The Roman Catholic Community of Saint Thomas Aquinas & Holy Family. Two churches - Joining as ONE Family - Together in Love.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

More on Our Lady of El Cisne -- The Miraculous Water

The Ecuadorian members of our parish family are very devoted to Our Lady of El Cisne -- who's feast day is celebrated on August 15th. As I have previously mentioned our parish celebration is scheduled for Friday, August 12th, & Saturday, August 13th. Come and join the fun!!
There are many miracles attributed to Our Lady of El Cisne. With apologies to our Ecuadorian brothers & sisters, who being more familiar with the "Miraculous Water" would do a better job of enlightening us and with thanks to the web sites dedicated to "La Santísima Reina del Cisne" the following is what I have learned regarding this miracle. If anyone knows the name of the Campesino, I would appreciate hearing from you!
According to legend in 1800 a Peruvian campesino made a novena to our Lady of El Cisne requesting healing of his serious illness. He promised that if his request were granted he would make a pilgrimage to personally thank the Virgin at the Cathedral of El Cisne. After experiencing a miraculous healing, he set out in August to fulfill his promise and to realize his life long ambition of participating in the feast day celebration of Our Lady of El Cisne. The journey through the Andes Mountains was difficult with steep precipices leading to deep gorges and the trip was long and tiring. To make matters worse, he ran out of water and there was no village in sight. He earnestly searched for water, but to no avail. When he arrived in an area called Huasir, he collapsed from exhaustion & thirst. He didn't realized that he very close to arriving in El Cisne. He called out in prayer to the Virgin requesting that she save his life. While he was praying he noticed that the ground under his face became damp, and was turning into mud. He scraped the mud and it brought forth a trickle of water that grew into a stream from which he was able to drink. Thus refreshed he was able to successfully complete his pilgrimage. To this day the stream is venerated as the miraculous water of the Virgin of El Cisne.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Join us in Honoring Our Blessed Virgin Mary!

This weekend is a very special time for the Ecuadorian members of our parish family.

All year, the members of the El Cisne Comité have been hard at work preparing for this weekend's celebration of the Feast day of Our Lady of El Cisne, the patroness of Loja, Ecuador.

So you ask, why should I participate in an Ecuadorian celebration??? And the answer is -- (drum roll please) to give honor to Our Blessed Mother who is pleased when we honor her under any of her special titles. Your Mother is calling to you to join in the celebration!! Come on…. Join in the fun!! The festivities will include a Rosary on Friday evening (August 12th, 2005), a Procession and the celebration of Holy Mass on Saturday evening (August 13th, 2005). We are honored to have as our main celebrant Padre Herman from Ecuador. The Mass will be followed by a fiesta in the church auditorium with food and the performance of traditional Ecuadorian music & dance. Why spend the money to travel to South America when you can experience a piece of Ecuador right here at STA???

Our Blessed Mother is venerated under many different titles throughout the world. In all of her manifestations, she indicates that she is our Mother who loves and stand by us. Sooo, who is Our Lady of El Cisne and where, when & why did the devotion to her develop??? When the Spanish arrived in Ecuador, the Franciscan friars named a mountain parish "El Cisne' after the European mountain hermitages built and maintained by the "Caballeros of el Cisne" aka the "The Horsemen of the Swan". This parish was afflicted at the end of the 16th century by a severe drought and the ensuing famine. Due to their extreme distress the Indians decided to leave the region and migrate to a location not affected by the famine. As they were leaving the Virgin appeared to them and asked them not to leave. She promised that she was their Mother and would watch over her children and if they build a church AND attend church they would never be hungry. The Indians obeyed the Virgin and the rains came. Pretty cool!!

In thanksgiving for the many favors granted through the intercession of Our Lady of El Cisne, in 1594 arrangements were made for the famous Spanish artist Diego de Robles to carve a cedar statue in honor of the Virgin of El Cisne and this image is venerated to this day.

More information regarding this devotion will follow tomorrow…. I bet you can't wait ;-)!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sunday in the Summer

It’s a HOT muggy August Sunday in Brooklyn…. The sweat drips down your back and it seems that the cooler autumn weather (my favorite season!) is very far away…..

Luckily, the children remind us of the blessings of the summer. On my way home from Mass, JJ Byrne park was filled with delighted children, enjoying the swings -- the monkey bars – running under the sprinkers -- playing ball etc…. They don’t care that it’s HOT -- they are enjoying life! Their exhilaration at being alive is a lesson from God. Thank God for children!!!

And Sunday -- at least at STA -- is the best day of the week! Thank God for the many blessings that we experienced today as we gathered together to celebrate Mass -- that we had both Fr. Jesús and Msgr. White celebrating Mass with us. The music that aids our worship as we raise our voices in song to our Creator -- the exquisite beauty of Lanie’s voice accompanied by Roger on the organ during the Saturday 5:30 p.m. Mass & the Sunday 12:30 p.m. Mass -- the timeless splendor of Gregorian Chant at the Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and the exuberant talent of the Coro Hispania at the Sunday 11 a.m. Mass. Of course as in any parish there were ups and downs during our celebrations -- on the upside there were 3 Altar Servers at the 9:30, and 2 Altar Servers at the 11. :-) Unfortunately, no children showed up to celebrate Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9:30. :-( But there were over 20 children who celebrated Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 11 so things could be much worse!

This Sunday is a day to thank God for our families & friends and for the freedom to be able to attend Mass! Watching the children this morning made me think about how rarely I take the opportunity to return to the freedom of being a child -- as Fr. Ed Hays put in his prayer “A Summer Psalm of Freedom” in his book “Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim” Though for me -- I should substitue Computer screen instead of TV screen. ;-)


O God of all seasons, it’s summer -- the season I dreamed about throughout winter’s long dreary days.
Now is the time of leisure, time to be out-of-doors-and-walls.
But so often I feel like an over-civilized child of this century of convenience and comfort.

Six months ago, it was snow and ice that screened me in from earth’s delights.
Now it’s a television screen that too often massages my mind, weary from work, that screens me in from shaman summer’s healing touch.

And even if I flick that dead-widow off and go outside on the porch, I’m still screened in or carefully protected, lest bugs and flies disturb my comfort by bringing nature far too close.

Grant me, O never-tiring Miracle Worker, the freedom of my childhood to run and play with abandon, without thought of comfort, bugs or flies, in summer’s great vacationland.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Welcome Back - Fr. Jesus!

We welcome Fr. Jesus back to beautiful Brooklyn from his visit with his parents in Columbia!!! May God continue to look over and bless all of us!

Hi There!

Welcome to our Blog!!

We hope that you will take advantage of our blog to communicate regarding our love for the Lord, each other and our parish community!!