Monday, September 28, 2009

Archbishop Vigneron seeks a patron saint for Detroit

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron preaching at tje 7:00pm Mass at Assumption Grotto on the Feast of the Assumption (2009)

It's little details such as this that I find heart-warming about Archbishop Vigneron.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

It has been the ancient practice of the Church to seek the intercession of a saint or a group of saints canonized together, such as the North American Martyrs, for a particular need or needs. Similarly, saints have been assigned to various entities in the Church, including dioceses, for intercession and protection. Going back as far as Cardinal Mooney's tenure as Archbishop of Detroit, the question has been raised: Who is the patron of the Archdiocese? Ste. Anne has certainly been considered by many, through many generations, to be the patron of the Archdiocese but she has never been officially designated as such. In seeking designation of a patron by the Holy See, I am required to carry out a broad-based consultation with the faithful of the Archdiocese.

The faithful of the Archdiocese now have the opportunity to submit names of saints as possible patrons. After these submissions have been collected, I will review them with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Presbyteral Council, and Council of Vicars. I will then ask the Holy See to designate our choice as patron for the Archdiocese.

Parishes, Catholic schools, our religious houses, Catholic institutes and associations, and individuals, young and old, are all invited to propose a patron saint. I encourage all who will engage in this discernment to prayerfully entrust the matter to the Lord, keeping the history, character, and needs of the entire Archdiocese in mind.

Asking God's blessing upon you, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

†The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
There is an online form you can fill out or a form you can print.  I am assuming this is something that would obviously be limited to those in the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Name and parish must be given. 

It's not limited to individuals.  Families, schools, and other groups may submit a choice.  I submitted my choice, but will embrace whomever is chosen.  Many dioceses have chosen one of the many titles of Our Lady. 

I pondered St. Michael the Archangel, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  At the same time I was thinking how it might help to have someone who is not as well known, but can offer much in the example they lived, and in their written works.  I especially pondered the Fathers and Doctors of the Church - specifically because of the wisdom they offer. 

For whatever reason, I settled on  St. John Bosco.  I know it is a long shot, but I feel it's worth the try. This Italian saint is not just the patron of youth, but is also the patron of Mexican youth, children and students.  We are also a heavy blue collar community and St. John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices and laborers. The Italian priest lived a very holy life rooted in love for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother.  He encouraged a virtue driven life and the use of sacramental confession - something seriously lacking today. Reading any works on his life reveals how God's grace can work in us, and for the benefit of those around us.  It's also noteworthy that Don Bosco brings us in close proximity to other saints such as St. Dominic Savio - the "teenage saint" and St. Joseph Cafasso - the priests, priest who was a guide to St. John Bosco.

He said of the Blessed Virgin Mary:  “The purer are your words and your glances, the more pleasing will you be to the Blessed Virgin. And the greater will be the graces that she will obtain for you from her Divine Son.”

Go to the Archdiocese of Detroit webpage, "Finding Our Patron" to name a saint

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!