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January 21 

Saint of the day:

Saint Agnes

Agnes means “chaste” in Greek,

Patron Saint of young girls, chastity, rape survivors, and the Children of Mary

Saint Agnes’ Story

Almost nothing is known of this saint except that she was very young—12 or 13—when she was martyred in the last half of the third century. Various modes of death have been suggested—beheading, burning, strangling.

Legend has it that Agnes was a beautiful girl whom many young men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and confined to a house of prostitution. The legend continues that a man who looked upon her lustfully lost his sight and had it restored by her prayer. Agnes was condemned, executed, and buried near Rome in a catacomb that eventually was named after her. The daughter of Constantine built a basilica in her honor.



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Catacomb of Saint Agnes

The bones of Saint Agnes are preserved in the Church of Sant'Agnese Fuore le Mura (Saint Agnes Outside the Walls) in Rome.  This church was built over the catacombs that were constructed around the tomb of Saint Agnes.  Her skull is preserved in a side chapel of the Church Sant'Agnese in Agone (Saint Agnes in Agony) which is in Rome's Piazza Navona.  The Fountain of the Four Rivers is immediately in front of the church.

Saint Agnes is the patroness of our parish.  August Knochelman, who donated much of the land (4.9 acres) of our current parish property wanted the parish to be under the patronage of Saint Philomena.  Bishop Howard however, decided that it would be under the patronage of Saint Agnes.  The reasons for his decision are apparently lost to history.  Our parish actually began as a mission attached to the Cathedral Parish in 1930.  It was established as an independent  parish in 1954.



Sant'Agnese in Agone



The Blessing of the Lamb's Wool for the Pallium

The symbolism of the Pallium is even more concrete:

the lamb’s wool is meant to represent the lost, sick or weak sheep which the shepherd places on his shoulders and carries to the waters of life.

Hence the Pallium becomes a symbol of the shepherd’s mission. The pastor must be inspired by Christ’s holy zeal: for him it is not a matter of indifference that so many people are living in the desert.  And there are so many kinds of desert.  

There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst, the desert of abandonment, of loneliness, of destroyed love.  

There is the desert of God’s darkness, the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity or the goal of human life.

The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.

Therefore the earth’s treasures no longer serve to build God’s garden for all to live in,

but they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction.  

The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert,

towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance.


One of the traditions associated with Saint Agnes is that on the Feast of Saint Agnes, two lambs who have been raised at the local Trappist Monastery of Tre Fontane, are brought to the Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls and are blessed.  The lambs are raised into sheep by the Benedictine Sisters of Cecilia in Trastavere (a section of Rome near the Vatican).  The sheep are sheered each year on Holy Thursday.  The wool from these lambs is then woven into material that is used to make around 12 pallia.(Latin singular=pallium, plural=pallia).  The pallia are placed near the tomb of Saint Peter on June 28, the vigil of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul where they remain overnight.  The pallia are then kept for future use in the “niche of the pallia” in a confessional near the tomb of Saint Peter.

A palium is a collar-like vestment that is the symbol of the office of an archbishop.  It is ornamented with six crosses and is worn over a chasuable.  A palium is presented to an archbishop by the Pope, and is symbolic of his unity with the Pope.  Since the Diocese of  Rome is an archdiocese, the Pope, who is the Bishop of Rome is also an archbishop.  He also wears a pallium.


Her Story:

The Story of Agnes of Rome by
Lives of the Faithful


"St. Agnes" Hymn by John Bacchus Dykes 



Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Cherry
Port Sauce served over Goat Cheese Polenta




  • 1 cup Tawny Port

  • 1 cup pitted cherries fresh or frozen, sliced in half

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 4 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 ounces goat cheese


  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, shelled

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 6 lamb rib chops, Frenched

  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a sauce pot over high heat, combine port, cherries, vinegar, sea salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by 3/4 and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Cover and set aside until needed.

  2. In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, bring water to a boil. Once boiling slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continually whisk for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add olive oil and goat cheese; stir. Taste and add any additional salt if necessary. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting, and set aside until needed.

  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios, garlic, and rosemary until finely chopped. You can also do this by hand with a knife. Poor pistachio mixture onto a plate.

  4. Season each lamb chop with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place a lamb chop into the chopped pistachios and firmly press to coat. Once the lamb chop is evenly covered, place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining lamb chops.

  5. Place the chops in the oven and roast for 6 minutes, flip, and continue to roast for an additional 6 minutes for medium-rare (7 minutes a side for medium). Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.

  6. If needed, reheat the sauce over low heat, add a spoonful of port if the sauce has become too thick while resting. To plate, spoon about 1/2 cup of the polenta on a plate, top with two or three lamb chops, and spoon sauce over. Serve.


Lamb Pull Apart Bread

This delicious lemon pull-apart lamb 


  • 9 Raw not cooked Yeast Dinner Rolls (see below)

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • zest from one lemon

  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Citrus glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Shape one roll into an oval for the head and place on a sprayed baking sheet.

  2. Cut 6 rolls into sixths and arrange for body and top of head.

  3. Cut one roll in half and shape one half for ear and other half for tail. Place on body.

  4. Cut last roll in half and roll each piece into a 4-5 inch rope. Fold in half and place under body for legs.

  5. Mix lemon zest with sugar. Brush entire lamb with butter.

  6. Sprinkle with half of the lemon mixture, trying not to get any on the face, ear, tail and legs.

  7. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise 30-45 minutes.

  8. Remove wrap and sprinkle with remaining half of lemon mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F 15-20 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Drizzle with citrus glaze.



One Hour Yeast Dinner Rolls


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1 tablespoon yeast I used rapid yeast

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter softened

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour more or less as needed (I used 3-3/4)

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

  • sea salt flakes for sprinkling on top


  1. Using your mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand for five minutes,

    or until foamy (if your bowl is chilled or your room is cool this could take longer)

  2. Add butter, salt & 3 cups of the flour, and mix until combined.

  3. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl

    and is slightly sticky to the touch (do not add too much flour!)

  4. Let the mixer knead 3-5 minutes, until smooth.

  5. Cover with plastic, place in a warm spot and let rise 20 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees & spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray

  7. Punch down the dough & divide into 20 equal sized pieces

  8. Roll each piece into a ball and space evenly in the prepared pan

  9. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt, and let rise for an additional 15-20 minutes

    Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown ( you can turn on the broiler for about 1-2 minutes at the end to get a more golden top)

  10. Remove and brush with butter

  11. Let cool slightly before serving

Agnesenplätzchen (St. Agnes Cookies) 


  • 1 1/3 cup butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 jar apricot jam

  • powdered sugar (optional)


  1. Cream the butter with the sugar. Gradually incorporate the flour until it becomes a smooth dough.

  2. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

  3. On a clean work surface, roll out the dough to ¼-inch thick. Cut out an even number of circles about 2 inches in diameter.

  4. Let the dough rest for about 30 to 60 minutes.  

  5. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350˚F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Spread apricot jam on the top of one cookie and cover with a second cookie.

  7. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.  


Her Art:

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