Nearer, my God, to Thee

Today’s Word:

There let the way appear steps unto heav’n;

All that thou sendest me in mercy giv’n;

Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

(Sarah Flower Adams, 1841)

On This Date…


On April 15, 1134, Saint Norbert celebrated his last Mass on Easter Sunday. Due to illness, he had to remained seated throughout the Mass. He died on June 6, 1134, three days after Pentecost Sunday at age 54.

On April 15, 1889, Monday of Holy Week, Father Damian DeVeuster died of leprosy in Molokai, Hawaii at age 49. He had served the lepers on the island for 16 years. On April 15, 1969, his statue was placed in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. Father Damian was canonized on October 11, 2009.

On April 15, 1912, at 2:17 a.m., the RMS Titanic sunk after hitting an iceberg about three hours earlier. The last music played on the ship’s deck was the hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee!”

On April 15, 2013, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon. Three people died and 250 were injured.

On April 15, 2014, the Jewish Community celebrates the first day of Passover.

On this day of Sacramental Reconciliation at Archmere, Tuesday of Holy Week, may we be nearer to our God who is so near to us.

– Father McLaughlin

Football & Forgiveness

Today’s Word:

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.
(Psalm 51:3)

On This Date…

On September 15, 1932, the second day of school for the new Archmere Academy, Mr. John Oakes, teacher and football coach, invited students to join the first football team. Of the seventeen Archmere students, fifteen joined the team. One became manager, and one became the cheerleader.

The whole school was involved – an anticipation for Tuesday’s Activities Fair.

Archmere A Auk Green

Early last week, Archmere played its second football game of the season because Saturday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, marked by fasting and asking God for forgiveness at prayer services in Jewish synagogues around the world.

Read my recent post about Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah ยป

Today at Mass, we heard of a forgiving God in the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15. We also prayed with King David, “Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.”

– Father McLaughlin

Rosh Hashanah: Reflection & New Beginning

Today’s Word:

I will thank You always for what You have done, and proclaim the goodness of Your name before Your faithful ones. (Psalm 52:11)

On This Date…

At sundown this evening, the Jewish people began the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish New Year 5774. The celebration spans over a period of ten days, known as the “Days of Awe.” It concludes with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

In the Jewish faith, Rosh Hashanah is a time of remembering the creation of the world, God’s covenant with Israel, and the good deeds done to others.


A shofar is a hallowed-out ram’s horn.

The sounding of the shofar (audio above; photo left) and honey are two symbols of the holiday. People dip slices of apple in honey and offer them to others, wishing them a sweet New Year.

At Mass today, we prayed from the Hebrew Scriptures, “I will thank You always for what You have done, and proclaim the goodness of Your name before Your faithful ones,” – such perfect words for Rosh Hashanah.

– Father McLaughlin