4th Sunday of Easter


                Today’s Gospel presents us with one of the most beloved images of Jesus who proclaims to us:  “I am the good shepherd!”  We usually think of a nice, clean-looking, smiling shepherd with a cute, little cuddly sheep on his shoulders and a quiet docile flock around his feet, just nibbling on the green grass.

If only it was that easy for Jesus to take care of us, his flock. 

                Being a really good shepherd meant, for Jesus, that he would “lay down his life for the sheep.”  Our shepherd fights for us and saves us from dangerous wild animals or thieving marauders breaking into the sheepfold.  There are those in the world who are dangers to our sometimes vulnerable faith and our trust in the Lord.  Often others seek to steal us away from our Catholic faith by wayward teachings or enticing temptations.  Jesus is quite the tough shepherd who is unreasonably committed to saving us from dangers.  Not like a paid hireling who is not much help in times of real crisis, Jesus gave his life to save us and keep us as part of his beloved flock.  I hope each of us will feel deeply the Good Shepherd’s personal love for each sheep in his flock, the Church – for each of us!



                If you did not already pledge to the A.C.A. last weekend, or mail your pledge card in, please try to do so today after Mass.  Our volunteers will be in the back of church, inside or outside, depending on the weather.

                As we talked about last weekend, the Annual Catholic Appeal is critical for the success of the multi-faceted pastoral work of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  There are at least 44 Archdiocesan agencies, offices, or programs listed that receive major funding from the ACA; in many cases it is the primary source of their funding. 

                So your generous pledge is obviously needed.  Most of you have pledged before, and we need you to pledge again, and maybe even increase your gift.  If you have not given before, please start this year.  The Lord will indeed bless you!



                Somebody once said that “quality control” must not have been very good on the day the Creator designed the human knee.  I totally agree with this.

                After numerous surgeries in the last 3 years, my left knee in the last 4 months has become dysfunctional again.  Diagnosis by my orthopedic surgeon indicates that infection has become serious in my knee and that actually the previous metal knee replacement is coming loose where it is anchored in my tibia (shin bone).

The prognosis for choosing to do nothing for the knee is that it will keep getting progressively worse.   Therefore, the only tenable plan is to proceed with another knee replacement.  Maybe the third time will be the charm.

                So I am scheduled for surgery to remove the current metal knee on May 11th at Barnes West.  Then 3 months of anti-biotic infusion therapy and making sure the infection is gone.  Then another new metal knee in August.  The plan is to stay here at the rectory at St. Bernadette’s during this time, but I will not be able to celebrate Mass or do other pastoral work.  I will start seeking priests to substitute for me during this time, as we did two years ago.

                What can you do to help?  Prayers for success of this whole process of “knee revision”, for sure.  And welcome the visiting priests who will be coming to St. Bernadette’s during this long time.


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