Saturday, January 12, 2008

The communion of saints

(Photo courtesy of The Intermountain Catholic)

Here in our diocese the sanctuary of the parish church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux was recently destroyed by fire. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and the structure of the church remains sound. What is really sad is the sanctuary was just redesigned and refurbished two years ago. According to The Intermountain Catholic, "[a] quick inventory of the still-smoking sanctuary revealed an undamaged baptistry and tabernacle, and a large statue of the risen Lord badly in need of cleaning."

Referring to statues in the church Fr. Martin Díaz, pastor of St. Thérèse, said: "'Mary and Joseph survived, but they and the Stations of the Cross will need a lot of work. We’re blessed that the body of the church, the physical structure, is sound.'"

According to Barbara Stinson Lee, editor of our diocesan newspaper who reported on the fire, "St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish was founded in 1925 by Father (later Msgr.) Patrick Maguire. With St. Patrick Parish in Salt Lake City, St. Therese Parish has been a first parish for many of the immigrants who have settled in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Today the parish has active Anglo and Spanish communities who together maintain an generous outreach to the poor."

I find the statement of Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, our diocesan Vicar General, about the fire very inspiring as it shows how our faith and the communion of saints to which we belong help us. He said that it was no doubt the powerful intercession of The Little Flower that made "certain no one was injured". Elaborating on this assertion, he stated, "I’m certain she sent down a shower of roses to help put out the fire and limit the damage to the building. She was a woman of strong prayer, and I’m sure her intercession on behalf of that parish was instrumental in keeping the situation from being much worse." Amen.

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