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Feast of the Sacred Heart

Dear Parishioners,

June 23rd we will be celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart at our 8:30 a.m. Mass. The devotion to the heart of Jesus has a long history in the tradition of the Church.  The heart has always been a symbol that is most powerful.  The ancients thought that the heart was the center of all emotion, wisdom and life.  The brain was not seen as all that important.  Of course, people hundreds of years ago did not know what we know about anatomy. They did know that when someone died the heart stopped beating.  

Since the heart was thought to be the most important organ in the body, the wounded heart was a potent symbol.  In the gospels, we hear how a soldier thrust a lance into the heart of Jesus at the end of his crucifixion.  Water and blood flowed out of the chest cavity.  Jesus’ heart was broken along with the rest of his body out of love for the world.

There was a long struggle in the history of the church to establish a feast day in honor of the Sacred Heart.  Debates went on for hundreds of years as to whether it was a good idea or not to have devotion to the Sacred Heart, but in 1899 Pope Leo the XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This act seemed to give the devotion to the Sacred Heart new energy.  The French Church advocated forcefully for a Feast in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When our parish began at the beginning of the 20th century I am sure that Fr. Culemans and others were inspired by the renewed emphasis on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  For that reason, they named the new Belgium parish in Moline Sacred Heart.  Many new Sacred Heart parishes were started in our country at a time of great growth for Roman Catholicism in America.  

The Sacred Heart is a powerful symbol of the love of God. It speaks of our Lord’s mercy toward all of us as we struggle with the problems of this life.  Certainly, as we leave the winter and spring behind and move into the summer months it is good to rest in the Lord and it is important always for each of us to reflect on the Love of God.  This is a very reassuring spiritual exercise. I hope many of you come to pray on our parish feast day. Enjoy your summer.

Fr. Mark DeSutter,

We will be celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart at 8:30 Mass, with a light breakfast reception following in Culemans Fellowship Hall.