July 24, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters, the well-wishers and visitors of both Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Kingsland and Our Lady of The Lake Mission, Sunrise Beach. I am deeply humbled as well as grateful to The Most Holy Trinity, Our Blessed Mother, Virgin Mary and to our Bishop, Most Rev. Joe S. Vasquez, for this singular privilege to serve you in the capacity as your Pastor. I have come to you with an open and joyful heart, with a strong trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother, Virgin Mary that we shall walk side by side; shoulder to shoulder in our march to our eternal home, Amen!
Please permit me brethren, to share with you a few thoughts about your patron and patroness saints:
The term, “Our Lady of The Lake” is typically used for a church, chapel, and many others, which often times is dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Mother Virgin Mary. When in the case of a Lake, like our Mission Church in Sunrise Beach, it means that it is located near a Lake. So, one may suggest that it is not an official title by the Holy See, like (Our Lady of Fatima; Virgen deGuadalupe; Our Lady of Lourdes and a few others). In this context, it just means a geographical reference. Other churches may be named Our Lady of the Mountains, Desert, Prairie, and so on. St. Charles Borromeo was the Archbishop of Milan, and a Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Prassede, Papal Secretary of State, under Pope Pius IV, and one of the chief factors in the Catholic Church. He was born in the Castle of Arona, a town on the southern shore of the Lago Maggiore in northern Italy on October 2, 1538 and died at Milan, on November 3, 1584. His emblem is the word “humilitas” crowned, which is a portion of the Borromeo shield. He is usually represented in art in his cardinal's robes, barefoot, while he carried the cross as the archbishop and a rope round his neck, with one hand raised in blessing. This explained his work during the plague in Milan. His Feast is always observed on November 4. One of the major contributions of St. Charles was the academic reform of the Seminary training of the priests. It is attributed to him that this reform has continued to reflect even up to date in the seminary formation of our time.
In Christ; God bless you!
Father Uche Obikwelu