The Sign of Peace

The invitation "Let us offer each other the sign of peace" is an integral part of the Rite of Peace. This rite is a part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist which follows the Lord's Prayer and precedes the Fraction of the Bread. Even before the liturgical changes of Second Vatican Council, the Rite of Peace - known then as the Kiss of Peace - was exchanged in the liturgy when the priest gave a reverent embrace to the serving deacon. Today, the General Instruction for the Roman Missal states, "There follows the Rite of Peace, by which the Church entreats peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament (GIRM, 82)." In a word, the Rite of Peace is a sign of our Catholicity and an expression of our Christian Charity. In this sense, the Rite of Peace serves as a sign of communion and unity among the members of the local Church and the Universal Catholic Church.


The Rite of Peace is an eschatological sign of the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God where the peace of God reigns. Speaking of the work of the Spirit within the Church, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (]n 14:27)." In the midst of a world in which many voices and actions of war and violence take place, the Rite of Peace is that much more essential for us to fulfill our prophetic role in the world.

As a liturgical sign, we are called to share it with reverence to keep the solemnity of our Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Given the nature of our parish, parishioners and visitors are welcome to exchange the Sign of Peace with the persons next to them either by shaking hands or by a slight bow of the head. Please keep in mind that this is not a time to greet one another or to wave to people across the church. Rather, the Church asks us to exchange the sign of peace ''in a sober manner" just as we reverently approach the Eucharist. I greatly appreciate your understanding and collaboration in this matter.

Sincerely in Christ,

-fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P


Educational - Saint John Chrysostom (349-407)


St. John, named Chrysostom (golden-mouthed) on account of his eloquence, came into the world of Christian parents, about the year 344, in the city of Antioch. His mother, at the age of 20, was a model of virtue. He studied rhetoric under Libanius, a pagan, the most famous orator of the age. 

In 374, he began to lead the life of an anchorite in the mountains near Antioch, but in 386 the poor state of his health forced him to return to Antioch, where he was ordained a priest. Brought to Constantinople after a dozen years of priestly service in Syria, John found himself the reluctant victim of an imperial ruse to make him bishop in the greatest city of the empire. Ascetic, unimposing but dignified, and troubled by stomach ailments from his desert days as a monk, John became a bishop under the cloud of imperial politics. 

If his body was weak, his tongue was powerful. The content of his sermons, his exegesis of Scripture, were never without a point. Sometimes the point stung the high and mighty. Some sermons lasted up to two hours.

His lifestyle at the imperial court was not appreciated by many courtiers. He offered a modest table to episcopal sycophants hanging around for imperial and ecclesiastical favors. John deplored the court protocol that accorded him precedence before the highest state officials. He would not be a kept man.

His zeal led him to decisive action. Bishops who bribed their way into office were deposed. Many of his sermons called for concrete steps to share wealth with the poor. The rich did not appreciate hearing from John that private property existed because of Adam's fall from grace any more than married men liked to hear that they were bound to marital fidelity just as much as their wives were. When it came to justice and charity, John acknowledged no double standards. 

Aloof, energetic, outspoken, especially when he became excited in the pulpit, John was a sure target for criticism and personal trouble. He was accused of gorging himself secretly on rich wines and fine foods. His faithfulness as spiritual director to the rich widow, Olympia, provoked much gossip attempting to prove him a hypocrite where wealth and chastity were concerned. His actions taken against unworthy bishops in Asia Minor were viewed by other ecclesiastics as a greedy, uncanonical extension of his authority.

Theophilus, archbishop of Alexandria, and Empress Eudoxia were determined to discredit John. Theophilus feared the growth in importance of the Bishop of Constantinople and took occasion to charge John with fostering heresy. Theophilus and other angered bishops were supported by Eudoxia. The empress resented his sermons contrasting gospel values with the excesses of imperial court life. Whether intended or not, sermons mentioning the lurid Jezebel and impious Herodias were associated with the empress, who finally did manage to have John exiled. He died in exile on September 14, 407.

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Educational - Pope Saint Gregory I (540-604)


September 3rd, is the memorial of Pope Saint Gregory I, also known as Saint Gregory the Great. He was the pope of the Catholic Church between 590 and 604 AD. During his 14- year pontificate, he accomplished much for the Mystical Body of Christ. Although he was the first pontiff from a monastic back.ground, his prior political experiences helped him to successfully uphold clerical holiness, reform the sacred liturgy and establish papal supremacy. Gregory is considered the first medieval pope. 

