November 13, 2018
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Month of All Souls
Over this past Veteran’s Day weekend, I had the honor to participate in the Veteran’s Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I sat in the huge, white marble amphitheater in the cemetery with thousands of other veterans and dignitaries. I prayed my stainless steel Combat Rosary, a copy of the same rosaries issued to Catholic soldiers during World War I, while slowly walking through the graves of World War I soldiers and other fallen heroes of our nation’s wars. Over 100,000 Americans died during the First World War, which ended 100 years ago on November 11, 1918. I was fortunate to have known two-great uncles who were World War I veterans and had dinner several times with 101-year-old Congressmen Hamilton Fish, who commanded the all-black Harlem Hell Fighters NY Regiment for 191 days on the front lines in France. The longest of any U.S. regiment during World War I. Fish would go onto to serve in Congress and established the first legislation for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1920, and also co-founded the American Legion.
During my visit to Washington, DC I toured the new Museum of the Bible which traces the sacred and cultural history of the world’s most important book. The collections included stunning medieval monk illuminated Bibles, the Bible of Emperor Charles V, first editions of the St. James Bible, St. Jerome’s Vulgate and Gutenberg Bibles, and many other interactive exhibits.
On my journey back home, I stopped at the Basilica Cathedral of the Assumption for the 4:30 pm Sunday Mass in Baltimore. This is America’s first Catholic Cathedral and designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol. This 200-year-old cathedral hosted the most important Baltimore Plenary Councils which led to the establishment of Catholic School in America and the famous Baltimore Catechism. As I was departing, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops were gathering in Baltimore for their Annual Meeting.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide the bishops of United States today, to bring necessary reform and renewal to the church in the United States. We are in the midst of a “Great Cosmic War” against evil. The Church is on the front lines, and many of her officers are wavering in their leadership. They need our prayers more than ever. Pray your “combat” rosary every day for a final victory in Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Father Thomas Lutz
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