Here in Colorado we have just transitioned from summer into winter: Monday we had a record setting high of 80 degrees; late Tuesday it began to snow; by Wednesday afternoon we had 5 inches of heavy, wet snow which made for Christmas-card perfect pine trees; today, Thursday, we are in the lower to mid-teens which means we had a 65 degree temperature shift since the beginning of the week.
We are also about to transition from October into November, so we are moving from the Month of the Rosary to the Month of the Poor Souls.
At Seton this past Sunday Mrs. Perez and Mrs. Pena organized the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Festival in honor of Mr. Grimberg and his family as a way of saying thank you. It was so appropriate that this celebration took place this month since there is no one I know more dedicated to the rosary and promotion of devotion to Blessed Mother than Mr. Grimberg.
From his marriage to his business; from Seton volleyball to the Washington Redskins, there is nothing that falls outside his asking for Mary’s help in seeing that God’s will is done.
I had the 6 to 7 Holy Hour on Friday nights in the Seton chapel when often times there were games going on in the gym. The crowd noises found me wondering about how the Conquistadors were faring rather than wondering about the splendor of God. I always knew when things were tense because Mr. Grimberg would open the chapel door, fall on his knees and suggest we say seven Hail Mary’s in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Blessed Mother.
Mr. Grimberg appears at people’s homes, but not usually as the primary guest. He is accompanied by the Pilgrim Virgin Statue, and it is Blessed Mother who is the focus of attention, bringing peace to a family in need.
When the Vander Woudes hosted the Marian Day, they would arrange for a talk to be given. The one I remember best was the speech Joey Grimberg gave. It was the same one he had given as his senior pro-life speech. His clear, distinguished voice on that May afternoon expressed complete conviction in Blessed Mother’s loving care. It was beautiful. Like father, like son.
The Festival was emceed by three fathers of many Seton alumni: Mr. Hadro, Delegate Marshall and Mr. Mooney. They toasted and roasted the honorees. Mrs. Carroll publicly forgave Mr. Grimberg for praying the Redskins to victory over the Broncos in the 1988 Super Bowl. Though I still think Mr. Grimberg and Joey overdid it taking Washington from a 10-0 deficit to a 42-10 advantage in one quarter! The ambience of the evening was Spanish from food to décor including a beautiful stage mural painted by Mrs. Belcea, though there was also German and Irish dancing performed.
A spiritual bouquet, from the student body was given to the Grimbergs. Each student wrote his/her gift on a heart and these were then put on a poster surrounding a rosary.
God bless the Grimbergs, and thank you for all you have done for Seton and for your witness of love for Blessed Mother.
Now we transition. With Halloween on the horizon and Thanksgiving not that far away, we know that soon it will be time for the retail world to begin promotion of a profitable, materialistic winter holiday before and during the Advent season. Here’s a suggestion of how we can counteract this attempt to upstage the Birth of Our Savior, at least in our own hearts and homes.
Some Franciscans actually begin their Advent on November 2nd. That means that their Advent covers 53 days, from the Feast of the Poor Souls through Christmas Eve. Fifty-three is also the number of Hail Mary’s in a rosary.
We could ask Blessed Mother to adopt a Poor Soul for us to pray for and ask the Poor Soul in turn to pray for someone we know, maybe within our own family, who needs to return to the embrace of the Christ Child.
We could make our prayer a single Hail Mary and let the prolonged Advent Season form a rosary, or we could say a rosary each day through the 53 days. Either way, we would be making our prayers a gift for the Infant Jesus through His Blessed Mother and helping a member of the Church Suffering to join the ranks of the Church Triumphant, who in turn may help a loved one grow closer to Our Lord.
The “53’ers” would form a secret society quietly preparing for the Holy Night.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.