Twice a month the staff of St. Gregory the Great Church send out a spiritual reflection to all parishioners for whom we have an e-mail address. What follows are the most recent of these reflections. If you would like to have your name added to our e-mail reflection list, please e-mail us at info@stgregory.net, and we will add your name to our listing.


On Monday, Aug. 14, the Church celebrated the feast of prisoner 16670, otherwise known as St. Maximilian Kolbe. In 1941, Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, was taken into custody and placed at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. All people sent to concentration camps were given a number, a number that was often tattooed onto their wrist. The people sent to Nazi concentration camps were treated not as human beings but as a number of no worth or value. 

I would guess that most of us are familiar with the story of Maximilian Kolbe. A prisoner escaped from Auschwitz. In retaliation, the commandant randomly chose 10 men to be sent to an underground bunker to be starved to death. One of the 10 men chosen was a husband with a wife and children, and he begged to be spared. Maximilian Kolbe stepped forward and volunteered to take the place of this man, and the commandant agreed to let him do this. Maximilian Kolbe was the last to die. He was given an injection of carbolic acid which ended his life. 

It saddens me to know that the hatred, racism and prejudice that characterized the Nazi Holocaust on such a large scale is something that has been a part of the world in which we live for centuries. Last week we saw a very sad example of that in Charlottesville, Virginia where a group of White Supremacists came to preach their own brand of hatred, racism and prejudice and where a misguided young man drove his car into a group of protesters, killing one and injuring 19 more. 

In the face of that, may we pray for the victims of Charlottesville and for all the victims throughout the centuries of hatred, racism and prejudice. May we also ask for the forgiveness of God for any times we have harbored hatred, racism, prejudice or intolerance in our own hearts. And in the spirit of Maximilian Kolbe, may we ask God for the courage and strength we need to take a stand against anyone or anything in our world that seeks to rob people of the dignity and respect that they are entitled to as children of God, made in God’s own image and likeness.



Recently I made a retreat that, in the words of last Sunday’s gospel, helped me find a treasure in a field. Something that I lost, or thought I had, was contributing to a feeling of unrest in my soul that would not let go. I had to pay attention to this feeling that was below the surface of my heart and find out what had a hold on me. Reflecting over the past year through all its ups and downs I was surprised to discover what it was and to experience a new breath of freedom in its release.

This Celtic prayer is one that I think sums up the graces I experienced.

I share it with you as a blessing.

You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart’s eternal spark

You are the door that’s open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Savior this very day             Traditional Celtic Prayer