For the feast of St. John Fisher, make rhubarb and scones with your kids, and share his exciting story of political controversies and unending defense of the faith.
by Theresa Wilson
St. John Fisher’s story has all the makings of a blockbuster movie. A scholar and accomplished preacher who was ordained a bishop by age 35, he found himself in the throws of political controversies, making him one of King Henry’s least favorite persons. There are accusations of lies, threats and pressures to take oaths, imprisonment in the Tower of London and finally, execution.
And yet he never denied his faith or the teachings of Church, despite how angry it made King Henry, despite his life being threatened and ultimately ended. He instead questioned the people leading the country and their morality.
Originally, St. John was from Yorkshire, England, an area so well known for its rhubarb production that a 9 square-mile area of the county is called Rhubarb Triangle.
My 4-year-old sous chef and I are making rhubarb jam to top our whole wheat scones in celebration of St. John on his feast day June 22.
While we stir the simmering stems and mix our dough, I take this time to tell my daughter St. John’s movie-like tale. I remind her that she should be proud of her faith. She should never shy away from what she knows is right, and that if someone asks her to do something she knows would not make God happy, that she is strong enough to stand behind her Catholic faith.
What might be lost on her now will make sense later. I know that as she grows older and becomes more aware of the world around her, she will encounter people with different moral standards than ours. I want her to be able to recall St. John’s courageous conviction and be inspired.
O God Our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Theresa Wilson is an alumnus of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. After pursuing her passion for all things food, she quickly rose the ranks in fine dining cuisine as a professional chef, and as a chef instructor and assistant director at a culinary institute. She is now a busy stay-at-home mom and short order cook to her amazing, energetic young daughter and son.