I often hear the song: “Go, Make a Difference” sung at Confirmation celebrations across the diocese. I think it’s a good song because it reminds us of our great Servant of God, Father Joseph Walijewski, who really did make a difference in Bolivia and Peru and even here in Thorp, Colby and La Crosse. The missionary spirit is right under our noses, if we take the time to see it.
Sunday is the feast of the Great Irish Patron, Saint Patrick, who himself was a missionary to Ireland. Can you imagine Ireland without Saint Patrick? Almost impossible. Sunday, however, is the Second Sunday of Lent and the sixth anniversary of the initiation of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Fr. Joe. A special Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. at our Cathedral to pray for the Canonization of Fr. Joe and to remember in a special way all the intentions that are being offered to God through his intercession. If you are unable to attend the Mass, you can watch the livestream.
Everyone is happy to know that his Cause is moving along, slowly but surely, at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. Our daily prayers to God for Fr. Joe to be recognized and proclaimed as a Saint is, of course, a job for all of us. So, please keep praying and ask Fr. Joe to help in situations in your life where a “little miracle” might be necessary—we believe in miracles and God is willing to grant them for us, if we ask. We can always use a little help with our prayers; the Communion of Saints is great place to start. I invite you to please ask God, through the intercession of Fr. Joe, for help in your daily life with tasks and difficult moments or whatever. Ask and you will receive—especially this Sunday.
Secondly, I want to remind you that the missionary spirit is still very much alive in our diocese! Our Mission Office coordinates trips with Casa Hogar throughout the year to visit the children and offer a bit of spiritual, as well as physical support in Peru. Great idea for a parish event!
You may also be inspired by Fr. Joe’s life to get involved in some “home missionary” adventures. Check out the Mission News on our diocesan website for some great ways in which you may choose to follow Fr. Joe’s missionary spirit in your parish community.
Go, make a difference!