The following reflection was written by Kate Gombos, director of communications and digital media at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull.

TRUMBULL- Last Sunday, we were honored to welcome to St. Catherine’s an extraordinary group of people: an apostolate named for and under the patronage of St. Robert Bellarmine, for people who have Down syndrome and their families.

If it were not a Sunday, September 17 would be the feast day of the Jesuit theologian, Bishop, and Cardinal, St. Robert Bellarmine: defender of the Faith, pastor of souls, and spiritual director and confidante of Aloysius Gonzaga.  At least twice he is thought to have declined election to the papacy. A first-class relic of St. Robert Bellarmine rested on our altar that day.

This Saint of wisdom and courage, who spoke and lived the truth, motivated by love and zeal for souls, is called upon by many in the Church as a patron saint for God’s children with Down syndrome.  He reminds us that the answer to all our fears is love: the love which sacrifices itself, the love which casts out fear, and the love whose sacrifice is rewarded by the joy and peace which only Christ can give.

This apostolate, and its families, are a living witness to the truth of the words of their patron saint, that “Love is a marvelous and heavenly thing. It never tires, and it never thinks that it has done enough. It tackles work no matter how arduous, and in its vocabulary is nowhere to be found the word ‘impossible.'”