The Sacred Heart Is a Gentle, Humble Heart


Some 200 miles north of Springfield is the small town of Gower, MO, a population of about 1500. Outside the town, is a Benedictine convent, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, who live a quiet life of prayer and work, following the Benedictine tradition. They are not an old convent, only recently built in 1995, founded by Mother Mary Wilhelmina. Mother Wilhelmina died in 2019 and was buried in the convent cemetery. And when the sisters made plans to transfer her body to be placed in the convent Chapel, they were surprised that her body, along with the habit, and her rosary and even the flowers buried with her, had not deteriorated. It’s up to the Bishop of that diocese to help discover what all that means, but you can read more about it on page 12. One thing for sure, Mother Wilhelmina loved her habit and fought for it. She even left her previous order because they had moved away from wearing the habit.

Now, some 2,000 miles to the West of Springfield, in Los Angeles, CA, on June 16, a group of queer and transvestite nuns (that is how they describe themselves on their Website) that use Catholic religious imagery such as the religious habit, the rosary, and the crucifix, were recognized for their charity work by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Throughout southern Missouri we have many religious sisters that have dedicated their lives to education, hospital ministry, serving the poor, and social advocacy for the least among us. I would like the Los Angeles Dodgers to honor the Religious sisters that serve in southern Missouri.
Did you know that in 1985, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Mother Teresa opened an AIDS Hospice in Greenwich Village on Christmas Eve? At that time, not much was known about HIV or AIDS—it was highly stigmatized and feared—and many were dying alone. Mother Teresa advocated for mercy and support for those patients. She said, “We want that nobody dies unloved and uncared for. We are hoping that they will be able to live and die in peace by getting tender love and care.” She asked then-Mayor Koch to release three state inmates with AIDS into her care, and Gov. Cuomo ultimately agreed. She called the 14-bed Hospice dedicated to AIDS patients, “Gift of Love,” to highlight the fact that it was opened on Christmas Eve, when the Church celebrates receiving the greatest gift of love: the gift of Christ in the form of human flesh. She would go on to open another AIDS Hospice in Washington, DC, and another in San Francisco. Her sisters cared for AIDS patients when no one else would. Today, there are 41 convents of the Missionaries of Charity in the United States serving the poorest of the poor. I would like the Los Angeles Dodgers to honor the Missionaries of Charity.

I’m old enough to remember Tommy Lasorda, the famous manager of the LA Dodgers. For a few years I met him on a pretty regular basis because I had a high school job working at the Old Cathedral—the Catholic Church near the Arch in downtown Saint Louis, just a few blocks from the Saint Louis Busch Stadium. Whenever the Los Angeles Dodgers came to town to play the Saint Louis Cardinals, you would find Tommy Lasorda in the Old Cathedral, either at the Saturday evening Mass or the early Sunday morning Mass. I can’t say that he knew me but I certainly knew him. He was a practicing Catholic that even when traveling, he went to Mass. What would he think of this so-called “honor” from the Los Angeles Dodgers to a group that mocks Catholic imagery? Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to honor those that mock the Jewish faith, or the Hindu faith, or the Muslim faith? Or will they limit their mockery just to the Catholic faith? And if that be so, is that not the height of cowardice and blatant religious bigotry?

Finally, this so-called “honor” that occurred on June 16th, happened to fall on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The entire month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Heart of Jesus is crowned with thorns to symbolize His suffering for us. His heart is pierced to symbolize the total giving of Himself on the cross. The Heart of Jesus is burning with Divine Love that He has for each one of us.

How did I mark this beautiful celebration of the Sacred Heart? I offered Holy Mass, I prayed and fasted, I offered my rosary with the single intention: that those who participated in this mockery will come to know that Christ loves them, that He died for them, and He is saying to each one of them “Come to me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church, pray for us.


Published in the June 23, 2023 issue of The Mirror.