April 28, 2016
Prayer by Ms. Perrin Rains, English Department
As you will recall, this time last week, we were celebrating St. Peter Chanel Day. We talked a lot about his incredible bravery and sacrifice. And Archbishop Gregory preached beautifully about success and used Peter Chanel as an example. Then, we put on our sunscreen and listened to music and played dodgeball. It was a fun day.
But, the real feast day of St. Peter Chanel is today, April the 28th, because it was 175 years ago today that he was martyred for his work on the island of Futuna, and I want to celebrate him and his courage again, but in a different way.
Before the dramatic part of his life that we all know, that harrowing ocean voyage, the isolation, and his difficult work in the mission field, Peter Chanel did something else that was extraordinarily brave. You see, he started his career as a parish priest. He was already living a very good life – a life of generosity and true service to his community. But, his heart wasn’t in it. And here’s the remarkable and brave part: he listened to his heart. He gave up parish ministry and joined the Society of Mary. He walked away from what other’s expected of him. He walked away from a life that, even though was very good, was not right. And that takes incredible courage.
So, I want to ask you to join me in celebrating St. Peter Chanel, again, today, but this time you don’t need face paint, or barbeque, or four-square. Celebrate by listening to the small voice inside of you, and take a step toward what you already know in your heart is the right thing to do.
Let us pray.
St. Peter Chanel, you left your homeland
to proclaim Jesus, Saviour of the world,
to the peoples of Oceania.
Guided by the Spirit of God,
who is the strength of the gentle,
you bore witness to love,
even laying down your life.
Grant that, like you, we may live our daily life
in peace, in joy, and in fraternal love.
May your prayer and example
call forth from our midst
many workers for the Gospel
so that God’s Kingdom may reach
to the ends of the earth. Amen.
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.