The urgency and centrality of the Gospel message has lost none of its potency in this most difficult of years. With all the terrible occurrences of 2020, it is easy to lose sight of the preaching of the Apostles: “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” We may well ask where is God in the breakdown of social discord, in the disruption of Christian worship, an international pandemic, civil unrest, economic freefall, loss of employment, raging wildfires and orange smoke-filled skies. It is too easy to say that God has abandoned us or to point our fingers in blame at others. The truth is, it is difficult to assign a single cause to any one of these tragedies. Above all, we can never completely know the mind of God in allowing these terrible events.
2020 also marks a special moment of grace for all the devotees and friends of Saint Jude, as this is the 85th Anniversary of the foundation of the Shrine. Eighty-five years ago during the throes of the Great Depression, the Friars at Saint Dominic’s Church established a place of refuge for all of those seeking intercession in the most desperate of needs. For eighty-five years St. Jude has answered us in providing enough money to get by, in helping us find a job, in bringing peace to our families, in healing our sicknesses, and so much more. Eight-five years later we still seek his help for light in our darkest hours. For all these decades, St. Jude has answered our prayers and has asked for little in return.
This year we must continue to bring our petitions to St. Jude with great confidence; for the extent of recent tragedies should inspire a greater interior response than it has in the past. St. Jude appreciates our gratitude for his intercession; but, what he desires more is the conversion of the heart toward Christ our Lord.
This year, I myself as the Director of the Shrine of Saint Jude will be the novena preacher. While I will most certainly be urging you to place all of your needs before our heavenly patron, I will also speak about how the peace we seek in his prayer is magnified when we do our utmost to respond to the teachings of the Gospel. The theme will be: “The Kingdom of God at Hand: The Apostolic Preaching of Saint Jude.”
We, the Dominican Friars of St. Dominic’s Church, home of the Shrine, continue to offer prayers for your intentions. Though still partially closed because of the pandemic, the Shrine is very much open, spiritually – for your prayer intercessions, votive candle requests, and Mass intentions. The Dominican Friars will still observe the Novena intentions and lead us all digitally in prayers directed to St. Jude. Currently, all Mass intentions are celebrated at the daily morning Mass, which is live-streamed: 8:00 a.m. Mon- Fri, 9:00 a.m. Sat, and 9:30 a.m. Sun. The recitation of the Holy Rosary with the Dominican Friars will also follow the 5:00 p.m. streaming of Evening Prayer.
Until we can again gather as a worshiping community, join us in our upcoming Novena, October 20-28, as we entrust our intentions to the intercessory power of St. Jude for our world desperately in need of the grace of Jesus our Lord!
In Christ and St. Jude,