● There will be an optional meeting for the parents of those going on the Rome trip: this Sunday, December 8, 7:00 PM, in the St. Norbert Room (mobile class room).
● Thank you to Lorenza Cuenca’s family for providing lunch for the students this past week.
● Thank you to all the families who brought food and drink for the soccer and basketball players this past week.
● Congratulations to Jake Sindelar, who recently earned his Eagle Scout Award as well as all the Boy Scout merit badges possible!
● One of our juniors, Matthew Shelton, the founder and president of St. Michael’s Pro-life Club, recently wrote an article on the group’s activities for the Orange County Catholic: http://www.occatholicnews.com/archangel-prolife/
● The school will be hosting an Open House this Sunday at 3:30 PM. If you know any families who are interested in sending their son to St. Michael’s, please inform them.
●A variety of school spirit clothing is now available online for men, women and children from Prep Sportswear.com. While there are many selections and colors available, we ask you to keep the following in mind: we prefer clothing that spells out our school name rather than the letters SMPHS, our school colors are blue and gold, no tank tops please. The link to view the items and order online is: https://prepsportswear.com/school/us/California/Silverado/St-Michael-s-Preparatory-High-School-Archangels.aspx?schoolid=117687
● REMINDER: Applications for 2014-2015 tuition assistance are due by Feb. 1st. Requests for tuition assistance must be renewed each year. Applications may be completed online at: http://stmichaelsprep.org/images/stories/Admissions/psas_financial_aid_application.pdf
● Congratulations to our basketball team on their recent victory over St. Monica’s, 61-51!
The next basketball game is Tuesday, December 10, at 6:00 PM in Rancho Cucamonga.
● Congratulations to our soccer team on their recent victory over the San Diego Jewish Academy, 4-3. The next soccer games are: Tuesday, December 10, at 3:15 PM in Irvine; Thursday, December 12, at 3:15 PM at St. Michael’s; Friday, December 13, at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s.
Our Lord who tells us that although his Heavenly Father has hidden great things from the wise and the learned, He nevertheless, has revealed them to those who are childlike.
While still in his twenties, young Francis Xavier, was one of the best known and popular figures in the University of Paris in his time. Intelligent, good-looking, a sportsman, he had a wonderful personality, seemed to be popular with everybody. Francis Xavier found that he was sharing his university accommodation with a young priest, Ignatius Loyola. Ignatius who himself was converted while convalescing from his battle wounds, had asked himself three short questions which required big answers – “What have I done for Christ; What am I doing for Christ; What ought I to do for Christ”? Answering these questions helped change his life, and he put the same questions to the very worldly and ambitious young Francis Xavier. “What does it profit you, Francis, to gain the whole world if you lose your soul?” Eventually these questions had their impact on Francis and he became one of the greatest missionaries to the Indies and South East Asia.
On his thirty-fifth birthday, Francis Xavier set out for India, and led an intense life, baptizing hundreds of thousands of people from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. That very hand that baptized some many people can still be seen and venerated at the church of the holy name of Jesus in Rome, at the altar of St. Francis Xavier.
Francis Xavier wrote 150 letters that survive –Many of those letters were published by the Jesuits in Europe, which became the most published letters of the age, stirring up great enthusiasm for the missions and bringing hundreds of young men into the Jesuit Order. The early Jesuits said Xavier’s letters did as much good in Europe as his preaching did in Asia.
He was not good at languages, yet forced himself to learn so many. He would make a summary of the Catechism, have it translated and he then attempted to memorize the sounds and pronunciations as best as he could, and then twice a day he delivered his lesson in a speech he could not comprehend trusting in his memory of the pronunciation. People laughed and jeered at him, but his personality and genuineness won many to Christ, establishing Churches in Japan that would later stay steadfast even under severe persecution. When he left Japan after two years there were about 1400 new Christians in six towns. Seventy years later there were 300,000 Japanese Christians. One of the oldest communities was Nagasaki, which became the largest Christian community right until 1945 when the city was destroyed by the atom bomb.
One of the descriptions we have of Francis Xavier comes from one of his first Japanese converts, the son of a Samurai, one so ugly, they said, that his very appearance frightened small children. He became devoted to Francis Xavier, and accompanied him on his journeys. He described Xavier walking more than 300 km to Kyoto, in his black cassock and hat, his feet and legs bare, his little parcel on his back containing his Bible, Breviary and a surplice. .... He sometimes hopped, he laughed and tossed an apple in the air, catching it again and again ... speaking with the profoundest words on the goodness and mercy of God who had chosen him to spread His Word in provinces that seemed so distant and cut off from the world.
We should have the desire and strength to share our faith with others, whether at the department store, or the workplace or wherever it is lacking. We should pray to be on fire with the love of Christ who so loves us, that this fire might urge us on to follow him more closely and live his love.
Pray for the grace of doing great things for God. Ask Him what you might do with your life. Think again of the three questions that put St Francis on fire and drove him tirelessly to bring so many thousands to faith in Jesus. “What have I done for Christ, What am I doing for Christ, What ought I to do for Christ?”
May St. Francis Xavier, this great missionary, intercede for us so that we may respond with the same love that moved him to do great things for God.
● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.