A Model Missionary

Today’s Word:

“Jesus went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people” (Matthew 4:23)


On This Date…

70

Saint John Neumann

On January 5, 1860, Bishop John Neumann collapsed on Vine Street in Philadelphia and died at age 48; he had become the 4th bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. He was one of 6 children, born in the Czech Republic in 1811. Putting aside his desires to be a physicist, an astronomer, and a physician, John Neumann entered the seminary, emigrated to the United States at age 24, and was ordained priest in New York in 1836. He first served as a missionary in New York and Pennsylvania, attending to many immigrants (he spoke 8 languages).

In Philadelphia, Bishop Neumann opened 58 Catholic schools, finished the cathedral, initiated the Forty Hours Eucharistic Devotion in parishes, wrote 2 German catechisms, and totally spent himself in service to farmers, coal miners, and the rural poor. Bishop Neumann is buried in Saint Peter’s Church in Philadelphia. Bishop Neumann was canonized a saint in 1977. Saint John Neumann High School, staffed by the Norbertines from 1934 to 2000, is the alma mater of Mr. Burdziak, Mr. Malseed, Father Zagarella, and myself.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus “went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people”. Like Christ, Bishop Neumann taught, preached, and attended the sick – a model missionary.

– Father McLaughlin