He was born into an affluent family around 540 in Rome. His father, Gordianus, was a senator and a prefect of Rome. His mother, Sylvia, and his aunt, Pateria, are both recognized as saints in the Catholic and Orthodox churches. In addition to being wealthy, Gregory's family was highly privileged. During his youth, Rome suffered disease and war so his family moved their estates to Sicily. Gregory was well-educated learning grammar, rhetoric, the sciences, literature, and law. He became such an authority in law that, at age 33, he was named Prefect of Rome, the highest civil office in the city.

After five years, Gregory resigned and became a monk, transforming his families' villa in Rome into a Benedictine monastery, (the Via dj San Gregorio) and founding six others. As a monastic, Gregory was devout and renowned for his intellect. Consequently, Pope Pelagius II chose him to serve as the ambassador to Constantinople. His work as an ambassador increased his reputation and notoriety. In 590, against his wishes, he was proclaimed Pope by acclimation.

Evincing his humility, Gregory often referred to himself as a servant of God. England owes her conversion to him. Upon witnessing English children being sold as slaves in Rome, he sent 40 monks, including St. Augustine of Canterbury, from his own monastery to make "the Angles angels." When Europe was overcome by invading Lombards, Gregory was instrumental in winning them for Christ. When Rome itself was besieged, he personally intervened with the Lombard King. Thanks to his efforts, the Lombards, Franks, and Visigoths all aligned with Rome.

Pope Gregory reformed the liturgy, which contains many of his most beautiful prayers. He may have also established cantus planus, known in English as plainchant. Most today know this style of singing as Gregorian Chant. The melodious, monophonic music is known throughout the Church and closely associated with medieval monasteries. Gregorian chant gives us the oldest music we still have in the original form, some dating to the centuries just after the death of Gregory. It remains a matter of some dispute just how involved Pope Gregory was in the development of the style. Some music historians argue the credit is a misattribution that rightly belongs to his less famous successor of a century later, Gregory II.

Gregory was fiercely devoted to the poor whom he served tirelessly. He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the indigent in person. He frequently dined with a dozen poor people at meals. Because of his great respect for the poor, Pope Gregory and the Church became the most revered force in Rome and across Italy. From then on, the people looked to the Church for governance rather than the distant and indifferent emperors from Constantinople.

He was a prolific writer and a towering intellect. His commentaries on Sacred Scripture were widely influential on Christian thought in the Middle Ages. These works and his deeds of selfless charity made him, in the words of an antiphon in his office, "the Father of the City, the joy of the World." 

Pope Saint Gregory died on March 12, 604. He was declared a saint immediately after his death. His remains are enshrined in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Along with St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Jerome, he is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church.

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Looking to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey? Here is how you can help


Please make all donations directly to Catholic Charities. They are also giving out assistance to those in need. 

Some of the items that are needed are:

  • Diapers including adult sizes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • All baby items
  • And household cleaning products

You can also contact Karina Hernandez at for more information. 

To volunteer directly please contact the affected parishes in your area. A list of the affected parishes will be made available on the website this weekend. You can also make donations on the Archdiocesan website at 

If registered parishioners need assistance you can email the parish secretary, Rosalinda Gracia, at  

Please check back regularly as we will be updating the information and different ways you can help. 

Educational - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)


St. Augustine of Hippo was born on November 13, 354 into a respectable, but not rich, family. Augustine's father was a pagan and his mother, St. Monica, was a Christian who brought her husband to the grace of baptism as a Christian. Monica had Augustine signed with the cross and saw to it that he received a Christian education as a youth.

Despite his Christian education, Augustine was not baptized until he was thirty-three years old and was ordained a priest at thirty-six and consecrated a bishop at forty-one. Before being baptized, Augustine's faith and morals underwent several crises as Augustine was lured
by physical pleasures and intellectual pursuits, some of which led him away from Christ.

It would be an understatement to say that Augustine did not always live a saintly life before his conversion. Monica would not abandon her son, however, as she continued to pray for his conversion. In Milan, Augustine met Bishop Ambrose. The preaching of St. Ambrose and the instructions that he would give Augustine along with the Lord speaking to him in the Scriptures were among the factors that God used to bring Augustine to baptism. Once converted to Christianity, Augustine used his keen intellect to denounce heresies and spread the Gospel. He would serve as Bishop of Hippo for thirty-four years. St. Augustine died at the age of seventy-six on August 28, 430.

There are many writings and sermons of St. Augustine which have survived to this day. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions, which is his autobiography and is excellent spiritual reading to this day. Augustine was named a Doctor of the Church because of the depth of his theological writings. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicrea and the Council of Constantinople closely identified with Augustine's On the Trinity.

