Time marches on. Here we are almost at the end of October. Next Sunday will be Halloween. When I taught grade school, I always noticed that the children became more excited about Halloween than any other holiday, including Christmas. Why? Iím not really certain.
My friends, the Franciscan Sisters from India who work at Holy Trinity Parish and at Cardinal Ritter High School, had some interesting insights about this Halloween business. They basically told me that they thought it was so strange that Americans celebrate with skeletons, witches, and basically all that "scary stuff." Theyíre right.
The basis for Halloween and dressing up was that this is the eve of the Feast of All Saints, All Hallows Eve. Youngsters were encouraged to dress up like the saints. Now, we dress them up like monsters, witches, and every other imaginable kind of character. Why? Iím not sure how this got started.
But I do know this much: If children today misunderstand the real meaning of "Halloween," itís our (adults) fault. And if children do not appreciate the role of the saints in their Faith life, again, itís "our" fault. Talk to your children and your grandchildren about the saints. They are our heroes and heroines. Their stories should be known so we can imitate them.
November 1 is a holyday. But since it lands on a Monday, it is not a holyday of obligation. Our Masses on Monday, November 1, will be at 12:00 Noon (Latin) and 5:30 p.m. (English). Please plan to celebrate this feast of all the saints. These are the canonized and the non-canonized. Some of them are our own friends and relatives who have gone before us "marked with the Sign of Faith."
Last weekend I mentioned a "pilgrimage reunion" or a "travelogue" concerning our recent pilgrimage to France. It was scheduled for this Sunday, October 24 at Saint Malachy Church in Brownsburg. Since I have to stand in for the archbishop during his illness, this program has been cancelled. I had a schedule conflict. I will let you know if we re-schedule at a later date.
The architectís drawings for how our new elevator might look are on display in the back of church. The elevator would take one to Priori Hall, the church proper, or to the choir loft. This project will take time and actually cost more than we had anticipated. Pray for the success of this project.
I have asked Billy DeLaCruz to share with us some of his thoughts about Stewardship at Mass this weekend. Billy and his wife, Alice, give so much of their time and talent to Holy Rosary. So do so many others.
Also, this weekend and next weekend we will have the United Catholic Appeal video playing in the vestibule before and after Mass. Stop and take a look at the archbishopís appeal to us to be generous this yearís campaign. The needs of the larger (archdiocesan) church are many in two areas: Home Missions and our Common Mission. UCA is part of our stewardship.
Home Missions are parishes that simply cannot make it on their own financially. They need our help. The Common Mission consists of things that parishes do together; things which would make no sense to do on our own. An example would be training seminarians or running Catholic Charities agencies. We do this together in order to be more effective.
All we have (time, talent, treasure) still belongs to God. But we are "gifted with it" for a time, my lifetime. We are simply stewards of all the good gifts of creation. Therefore, we have the responsibility to see to it that these gifts are used properly. But, in the end, they belong to God not us. We are the caretakers while we are on this earth.
This is the sort of thing we wish to focus on during the next two weeks. On the first weekend of November everyone will be asked to fill out an Intention Card. It will include our commitment to Stewardship in these areas: Prayer, Regular attendance at Mass, Sharing our Talent in Service to our family and to our parish family, Financial gifts to our parish and to the larger (archdiocesan) Church.
As Catholics, we are called to serve through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service. The above things are some ways we are called to serve during the Jubilee Yearó2000. If we all do so, Godís work will be done in our lives, in our families, and in our parish.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary. And Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is patroness of our parish. Pray the rosary often, especially during October. Ask Our Lady to guide our efforts.
In Godís Providence,