A 19th-century immigrant to America served other immigrants and all Catholics
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. John Neumann (January 5, 2019): 1JN 3:11-21; PS 100:1-2,3,4,5; JN 1:43-51
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The first bishop in the United States to be canonized left his homeland in what is now the Czech Republic in 1836 to come to America.
St. John Neumann assisted the great number of immigrants in need of spiritual and practical aid. He was ordained in New York and spent several years working in the Niagara Falls area before joining the Redemptorist order and continuing his efforts in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. In 1852 he was named bishop of Philadelphia where he established the diocesan school system that still inspires Catholic education today. He also built hospitals and orphanages in addition to dozens of churches.
Known for his personal holiness and humble way of life, Bishop Neumann served his people as a caring shepherd. He spread the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament through the Forty Hours Devotion. “Know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.… The Lord is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and His faithfulness, to all generations” (Psalm 100:3, 5). He died at age 48 and was canonized in 1977. He is considered a patron of Catholic education and of immigrants. St. John Neumann remains a wonderful example of someone dedicated to the love of God and the welfare of God’s children.