Welcome to The Open Door

May Reflection for Open Door – Felicia Rakes


The Open Door, A New Day, January-June 1996

In the twenty-first chapter of St John’s Gospel, there is a beautiful scene in the life of the apostles after the Resurrection of Jesus. The Scripture passage describes the experience of love that we should have as we experience we celebrate each Eucharistic liturgy. The apostles had spent the whole night on the lake without catching any fish. Early in the morning, weary and discouraged, they are rowing back to shore. A figure on the shore calls out to them, “Boys, have you caught any fish?” “No”, they reply. “Cast your net to the right of the boat and you will find some.” They cast and were unable to draw the net aboard because of the great number of fish it contained. The disciple whom Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”

In his homily on this Gospel passage, St Gregory the Great tells us that Peter’s boat symbolizes the Church and the lake illustrates the ups and downs of life on earth. In the darkness of the early morning, our Blessed Lord from the shores of eternity directs our work in the apostolate and tells us where to cast our net. If we keep in contact with the risen Lord Jesus through daily periods of prayer and meditation, we will know where to cast our net and we will catch a large number of souls so that the boat (the Church) can contain them.

Monsignor Chester Michael (1916-2014) RIP

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) RSV

(favorite Bible quote of Fr. Chet’s)

 10498207_10204416414319929_1052966899565092963_oPhoto by Dr. Tim Short of Fr. Chet who loved to hike in the Shenandoah Mountains

It is with great sadness that we report that Monsignor Chester Michael peacefully passed away on Thursday at 3pm on July 31, 2014 at age 97 while in hospice care. Rev. Msgr. Chester P. Michael, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, was born in Berkeley Springs, WV, in 1916, ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in 1942, and was a faithful priest of the Diocese for 72 years. Please remember Msgr. Michael and his family in your prayers.

Remembering Monsignor Chester Michael (click for more stories and photos)