Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
This past Wednesday, November 4, we celebrated the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, our titular patron here at Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. St. Charles is a fascinating figure in the history of the Church. He was instrumental in founding the model for priestly formation that we still use today, the seminary, and as such is the patron saint of seminarians. He reformed how Bishops served their communities and spearheaded the third and last session of the Council of Trent. When plague struck Milan in the 1570s, St, Charles, their Bishop, personally cared for the sick, visiting and comforting them, and used his own personal fortune to provide for all the Milanese. His presence among the people was such a constant, it became known in history as the “plague of St. Charles.”
This last accomplishment is especially poignant today, as we are currently facing a plague of sorts, the global COVID -19 pandemic. St. Charles’ courage and generosity in his community during the plague in Milan is reflected today by all our essential workers who do all that they can, even at risk to themselves, to serve their communities at this time. Let us pray to St. Charles Borromeo for his intercession on their behalf, that God may continue to grant them the courage and strength to do their important work.
In the Gospel today we are reminded of the importance of wisdom in our lives. It is one of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit. The first reading tells us that those who seek wisdom will find her “waiting at their gate.” St. Charles is an example of someone who constantly sought wisdom in his own life, and also committed himself to sharing wisdom with others. At a time in the life of the church when the primary focus of her leaders was more political than pastoral, St. Charles advocated for a return to a pastoral focus for bishops and priests, encouraging them to care for and live among their flock.
It is an honor and privilege for me and for Fr. Rodrigo to live here among you and serve you in our community of Carmel Mission. I would ask especially this week for your prayers for us, for Bishop Danny, and for all the priests of our diocese, that we may continue to be faithful shepherds and be encouraged and strengthened by the great example of St. Charles Borromeo.
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, renewed hope, and the spirit of wisdom,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.