Good Fruit for God’s Kingdom

Today’s Word:

“The Kingdom of God will be given to a people that will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21:43)


On This Date…

Saint Patrick

On March 17, 461 AD Saint Patrick died in Ireland at age 76. He was born in Great Britain and 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, made his way to the coast, and sailed for home. Later he had a dream in which he heard the Irish people say to him, “Come back and walk with us once more.” Patrick became a priest and bishop, and returned to Ireland where he spread the Gospel for 30 years, often in great danger. He died at the site of his first church.

On March 17, 1955 Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., the founder of Archmere Academy, died in Green Bay, Wisconsin at age 93. Like Saint Patrick, Abbot Pennings was a missionary, serving as the leader of American Norbertines from 1893 to 1955, and as pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in DePere from 1898 until his death.

In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “The Kingdom of God will be given to a people that will produce its fruit”. Saint Patrick and Abbot Pennings produced good fruit for God’s Kingdom.

– Father McLaughlin

We Are God’s Children

Today’s Word:

“We are God’s children now” (1 John 3:2)


On This Date…
I-John-3-2

On November 1, 1893 Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., the founder of Archmere Academy, and two Norbertine companions, boarded a boat in Holland to come to America as missionaries. That afternoon Abbot Pennings wrote to his mother, “This morning we got up at 4:00 AM, and exactly at 4:30 AM we rode off to Church, where we had the privilege of offering up Holy Mass in honor of All Saints and especially of her who is called Star of the Sea, the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

On November 1, 1983, a Tuesday, Bishop Thomas Mardaga of Wilmington dedicated Archmere’s Library and Performing Arts Center, and celebrated the first school Mass in our theatre.

At Mass today JaNyiah Rothwell ’17 read, “We are God’s children now” and Keelin Reilly ’17, representing all at Mass, sang “Lord, this is the people that longs to see Your face” (Psalm 24:6) – the “Good News” that inspired Abbot Pennings and Bishop Mardaga.

– Father McLaughlin

Great Is Your Faith

Today’s Word:

“O woman, great is your faith” (Matthew 15:28)


On This Date…

Berne Abbey

Berne Abbey

On August 3, 1134 Berne Abbey in Holland was founded, just two months after the death of Saint Norbert. Berne Abbey sent three Norbertines to America in 1893, to serve as parish priests in Wisconsin; a total of 26 Norbertines came to America from Berne Abbey, including Abbot Bernard Pennings, the founder of Archmere Academy. Berne Abbey continues to exist today, carrying on Norbertine community life and ministry for 882 years. The letters from the pioneer Norbertines to America have been compiled into two volumes entitled “Letters Written in Good Faith.”

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells a woman, “O woman, great is your faith”. So was the faith of those 26 Norbertine missionaries to America from Berne Abbey.

– Father McLaughlin