Ferguson parish proud of namesake's canonization

Catholic Gateway Podcast

In the latest episode of the Catholic Gateway Podcast, host Gabe Jones talks with Father Robert Rosebrough, the pastor of Blessed Teresa Parish in Ferguson. Father Rosy discusses the life of soon-to-be St. Teresa of Kolkata and the pride the parish feels in her. Listen below to the podcast or listen to previous podcasts here.

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Blessed Teresa of Kolkata step aside; St. Teresa of Kolkata is in the house.

Often known as simply Mother Teresa, she'll be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, Sept. 4, with the canonization Mass and ceremonies in Vatican Square.

Whatever title used to describe her — Mother, Blessed or Saint — the folks at her namesake parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are stoked that she'll be joining the litany of saints.

"People are very proud of that, very proud," said Father Robert Rosebrough, pastor at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish.

The parish has a week of activity on tap to celebrate the canonization.

• Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will start things off by celebrating a Mass — "of thanksgiving and praise," Father Rosebrough said — at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.

• On Monday, the parish will commemorate the two-year anniversary of its weekly Rosaries after Michael Brown's death of Aug. 9, 2014. The connection to Blessed Teresa: She not only always had a Rosary in hand but always carried spares to give away.

• After a full-day of Eucharistic Adoration, Father Art Cavitt will speak at the parish Wednesday evening about peace and justice, favorite topics of Blessed Teresa. Formerly the associate pastor at Blessed Teresa, Father Cavitt is pastor at St. Nicholas Parish Downtown and is executive director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center.

• In addition, in conjunction with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the parish will have a "Week of Mercy." Students at Blessed Teresa School and their parents at Masses Aug. 27 and 28 will get cards with corporal works of Mercy on one side and suggestions for acts of mercy on the reverse side, such as calling a sick relative or merely helping someone with their groceries at the store.

"It just asks them in a special way to do a couple things during the week, to extend themselves beyond normal," Father Rosebrough said. "Just spend some time and go beyond the ordinary, like Mother Teresa, and put a lot of love in small acts."

• Then Thursday, Father Rosebrough will travel with parishioners among a group of 11 to Rome for the canonization. Father Joseph Braden, the pastor of St. Sabina in Florissant, will be in the group. In addition, Msgr. John Borcic, the pastor at St. Mary Magdalen in the city, and Msgr. Gregory Schmidt, in residence at St. Peter of Kirkwood, will lead a group of 14.

Msgr. Borcic and Msgr. Schmidt will be among priests concelebrating the canonization Mass, while Fathers Rosebrough and Braden will be among the many distributing communion to an estimated 500,000 pilgrims.

Also, at least 150 parishioners will join Father Rosebrough at the canonization, spiritually. They filled a basket in church with prayer intentions. The deadline for offering them passed Aug. 22, "but I keep getting more," said Father Rosebrough, adding that he'll bring the intentions to Vatican Square to ask newly minted St. Teresa "to bless these intentions and answer them if at all possible."

Parishioners' "deep involvement" with the intentions is their "greatest sign of ownership of Mother Teresa's canonization, which is delightful," he said. 

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