FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ~ “God loves us; we need only to summon up the humility to allow ourselves to be loved.”
This weekend – the final Sunday in the month of October – we celebrate the 30th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. Our Gospel reading today follows last Sunday’s Gospel – it is the second of two parables on prayer found in Luke 18. It examines two attitudes on prayer: humility and righteousness. We are invited to ponder whether we resemble the tax collector or the Pharisee, and to choose a course for the future. Hint: the righteousness of the Pharisee, which is self-righteousness, not the righteousness of God, is not the attitude that belongs to a disciple of Jesus.
Next weekend we celebrate two major Feast Days that are scheduled and celebrated back to back, sort of like Act 1 and Act 2 of a two-act play. On Friday we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. It is one of the six Holy Day of Obligation that are observed in our country. We take time to honor and remember all of the holy men and women of every age who have struggled with the same issues that we struggle with as we seek to live our lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus. They have now gone before us in faith and live with God. We look to them for encouragement and trust in the support of their prayers as we continue to live our lives here. A Spanish Vigil Mass will be celebrated on Thursday evening at 7:00pm. Masses on All Saints day will be celebrated at 6:30am, 8:15am with the Grade School community, 12:05pm and 7:00pm.
On Saturday we celebrate the Second Act with the Feast of All Souls. We remember all of our personal, beloved dead and hold them in prayer. We will especially remember those whose names have been entered in our Parish Book of Remembrance (in both the church and the chapel) over the past few weeks.
It has been a special custom of our parish to celebrate an annual Memorial Mass on All Souls Day for those of our parish community who have died during the previous year. The timing of All Souls Day falling on a Saturday this year poses some logistical problems in celebrating this Mass on the actual day. Later Masses on November 2nd are celebrated as Sunday Vigil Masses for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. In view of that, we decided to reschedule the parish Memorial Mass for Monday, November 4th at 7:00pm in the Church. At this Mass we will pray for all those who have died in our parish during the past year. Following the homily, we will pray a Litany of our Beloved Dead and prayerfully read the names of each parishioner who has died during this past year. Family members are welcome to light a memorial candle for their deceased relative. It is a very powerful and moving time of prayer. All are welcome to join us for this Memorial Mass, Monday evening at 7:00pm in the Church.
We continue our observance of Respect Life Month during this month of October. Forty-seven years ago the Catholic bishops in the United States designated October as Respect Life Month. Throughout this month, we have been called to reflect on the gift of human life, the threats against it and how we can protect all persons from conception through natural death. It was Cardinal Joseph Bernardine who challenged us to uphold a “Seamless Garment of Life” that included all of the different Respect Life issues from conception through natural death. Last week I listed some of the many ways our parish promotes our Respect Life values through the many ministries that we sponsor. Each one of us is called to build a “Culture of Life” in our community, our nation and our world – not only in October but all through the year. Recognizing that call, we observe November as “Adoption Awareness Month.” Also, the “Tree of Light Memorial Mass” will be celebrated next Sunday at 2:00pm at the Blanchette Catholic Center in Crest Hill. This Mass remembers infants lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, other pregnancy loses and infant or early childhood death.
On October 12th at the regular 5:00pm Mass, we celebrated the Rite of Becoming a Catechuman and the Acceptance of Candidates for Post-Baptismal Catechesis. Congratulations to Karina Melendrez, our new Catechuman and to our Candidates for Post-Baptismal Catechesis – Briseida Alvarez, Erica Carrasco, Kate Carrasco, Teodomira Cruz, Fabiola Gallardo, Joseph Mandarino, Maria Luz Mata, Rebecca McNichol, Robert Palacio, Britany Soto and Jesύs Quiñonez. We promise you the support of our prayers as you continue your journey of faith.
As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy