This Week at St. Peter: April 19 - April 25, 2021
Monsignor Jack’s Divine Mercy Homily from April 11, 2021
Finishing their shopping at the mall, a couple discovers that their brand new car has been stolen. They file a report at the police station and a detective drives them back to the parking lot to look for evidence. To their amazement, the car has been returned and there’s a note on the windshield: “I apologize for taking your car. My wife was having a baby and I had to hot-wire your ignition to rush her to the hospital. Please forgive the inconvenience. Here are two tickets for tonight’s Shania Twain concert.” Their faith in humanity restored, the couple attends the concert and has a wonderful time. But when they return home they find that their house has been ransacked. On the bedroom mirror is another note: “I hope you enjoyed the concert but I have to put my kid through college somehow, don’t I?”
Life often leaves us overwhelmed with its injustices, both large and small, and challenges, both annoying and insurmountable. Before long, we let a hard shell of cynicism surround us; skepticism becomes our shield to protect us from disappointment and heartache. Much like Thomas in the gospel today, we can let ourselves become so beaten down and discouraged by life that we lose all reason to dream, to hope, and to approach life with any sense of enthusiasm. We see ourselves as victims rather than as among the most blessed people on earth. We can let our discouragement and failures overwhelm the many good things that have happened to give our lives joy and meaning. We are unable to appreciate this life of ours as a gift from God, given in order that we might find God and in our search we find ourselves.
Easter faith is the antithesis of a cynicism we know too well, a cynicism that refuses to embrace the possibilities of the resurrection in the throes of death. It’s so easy to let bad news, disappointments and hardships overwhelm us. Much like our friend Thomas in today’s gospel, we can let ourselves become so beaten down and beaten up and discouraged by life that our anger and our bitterness begins to destroy our spirits. We are no longer able to realize God’s presence in our lives. We lose all reason to dream, to see possibilities, to enjoy life and living. We fail to see this life of ours as a gift from God, given in order that we might find God and thereby find ourselves.
I think that Thomas and I would have been good friends. We think alike and are of kindred spirit. Thomas and I usually see things as half empty rather than half full. Thomas was a natural pessimist. He knew in the back of his mind that Jesus was too good to be true. So the crucifixion and the arrest of Jesus and the death of Jesus were inevitable. I just knew the bubble would burst.
Things were going along so well, that wonderful entrance into Jerusalem and those great and magnificent palms that folks pulled down from the trees that day. Wow! The cheering, the Hosannas and the ride into town on the donkey by the Damascus gate were great! It seemed like we had arrived. We finally made it. Folks were admiring us and cheering us, too, because we were His disciples and we were walking along side Him. What a great day! And then the rain came. The parade stopped. The crowd of folks went running home. I just knew that the sun wouldn’t stay out all day. Yeh, the clouds always seem to fill the sky at the wrong time. What bad luck! What bad timing! How come it always happens to me? And then that Thursday after a great Passover meal, they came and arrested him. And he didn’t say anything! What’s the deal? It looks like I hitched my wagon on the wrong star again. Oh yeh, I did tell the other disciples after Jesus announced that he was going to die at the hands of evil men in Jerusalem and they all said, “Well, let’s not go.” Yeh, I did say, “Let’s go to Jerusalem to die with him.” But come on, I didn’t think it would really happen! Oh sure I loved him and I believed what he taught, still do but death, a cross, a common criminal’s death? I guess I should have expected that the shoe would fall - Murphy’s Law, you know: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Thomas was broken-hearted and he is left to be alone in his own self-pity and grief. Thomas’s big mistake was abandoning the faith community that he had been a part of at a time when he needed that community the most and they needed him. It is what I call “The Thomas Syndrome.”
You know what Thomas needed? He needed to meet Peg Brady like I have. I had Peg Brady’s funeral years ago. Peg was 95 when she died in St. Agnes Home. She had been a member of St. Peter since 1957. I first knew her when I was a baby priest 40 years ago here. She was well known for her Thursday morning prayer meeting at 211 W. Jewell. Every Thursday the makeshift sign went up on the front lawn: “Welcome here: House of Prayer.” Peg had 13 children, 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She loved dogs, reading Agatha Christi Murder mysteries, and daffodil flowers in the spring, and serving her kids Jello which she proudly filled with all sorts of amazing things: like Brussels sprouts, or broccoli, or pretzels but most of all she really loved the Lord. I mean how many moms wake their kids up early in the morning on Easter singing: “Jesus Christ is Risen Today!”