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Educational - Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617)


Historians remember St. Rose of Lima for her piety and chastity. Born in 1586 in Lima, Peru to Spanish colonists, and named Isabel Flores de Olivia, she was exceptionally beautiful. 

Her beauty was so great that she was nicknamed "Rose," a name that remains with her to this day. According to legend, a servant had a vision where her face turned into a rose. At her confirmation in 1597, she officially took the name of Rose.

From an early age, Rose wanted to become a nun. She often prayed and fasted in secret. She performed secret penances, some of which were painful and severe. She performed daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and took daily communion.

As a young woman, her beauty began to attract suitors. To deter these men, St. Rose marred her face, rubbing it with pepper to make it blister. She cropped her hair short. 

Her parents opposed her plan to take a vow of chastity. This resulted in a clash of wills, because her parents wanted her to marry. Her father eventually relented and gave her a room to herself. 

St. Rose kept herself cloistered in her room, spending long periods in prayer. It was said she slept only two hours per night so as to have more time for prayer. She quit eating meat altogether, an extreme dietary restriction for that time. 

When she turned 20, she was permitted to join the Third Order of St. Dominic. She continued a life of extreme prayer, fasting and penance. On one occasion she burned her hands as a self-imposed act of penance. 

She was known to wear a heavy silver crown, with spikes that could pierce her flesh. The spikes reminded her of the Crown of Thorns. At one point, one of the spikes become so lodged in her skull that the crown was removed with great difficulty. 

St. Rose died in on August 25, 1617, at the age of 31. According to legend, she accurately predicted the date of her death. Her funeral was a major event attended by all the city's authorities. 

Pope Clement IX beatified her in 1667 and Pope Clement X recognized her as a saint, canonizing her in 1671. Her feast day is August 23 around the world, although some countries, like Peru, celebrate her on August 30. 

St. Rose is the patroness of embroiderers, gardeners, florists, those who suffer ridicule for their piety, and people who suffer family problems. 

Educational - Saint Hyacinth of Poland, O.P. (1185-1257)

Saint Hyacinth was born in 1185. He was born into nobility as his father was of the noble family of Odrowacz. His birth took place in the castle of Lanka at Karim, which is in Silesia. Almost from the cradle, Hyacinth seemed predisposed to virtue. His parents not only fostered his happy disposition, but also used great care in selecting the teachers that would protect this innocence. In this way, he was so well grounded in his religious duties that he passed through his higher studies at Cracow, Prague, and Bologna, without tarnish to his pure soul. Upon completion of his studies at Bologna, Saint Hyacinth earned the title of Doctor of Canon Law and Divinity. Doubtless his model life had much to do in helping him to win the admiration of both his professors and fellow-students.

When he returned to return to Poland he was given a prebend at Sandomir. In 1220 he accompanied his uncle Ivo Konski, the Bishop of Cracow, to Rome. Here they met ·with Saint Dominic. At this time, Saint Hyacinth was one of the first to receive the habit of the newly established Order of Friars Preachers from Saint Dominic, Because of his spirit for prayer and his zeal for the salvation of souls, he was sent to preach and establish the Dominican Order in his native land, Poland. On the way he was able to establish a convent of his order at Friesach in Carinthia. In Poland the new preachers were favorably received and their sermons were productive of much good. Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It was these apostolic travels that earned Hyacinth the title 'The Apostle of the North".

His travels and missions did not end here. He came into Lower or Red Russia, establishing a community at Lemberg and at Haletz on the Mester; proceeded into Muscovy, and founded a convent at Dieff, and came as far as the shores of the Black Sea. Because of his evangelizing, multitudes were converted, and churches and convents were built. 

However manifold were his duties, the future Friar Preacher did not permit them to interfere with his good works, dampen his spirit of prayer, or to lessen his practice of recollection. None were more punctual or exact in their recitation of the divine office by the canons. He regularly visited hospital,; were the sick found him a sympathetic comforter. A friend to the poor, he distributed his income among them. He felt that money received through the Church could not be devoted to a better or more advantageous use.

