today’s Word:

The promises of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness. (Psalm 89:2)

In his homily today, the Feast of Saint Joseph, Pope Francis cited Saint Joseph’s care of the Holy Family and Saint Francis’s care of the poor and creation. Pope Francis called people to protect the environment, children, elderly, and those in need.

On this special day, we join Pope Francis in saying the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm, “The promises of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness.”

– Father McLaughlin

Feast of Saint Patrick: Missionary Work In the Face of Danger

Today’s Word:

Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

On March 17, 461 AD, Saint Patrick died in Ireland at age 76. Born in Great Britain, he was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish raiders, taken to Ireland, and forced into slavery as a shepherd.

Enduring hard work and harsh climate, loneliness and poverty, Patrick learned to rely on God in prayer. After six years in captivity, Patrick escaped. He made his way to the coast and sailed for home.

After returning home, Patrick had a dream in which he heard the Irish people say to him, “Come back and walk with us once more.”

missionary work

Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem.

He became a priest and bishop, and returned to Ireland where he served for 30 years as a missionary, often in great danger.

Patrick died at the site of his first church.

On March 17, 1955, Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., died in Green Bay, Wisconsin at age 93. Like Saint Patrick, Abbot Pennings was a missionary.

Abbot Pennings arrived in America on November 13, 1893 at age 32. One hour after arriving, he wrote home to Holland, “Thanks be to God, we are safe and sound on land again. …All morning we have been admiring the beautiful shore line.”

Abbot Pennings made the risky business decision to purchase the Raskobs’ Delaware River Estate for $300,000 where he founded Archmere Academy in the spring of 1932.

missionary work

John J. Raskob Estate, September 1927

Missionaries such as Saint Patrick and Abbot Pennings embody the spirit of Saint Paul as heard at Mass today, “Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”

– Father McLaughlin