Today is an important day for Philadelphia Catholics and for a number of the many women’s religious communities that attribute him with their founding, including, among others, a community of Franciscan sisters. Following the celebration of the life and model of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton yesterday, it would be remiss not to note that Neumann is credited with establishing the first diocesan school system in the United States during his tenure as bishop of Philadelphia.

March will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Neumann, a milestone that will surely be celebrated by the Redemptorist Order (of which Neumann was a member) and by the many educational communities founded by the former bishop of Philadelphia. The Redemptorists have a rather detailed website that provides much more information on the celebrations of what is being called the “Neumann Year.

Included with the available resources is a prayer card that includes the following prayer, which can be said as part of a parish mission celebrating the “Neumann Year.”

Loving and gracious God,
we praise you and thank you
for the many gifts you have given us,
We thank you for the gift of this parish mission
and pray that this may be a time of grace,
healing, and refreshment for us all.

Through the intercession of St. John Neumann
we ask that we may be open to hear and embrace the truth of Your Living Word.
May we be inspired these days
to proclaim the good news
within our own lives and circumstances.

We ask this in the name of your son,
Our Holy Redeemer. Amen.

St. John Neumann, CsSR, Pray for Us.

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