Each of us on the SPIRITUS team has been assigned a patron saint for the year. These saints were discerned for us by our leadership prior to even meeting (most of) us, and I for one can attest that my saint was Divinely inspired. St. Rita of Cascia was the patroness of the parish I had been attending in Dallas for the previous 3 years, and over that time her story was slowly but surely infiltrating my life. I first heard of St. Rita, however, when I saw a movie on her life on EWTN when I was about 12 years old and immobilized by a stomach bug for a week. The movie was nearly 3 hours long and had horrible Italian cinematography with subtitles that barely made sense, but what I remember most is being particularly awestruck by her devotion to Christ crucified and thus I began to consider her as one of my back-up patron saints. It wasn’t until I graduated college and moved to Dallas that my admiration of her began to turn into a devotion.
Of course, this was unknown the SPIRITUS leadership in charge of selecting my patron, and I can’t put into the words the amount of comfort I received in the middle of that first week on mission, surrounded by my missionary ‘brothers and sisters’ who at the time were still essentially strangers to me, when they told me my patron for the year was my beloved patron from Dallas.
A photo of a relic of St. Rita I was able to venerate at a local parish
Today, St. Rita is a sign of so many hopeful things for me. She is a reminder of where I came from and the strong Dallas community that helped launch me into missionary work. A mother who never stopped interceding for the conversion of her family, she is a mother to me as I know she continues to intercede for my daily conversion. A peacemaker who ended a long standing vendetta that consumed her entire town, she brings the peace of Jesus into my heart when I feel at war with myself, my fears and my desires. A spouse of Christ in her religious vocation, she is an inspiration of what it means to love Christ in all things and always seek His will. A recipient of the stigmata and a lover of Christ crucified, she constantly draws me out of myself and into the passion of Christ and of those around me.
I ask for your prayers for myself and my team. Our lives have been insanely busy since the day we arrived, and even the little time we get ‘off’ is prudently used to strengthen our time as community. Below I have listed the names of my brothers and sisters on mission for me as well as their inspired patrons. Please pray for us often, as we are anticipated to give 160 retreats this year to over 5,000 students across the state of Wisconsin.
St. Faustina, pray for us. (Alexa)
St. Elizabeth of Hungry, pray for us. (Christen)
St. Rita of Cascia, pray for us. (Ashley)
St. Claire of Assisi, pray for us. (Annastasia)
St. John the Beloved, pray for us. (Gabriel)
St. Edith Stein/Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us. (Brianna)
St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us. (Elizabeth)
St. Josemaria Escriva, pray for us. (Brian)
Bl. Miguel Pro, pray for us. (Rene)
St. George, pray for us. (Zachery)
St. Ignatious of Loyola, pray for us. (Mike)
St. Lawrence, pray for us. (Peter)
St. Philomena, pray for us. (Gemma)
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us. (Anna)
St. Kateri Tekawitha, pray for us. (Mikayla)
St. Paul, patron saint of SPIRITUS, pray for us.
Mary, Mother of missionaries, pray for us.
Jesus, fully present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, consume us.
Veni Sancte Spiritus.