Pastoral Notes July 31st, 2016

Every year all bishops issue a calendar which records anniversaries of past bishops, priests and deacons, as well as dates relevant to the local area – the anniversary of the dedication of our cathedral, or our patron-saints as a diocese (Our Lady the Immaculate Conception & St Thomas Becket). It is also a strictly church-calendar, so indicates the feasts of saints: on Thursday 4th August the feast of St John Vianney, for example, patron saint of priests in parishes, himself a parish priest in France in the 19th century, a parish which is a centre of devotion and pilgrimage to this day. Some lesser known commemorations are sometimes included as footnotes. Friday is the memorial of the dedication of the great basilica in Rome of St Mary Major. It recalls the legend-story of snow falling on a particular hill in Rome, to indicate where the great church should be built. So 5th August in some parts is the feast of Our Lady of the Snows.