Permanent Peace

Today’s Word:

Amen, amen I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. (John 16:23)


On This Date…

john of arc

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, France, and an army commander, was burned at the stake at age 19, after having been found guilty of witchcraft and heresy.

After her death, Joan’s mother and two brothers asked that her case be reviewed. Joan was found innocent of all charges in 1456.

She was canonized in 1920, and she is the patron of France and of those who are wrongly accused.

On May 30, 1868, Memorial Day was established as a day to honor the 618,222* Americans (see linked article) who had died in the Civil War (1861-65). In 1959, Congress proclaimed that Memorial Day be a day of prayer for permanent peace.

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday of May.

During her trial, Joan of Arc was asked if she was “in the state of grace.” She replied, “If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.” Similarly, in so many words, may we too ask God for permanent peace.

– Father McLaughlin

Feast of Hermann Joseph – Patron of Students & Children

Today’s Word:

Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before him with joyful song. (Psalm 100:2)


On This Date…

Hermann Joseph.

Hermann Joseph.

Today Norbertines celebrate the feast day of Saint Hermann Joseph, who died on April 4, 1241, the Thursday after Easter at age 91. He entered the Norbertine Abbey of Steinfeld in Germany at age 12. Following his priestly ordination, Hermann was assigned to work in the sacristy and dining room.

He was described as humble, poor, patient, friendly, obedient and spiritual. He composed hymns, and he wrote a commentary on the “Song of Songs.” Hermann also made and repaired clocks.

He spent his last Lent serving as chaplain to a convent of nuns, where he took ill and later died. On May 21, 1241, his body was returned to his home abbey where it rests today.

On August 11, 1958, Pope Pius XII gave Hermann Joseph the title of “Saint.” The following year, when Saint Norbert Hall was completed at Archmere, a statue of Saint Hermann Joseph was placed in front of the building, at the site of the steps that lead down to the entrance to the Student Life Center. Since 1980, that statue has been at Daylesford Abbey.

Saint Hermann Joseph is honored by the Norbertines as “patron of children and of students.”

– Father McLaughlin

Feast of Norbertine Sister Emily Podoska

Today’s Word:

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy might be complete. (John 15:11)


On This Date…

Sister Emily Podoska

Sister Emily Podoska

On May 22, 1889, Norbertine Sister Emily Podoska died at her convent in Cracow, Poland. She was the 11 of 16 children.

She entered the convent at age 27, and after teaching for three years she became the head of the school. She held that position for five years before being put in charge of the training of novices for her community.

Sister Podoska brought to her community life and her work the gifts of respect, zeal, reverence, and wisdom. She died of pneumonia and tuberculosis. In March 1993, the diocesan process of her beatification was opened in Cracow.

Dioecesis Fresnensis

Dioecesis Fresnensis

In the United States, there are two convents of Norbertine sisters. Twenty-six contemplative sisters are at Saint Joseph Priory, located in Tehachapi, California, under the Diocese of Fresno. Three apostolic sisters are at Saint Peter and Paul Parish, located in Wilmington, California, under the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Archidioecesis Angelorum in California

Archidioecesis Angelorum in California

In their prayer and work, these Norbertine nuns follow in the footsteps of sister Emily Podoska, and affirm Jesus’ words that we hear in today’s Gospel, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy might be complete.”

– Father McLaughlin