Saint Hyacinth is known to have performed numerous miracles. The one miracle that has been most associated with him was the result of the Tartars siege of the city of Kiev. Hyacinth gained a child-like and tender devotion to the Mother of God from Saint Dominic. To her he attributed his success, and to her aid he looked for his salvation. When Hyacinth was at Kiev, the fierce Tartars sacked the town Hyacinth was celebrating the Mass and did not know of the onslaught and danger until the Mass ended. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands and was fleeing the church. It is recorded that as he passed by an statue of Mary he heard a voice say, "Hyacinth, my son, why dost thou leave me behind? Take me with thee and leave me not to mine enemies." Although the statue was made of heavy alabaster, Hyacinth took it in his arms and carried it away along with the ciborium with the Holy Eucharist. It is for this miraculous moment that Saint Hyacinth is most often depicted. The story continues that Hyacinth and the community that accompanied him came to the river Dnieper. There he urged them to follow him across the river. He led the way, and they all walked dry shod across the waters of the deep river, which then protected them from the fury of the Tartars. Polish historians are in agreement on this marvelous fact, although some of the writers confuse it with a similar crossing of the Vistula which happened earlier. A circumstance, which is recorded in connection with this miracle, renders it all the more remarkable. It is said that the footprints of the saint remained on the water, even after he had crossed the river; and that, when the stream was calm, they could be seen for centuries afterwards.

Worn out by his constant labors and vast journeys, Hyacinth spent the last few months of his life in a convent he had founded at Cracow, There on the Feast of Saint Dominic in 1257, he fell sick with a fever that was to lead to his death. On the eve of the feast of the Assumption, he was warned of his coming death. In spite of his condition, he attended Mass on the Feast of the Assumption. He was anointed at the altar, and died the same day in 1257. He was canonized in 1594 by Pope Clement VIIl. The feast day of St. Hyacinth is celebrated on August 17th.

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Educational - Holy Father Dominic, O.P. (1170-1221)

Domingo de Guzman was born in Castile, possibly a year or two later than 1170, the traditional date. His father was lord of the manor in the village, and his mother was also from the local nobility. He studied at Palencia and then joined the canons regular (a religious community attached to the cathedral of a diocese) of Osma about 1196, and he became subprior, or assistant to the superior, a few years later. b1 1203, Diego, bishop of Osma, was sent on a royal mission abroad and took Dominic with him.

This journey first made Dominic aware of the threat posed to the church in the south of France by the Albigensian heretics, or Cathari, who were reviving and developing the Manichaean teaching that two supreme beings, Good and Evil, dominate spirit and matter respectively; so that whatever concerns the body-such as eating, drinking, procreation, and the possession of worldly goods-is essentially evil, and the ideal is the renunciation of these things and even of life itself. Thus, there arose among them a caste of the "perfect," who led a life of great austerity, while ordinary people were regarded as reprobates. A regularized Albigensian hierarchy had come into existence, and local feudal lords, especially the count of Toulouse, supported the Albigenses. Pope Innocent Ill had launched a mission to preach against the heresy.

On a second journey Dominic and the bishop visited the pope, who refused their request to preach to the pagans, so they returned to France. In 1206 the papal legates and preachers, depressed at the failure of their mission, consulted the bishop and Dominic, who reasoned that the heretics would be regained only by an austerity equal to their own; the preachers must tramp the roads barefoot and in poverty. This was the birth of Dominic's "evangelical preaching." An important part of his campaign was the establishment of a convent of nuns at Prouille, formed in 1206 from a group of women converted from the heresy.

In 1208 the papal legate, Peter de Castelnau, was murdered by an emissary of the Count of Toulouse. The pope called upon the Ou-istian princes to take up arms. The leader on the papal side was Simon de Montfort, a subject of the king of France. The Albigensian leader was Raymond VI, count of Toulouse, an opponent of the king of France and brother-in-law of King John of England, lord of neighboring Aquitaine. Dominic's work, though confined to the Prouille area, continued, and six others eventually joined him. Meanwhile, the civil war dragged on until Simon's victory at Muret in 1213. The Catholic party entered Toulouse, and Dominic and his friends were welcomed by the bishop, Foulques, and established as "diocesan preachers" in 1215.

From Foulques's charter in that year, Dominic's design for an order devoted to preaching developed rapidly. A characteristic concern was for the theological formation of his men, whom he therefore took to lectures given at Toulouse by an Englishman, Alexander Stavensby. Still in 1215, he went to Rome with Foulques (bound for the Fourth Lateran Council) to lay his plans before the pope, who, however, recommended adoption of the rule of one of the existing orders. It was, perhaps, at this time that Dominic met Francis of Assisi (though the meeting may not have taken place until 1221), and the friendship of the two saints is a strong tradition in both the Franciscan and the Dominican orders. In the summer of 1216 Dominic was back at Toulouse conferring with his companions, now 16 in number. This meeting has been called the capitulum fundationis ("chapter, or meeting, of foundation"). The rule of St. Augustine was adopted, as well as a set of consuetudines ("customs"), partly based on those of the canons regular, concerning the divine office, monastic life, and religious poverty; these are still the core of Dominican legislation. In July, Innocent Ill died, and it was from his successor, Honorius III, that Dominic, once more in Rome, finally received on Dec. 22, 1216, formal sanction of his order.