What I didn’t know about Peg Brady is that she lost five children-one time two died in one month from a genetic disease. They were all two or three years old or older. When she got pregnant, she never knew if that child would get the disease. How could any mother not grow angry at God or grow bitter at life with such losses. Even her own children were constantly amazed at her attitude. Someone once described Peg Brady this way: “She has an attitude of abundance.” How did Peg Brady do this? She must have been amazingly connected to God. She prayed often. She grew old better not bitter. She accepted sorrow and loss graciously and knew somehow God was still there. She never left her family, her parish church, or her prayer group, even though at times her heart was breaking. She managed to see the glass half full. When I grow up, I want to be like Peg Brady of Kirkwood. Thomas needed to meet her. If he had, he might have never left his fellow disciples and that upper room that Easter night. He would have seen the resurrected Christ a week earlier. We always will with an attitude of abundance. Everyone here today, go find your “Peg Brady” when you are down, feeling hopeless. Find a person with an “attitude of abundance” who sees the glass half full, who is connected to God, who, despite pain and sorrow and challenges in life has not grown weary and bitter, only better.
How can I do that?
1. Put your worries on the nightstand when you go to bed - like emptying change from your pocket.
2. Don’t let temporary setbacks change your opinion of yourself. Think of yourself as a successful person in search of the next opportunity.
3. When faced with anger or hostility stay calm or be near one who is. When stressed call your Peg Brady, someone connected to the Lord. Do it NOW.
4. Make a list of things that make your feel good: family and friends, dogs or cats, music, running, walking.
So, with that in mind, I took a walk with my dog, Caleb, and with a good friend “Peg Brady”, through the streets of Kirkwood while listening to one of my favorite pieces of music, The Grand Canyon Suite, on my iPhone. I suggest you do something similar, especially when you are feeling bad about yourself and you have trouble understanding Easter, the Paschal Mystery or if you just got diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer.
I’ll see you in church or livestream.
This Week's Bulletin
This week's bulletin is attached below. Hard copies of this weekend’s bulletin are available on the shelf in the vestibule of the rectory office.
April 18, 2021 Bulletin.pdf
Annual Catholic Appeal 2021
Support of the Annual Catholic Appeal means thousands will find grace and mercy
and have the resources they need. Learn how our efforts can help those in need and help build the church!
for more information. #CatholicSTL
The Real Presence of Jesus
The Real Presence? How Can We Be Sure?
Please join us on May 25, at 7 PM in the Church to listen to Dr. Feingold’s talk on the Eucharist:
"The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice,
and Communion; and Its Jewish Roots."
Dr. Feingold’s talk will answer the following question:
Why did Jesus institute the Eucharist?
The Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ's love for His Bride, the Church.
Jesus instituted the Eucharist to continue His presence among us; to give us His sacrifice; and to give Himself to us in Communion.
And finally, how each of these aspects was prepared for in the life of the Chosen People.
Dr. Lawrence Feingold is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.
He converted to Catholicism in 1989 together with his wife while engaged in realist marble sculpture in Pietrasanta, Italy.
He is the author of
The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion
Spend Time with Jesus!
We are so excited to continue adoration hours. We will have hours available from
6:00am on Wednesday through 3:00pm on Fridays
as we prepare the parish to institute a full 24/7 exposed Adoration chapel.
The Friday 11:00am hour is still open and needs to be filled with at least one adorer. If you are able to fill this hour, please go to
Choose your hour
Create an account
Select options for substitutions and notifications
WeAdoreHim is a site dedicated to adoration signups and helps us navigate hundreds of adorers and adoration hours with ease.
If you are unable to sign up for a weekly commitment, you can still visit the Adoration Chapel at any time. Chapel capacity is 6 people (which leaves a few available spaces during Exposition for walk-ins). Please use the entrance to the Adoration Chapel in the prayer garden at Ursuline Hall. The code to the door is 0822).
Please contact Tricia or Kristi if you have any problems signing up, choosing an hour, or if you would like to know when additional days and times will be offered.
Adoration Sign Up
PSR Enrollment 2021-2022
PSR ENROLLMENT 2021-22!
Enrollment for 2021-22will begin on Tuesday, April 20
Our Parish School of Religion is available for students in grades K-8
who are attending public or non-catholic private schools.
(Kindergarten is optional and space is limited.)
We offer two sessions on Tuesday evenings:
Session One – 4:30-5:45pm
Session Two – 6:30-7:45pm
(Session choice may be limited based on enrollment.)
There is a $50 on-time tuition discount offered from
through May 11th.
Please access the enrollment site through this link:
Non-parish families, please contact Mrs. Susan Lueker prior to enrollment.
For information contact Susan Lueker:
314-821-0460 Ex. 4212
St. Peter School Board Accepting Nominations for New Members
How can I continue to support St. Peter Parish?
God bless you for your generous giving! There are a few options you can choose:
Mail your weekly offertory to St. Peter, 243 West Argonne, Kirkwood, MO 63122.
Drop off your donation envelope in the mail slot at 243 West Argonne Drive.
Make donations online through the Online Giving link
St. Vincent de Paul Society - St. Peter
Sts. Teresa and Bridget Food Pantry
St. Peter Admin
on Monday, April 19 at 2:00PM