The Story of the Chair of Saint Peter
This feast commemorates Christ’s choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church.
After the “lost weekend” of pain, doubt, and self-torment, Peter hears the Good News. Angels at the tomb say to Magdalene, “The Lord has risen! Go, tell his disciples and Peter.” John relates that when he and Peter ran to the tomb, the younger outraced the older, then waited for him. Peter entered, saw the wrappings on the ground, the headpiece rolled up in a place by itself. John saw and believed. But he adds a reminder: “…[T]hey did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). They went home. There the slowly exploding, impossible idea became reality. Jesus appeared to them as they waited fearfully behind locked doors. “Peace be with you,” he said (John 20:21b), and they rejoiced.
The Pentecost event completed Peter’s experience of the risen Christ. “…[T]hey were all filled with the holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4a) and began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.
Only then can Peter fulfill the task Jesus had given him: “… [O]nce you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). He at once becomes the spokesman for the Twelve about their experience of the Holy Spirit—before the civil authorities who wished to quash their preaching, before the Council of Jerusalem, for the community in the problem of Ananias and Sapphira. He is the first to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. The healing power of Jesus in him is well attested: the raising of Tabitha from the dead, the cure of the crippled beggar. People carry the sick into the streets so that when Peter passed his shadow might fall on them.
Even a saint experiences difficulty in Christian living. When Peter stopped eating with Gentile converts because he did not want to wound the sensibilities of Jewish Christians, Paul says, “…I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong…. [T]hey were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel…” (Galatians 2:11b, 14a).
At the end of John’s Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, “Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18). What Jesus said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God. On Vatican Hill, in Rome, during the reign of Nero, Peter did glorify his Lord with a martyr’s death, probably in the company of many Christians.
Second-century Christians built a small memorial over his burial spot. In the fourth century, the Emperor Constantine built a basilica, which was replaced in the 16th century.
For more on Saint Peter’s chair, click here.
Like the committee chair, this chair refers to the occupant, not the furniture. Its first occupant stumbled a bit, denying Jesus three times and hesitating to welcome gentiles into the new Church. Some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously. As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down. Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.
Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Budgets $ 5,059.75 from 195 envelopes
Includes mail in of $ 2,629.00
Donations for the Poor: $ 215.00
The start of the 2017 Catholic Charity Appeal is fast approaching. Many of our parishioners will be receiving a mailing from Bishop Tobin asking for your support of the 2017 Appeal. For your convenience, a pledge card has been enclosed within this mailing. Please be assured that your parish will receive credit for the gift that you make through the mail. Your gift to the 2017 Appeal reaches out to countless people in need throughout our diocese. No matter where you turn, you find someone who will benefit from your kindness. Please give generously to the 2017 Catholic Charity Appeal.
Wednesday, March 1 Masses:
Saint Anthony Church 8:30 AM
Church of the Presentation 7 PM
Prayer Service with Distribution of Ashes: Saint Anthony Church 3:30 PM
We are now conducting interviews for any high school parishioner, senior HS, interested in going to Guatemala, Valley of the Angels orphanage in July. If you think you’re being called to this specific ministry please contact Fr. Mark Sauriol at: Frmark100@aol.com Please discuss this opportunity first with your parents. Examine the Facebook page – Angels on a Mission RI – as well as Valley of the Angels orphanage web page, then send us an email explaining why you would like to be a part of this experience. Candidates are required to attend weekly meetings, and have communication skills beyond texting and emailing. God Bless, Fr. Ed and Fr. Mark.
Visit our websites to sign up and to begin contributing automatically to your parish This convenient system does not require you to contact your bank to sign up or to make changes. You can use any of your checking or savings accounts and the funds will be automatically transferred to the parish bank account. This system is more convenient for the parish than electronic checks from your bank. And it’s convenient for you because you can make changes at any time. You can see reports on your contribution history and generate tax statements at each year’s end. Saint Anthony and Saint Edward parishioners will log on to www.saintanthonychurch.org; parishioners of the Church of the Presentation will log on to www.presentationchurchnp.org.
Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday at 4pm
Sunday at 10am
St. Anthony Church
Saturday at 5:15pm
Sunday at 8am & 11:30am
St. Edward Church
Saturday at 6pm (Spanish)
Sunday at 9am & 11:30am (Spanish)