Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
This weekend - the 20th to be precise, we celebrate the feast of St. Sebastian, our patron. Until I came here in 2010, I really did not know very much about him at all. I remember seeing statues and images, usually with a lot of arrows. As a kid I think the few times I saw Sebastian portrayed, I thought it was a little weird. But I wasn’t stupid enough to say that out loud.

If you want an interesting little adventure, ‘google’ “St Sebastian” There’s a short video from the Catholic Online people that I think does a nice job of piecing together Sebastian’s story. Sometimes separating the fable from the fact is hard. The bottom line is Sebastian’s heroism in the face of the emperor Diocletian’s evil, not once but twice. His martyrdom is dated to 288 and it didn’t take long for his fame to spread. Less than 100 years later, in Milan, St. Ambrose speaks of Sebastian and what a great example of faith we can find in his life.

Writing these few thoughts reminds me that “someday” I would like to check and see if there is anything in the Archdiocesan history vault that might tell us how we got the name, “St. Sebastian.” We began as a mission of St. Anthony, so probably Msgr. O’Looney had something to do with it. The naming might even predate the arrival of Archbishop Carroll in 1958 who formally established the parish in 1959.

I guess some might be tempted to mutter, “Who cares?” What difference would it make if we knew who picked the name? Maybe not much. But I can tell you one thing: I wouldn’t be sitting here writing these thoughts in 2018 if someone hadn’t picked ‘Sebastian” 60+ years ago.

What I’m really thinking about is not how the place got its name, but rather about what extraordinary people live in our history as church. Because of them, faith becomes more possible. These countless people, called “saints” by the Church, and the much more anonymous-to-the-world people that each of us knows in our own families, these people bless us.

Our kids deserve better than they are get-ting from a lot of our public culture. We need to be better family to them and to each other. One way is to show them that we have some pretty good heroes that will never shame or embarrass us. Some we call “Saints” and we make statues to remind us of their example. Some are quietly sitting next to us right here.

It’s very important for us to remember, and maybe discover for the first time, our faith heroes and heroines. We share those stories with each other and our kids because “the good guys and gals” are what it is all about.
I had no idea that this Twitch would take this direction. I just drove back from Miami to attend a meeting that didn’t happen. Some-how I missed the memo. Then coming home, I waited 22 minutes (honest) for Florida East Coast railway to stop blocking Route 84. The same cars went forward and then backed up seven times, I’m sure coupling and recoupling. When I got home, Annie said, “Well, you sure got back quickly from your meeting.” You’ll be happy to know I said nothing that had to be de¬leted other than “There was no meeting.” After all, didn’t we pray for better civil discourse last week?

What I do feel is a pride in our patron and a pride in our Church, a church that struggled and struggles to keep the face of Jesus in front of us, in good times and in tough. Sebastian never lost sight of that face. We bask in the glow of his halo.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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