Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Stay close to the saints in your lives

Jan. 30, 2019

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

This past week has been a time of travel and visiting for me, so there’s not a great deal to share with you. However, I must tell you about my airport adventure. On my trip, I had to make a transfer in Atlanta. That airport proved to be a mad house for me. I had a very short time to find the gate for the next flight. I made it but had to move like a jack rabbit. It all began when I tried to assist the gentleman ahead of me as we were leaving the plane. I tried not to be anxious – he was such a nice guy. Anyway I hit the passage way running (well, I must admit I don’t run much anymore). Then it was up and down escalators, two stops on the rail line and another long passage. When I arrived at the gate, the fellow at the desk looked up and announced “William?” I had made the flight. If they had known what I just went through, folks would have applauded.

I saw a lot of the Atlanta Airport. When I mentioned my adventure to a friend later, they informed me that many say, “the road to purgatory goes through the Atlanta Airport.” By the way, miracles of miracles, my luggage made the plane.

Since I have been here, I have become a regular at the parish Church, St. Thomas More. It is an active parish with a great liturgy. I attended Mass on the holiday in honor of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. The pastor here gave a powerful homily honoring Dr. King and the work he accomplished for justice and civil rights. This particular priest has been raised Baptist in Alabama and had experienced a great deal of this movement. Later, he found his vocation after becoming a convert to Catholicism.

Today, the Feast Day was in honor of St. Marianne Cope. You may know of her story. She was a Sister of St. Francis in Syracuse, and the hospital has a shrine in her honor. Let me take a moment to describe her story.
In 1840, St. Marianne’s family came to this country from Germany. They settled in Utica, New York, where she attended grade school. She decided to drop of school and work in a factory to help support her family. Then in 1862, St. Marianne entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse. She would become the Superior of her congregation. In 1870, she became the Supervisor of St. Joseph’s Hospital, which was the only hospital in Syracuse, caring for the sick regardless of race or religion. Then in 1883, St. Marianne and six of her Sisters traveled to work in a mission in Hawaii, caring for lepers. St. Marianne remained there 35 years until her death. Through St. Marianne and the Sisters’ efforts, they improved the conditions of the patients, housing and care. They founded a school for girls on Molokai. Later, she also took over the boys’ home and school that had been founded by Father Damien.

I encourage you to visit the shrine to Sister Marianne at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

We, Catholics love our saints, and they become an important part of our lives. They are our models. I have often written about many of my mentors who I am certain are saints but are not canonized. I consider them my saints. I pray to them often and find a great deal of inspiration from the way they lived their lives. I also use them often as examples in my preaching. I hope you have a long list of saints, even those not yet canonized. Stay close to them.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.