by Patricia Mathson
[CLICK HERE] for a fun activity page about St. John Neumann.
John Neumann learned eight languages in order to share the gospel with others. He started many parishes and schools for those who came to the United States in search of a better life. He helped people in any way he could.
John crossed the ocean from Europe to the United States to become a priest. He was ordained in 1836, and he worked among people who had come from other countries. He traveled all over western New York celebrating Mass for the people and visiting the sick.
Father Neumann became the Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. He was beloved by the people. He was a humble person who worked tirelessly to meet the needs of his flock. He started 80 new parishes and many schools while he was the bishop.
Saint John Neumann cared about the needs of the people and did whatever he could to make life better for them. We, too, must open our hearts to the needs of others and in that way share the light of Christ with others by our words and actions.
What Can We Do?
* Let’s draw pictures of events from St. John Neumann’s life, including how he crossed the ocean, became a priest, travelled for miles to celebrate Mass, visited the sick, became a bishop, and helped build parishes and schools.
* Let’s read the Gospel heard on his feast day. In John 1:43-51 the Apostle Philip tells Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus. How can we invite others to see what faith in Jesus is all about? Who can we invite to Mass or other parish events?
* Let’s get to know people of other cultures. The United States was settled by people from other countries. Let’s talk about customs, foods, traditions, and other ways that different cultures enrich all of us.
God of all people, help us to follow the example of St. John Neumann. He shared his faith in you by doing whatever he could to help others. Open our hearts that we may see all people as your children. Amen.
Patricia Mathson has many years’ experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a MRE degree from the University of Dallas. She is the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of many books including Plant the Seed: Sharing the Gospel with Children (Liguori Publications).
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