Congratulations to our dear brother and sister who celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this summer: Frederic and Anne-Sophie gathered family, friends and brothers from the Emmanuel Community in Paray-le-Monial, Burgundy, France where Jesus appeared to St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque, for a thanksgiving mass in the Chapel of the Apparitions. Their beautiful children (5 daughters and 2 sons) were very creative in expressing their love and trust for their parents, and Msgr. Thomas Petrillo (New York) was not shy of showing how much this family had been a joyful witness of Christ for many around them wherever they lived (Tokyo, Milan, New York and now London).
Thank you Anne-So and Fred for your love, your faith, your joy and your courage. And thank you Mgr. Dominique Rey, Bishop of Toulon, for making the trip to celebrate the Holy Mass and be with us as a true brother.
The same day, Parfait and Annette celebrated their 27th anniversary. They were able to join this party on their way to Central African Republic and New York, via Italy. This beautiful couple from Gabon and their 3 children are included in our prayers of thanksgiving.
Reflecting on those milestones and cherishing the joy it brings to our Emmanuel family, I was giving thanks in my prayer and including all families. I was praying for families who are numerous and the ones that are not. I was praying for families who have only one parent (single parent, divorced or widowed) and families who support a single troubled or handicapped adult. Praying for families whose parents cannot get married religiously and cannot receive sacraments. Praying for families who have lost a child and even sometimes several children. Praying for families who cannot have children. Praying for singles who are supporting aging and dying parents. Praying for singles who have no parents and no children. Praying for families who have a consecrated child or one who has renounced his/her vows. Praying for families where grand parents have to raise their grand children.
I have in mind concrete examples of almost each of these situations. I have prayed sometimes for years for those special intentions. And given thanks for the special way the Lord has for each one of us so we can bear fruits.
“Tout est grâce,” St. Therese would say. All is grace.