A Note from Father Eickhoff

July 24, 2022

This Tuesday marks the feast day of our patron St. Anne, the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus.  St. Anne has a unique position within the great roll call of saints.  Like every other saint she is known for her devotion to God.  And indeed, pious Christian tradition holds that she was a holy and righteous woman before God.  We fellow believers in God rejoice over every human soul who responds with faith and trust to God’s love and mercy. Such were St. Anne and her husband St. Joachim.  The saints whom the Church on Earth recognizes are the known and visible representation of the great multitude of holy men and women, both known and unknown, who have been raised to glory by God.  We celebrate them and thank God for them.  We ask them in prayer to intercede to God on our behalf since they are so close to Him and dear to Him.  We hope to join them in God’s eternal kingdom by responding to God’s great gift of salvation with the same fervor as they have done.

And still, St. Anne is more than this.  We speak of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, as being both God and man.  The humanity of Jesus is drawn from His mother Mary.  The humanity of Jesus is not simply an abstract concept.  Something that Jesus has simply for the sake of effecting the salvation of the human race.  Rather, the humanity of Jesus is something very real and concrete.  A reality that joins Jesus not only to the human race as a whole, but more specifically ties Him to a specific family and people who have shared in God’s revelation.  In other words, Jesus really has a grandmother.  Jesus really knows what it is like to be part of a family.  Jesus Christ is not a dispassionate observer of the joys and troubles of family life.  He is part of it.  Jesus gains this experience from His Blessed Mother and she in turn gains it through her parents:  St. Anne and St. Joachim.

St. Anne thus occupies a special position among the saints in glory.  She is both a holy and righteous woman, and a key part in God’s plan of salvation for the human race.  I encourage you to thank God for His gift of St. Anne this Tuesday as we celebrate her feast day.  Masses in her honor will be said at 7am and at 7pm. The evening Mass will be followed by a reception in the hall.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Stephen Eickhoff