The order was now an established body within the church, and Dominic returned to Toulouse. On Aug. 15, 1217, he sent his men to Paris and to Spain, leaving two each at Toulouse and Prouille, while he and another went to Bologna and Rome. He placed his two principal houses near the universities of Paris and Bologna and decided that each of his houses should form a school of theology. This at once determined the capital role tl,at the Dominicans would play in university studies. In setting up his houses in the larger cities, especially in those that were teaching centres, he involved his order in the destiny of the medieval urban movement.

The rest of Dominic's life was spent either in Rome, where he was given the Church of San Sisto, or traveling. In 1218-19 he made a great tour (3,380 miles entirely on foot) from Rome to Toulouse and Spain and back, via Paris and Milan, and in 1220 a tour of Lombardy. Everywhere his communities were growing, and he planned many new foundations covering the key points of France and northern Italy. In Rome the pope gave him the delicate task of reforming various groups of nuns, whom he finally gathered at San Sisto in 1221, when the men moved to Santa Sabina, which is still the residence of the master general of the order.

At the second general chapter, held on Pentecost in 1221, also at Bologna, the order was divided geographically into provinces. After a visit to Venice the same year, Dominic died at Bologna.

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Educational - Blessed Ceslaus of Poland (1180-1242)

Blessed Ceslaus, 0.P, (Polish: Czeslaw) was born in approximately 1180 in Kamien Slciski in Silesia, Poland, of the noble family of Odrowctz, and was a relative, possibly the brother, of Saint Hyacinth. Having studied philosophy at Prague, he pursued his theological and juridical studies at the University of Bologna, after which he returned to Cracow, where he held the office of canon and custodian of the church of Sandomierz. 

About 1218 he accompanied his uncle Ivo, Bishop of Cracow, to Rome. Hearing of the great sanctity of Saint Dominic, who had recently been attributed the miracle of resuscitating the nephew of Cardinal Stefano di Fossa Nova who had been killed in a fall from his horse, Ceslaus, together with St. Hyacinth, sought admission into the Order of Friars Preachers.

In 1219 Pope Honorius ill invited Saint Dominic and his companions to take up residence at the ancient Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, which they did by early 1220. Hyacinth and Ceslaus along with their companions Herman and Henry were among the first to enter the studium of the Dominican Order at Rome out of which would grow the 16th-century College of Saint Thomas at Santa Maria sopra Minerva and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in the 20th century. After an abbreviated novitiate Ceslaus, Hyacinth and their companions received the religious habit of the Order from St. Dominic himself in 1220.

Their novitiate completed, St. Dominic sent the young friars back as missionaries to their own country. Establishing a friary at Friesach in Austria, they proceeded to Cracow whence Ceslaus was sent by St. Hyacinth to Prague, the metropolis of Bohemia. 

Labouring with much fruit throughout the Diocese of Prague, Ceslaus went to Wroclaw, where he founded a large priory, and then extended his apostolic labours over a vast territory, embracing Bohemia, Poland, Pomerania, and Saxony. 

Sometime after the death of St. Hyacinth he was chosen the Provincial Superior for Poland. Whilst he was superior of the convent of Wroclaw all Poland was threatened by the Mongols. The city of Wroclaw being besieged, the people sought the aid of Blessed Ceslaus, who by his prayers miraculously averted the impending calamity. Four persons are said to have been raised to life by him. He died at Wroclaw on JuJy 15, 1242. In 1963, Pope Paul VI recognized Bl. Ceslaus - next to St. John the Baptist - as the main patron saint of the city of Wroclaw. 

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New Pastor of Holy Rosary has been announced!


Fr. Chris is announcing that our new Pastor will begin his pastor ship at Holy
Rosary Parish as of the first of September, 2017. He has been approved by His
Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the Southern Dominican Provincial Fr.Tom Condon, O.P.

The new Pastor's name is Fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P. Fr. Chris has known him many
years and he has been serving as the Vicar Provincial for the last three years.

Fr. Chris will end his term as Pastor July 31, 2017, and Fr. Alberto Rodriguez,
O.P., will become the Administrator of Holy Rosary Parish until the arrival of our
new Pastor. It is with the greatest joy that Fr. Chris makes this announcement.

May God bless Fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P., and please pray for him as he shepherds our
wonderful community here at Holy Rosary in our great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Mother Mary the Immaculate Conception pray for us.

Fr. Christopher T. Eggleton, O.P.
3617 MILAM STREET • HOUSTON TX 77002-9535 • 713.529.4854 • HOLYROSARYPARISH.ORG