Msgr. Schaedelís letter for bulletin of January 28, 2001:
This weekend we anticipate and celebrate the Feast of the Presentation, the Purification of Mary, or Candlemas Day. This feast commemorates not only the obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph to the Mosaic Law in going to Jerusalem forty days after the birth of Christ, but also the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.
Candles are blessed on this day, a symbolic representation of the words of the prophet, Simeon, concerning Christ: "A light of revelation to the Gentiles." A procession with lighted candles is held to commemorate the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the temple of Jerusalem
The feast is actually February 2nd, but we will anticipate it this weekend so that more may be present to celebrate it and participate in the blessing of candles that will be used throughout the coming year here at Holy Rosary.
Speaking of candles, remember that every lighted candle is a symbol for Christ who is our light. Votive candles, light by persons who are praying for a special intention burn in our churches as symbols of that prayer offered to God through the intercession of Our Lady or one of the saints. When we see the candles burning, we can add our prayers to the prayers of those whose intentions symbolically burn there. We can aid others in their prayers without even knowing who they are or what their intentions might be. Itís another expression of the Community of Faith.
Here at Holy Rosary, we have what we call perpetual votive candles. These burn on the side altars of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and at the shrines of the Sacred Heart, Saint Anthony, and Saint Anne. These candles burn continuously for the intentions of those who request them. We list the names of these persons in this bulletin the first Sunday of each month. The offering for a "perpetual votive candle" is $10.00 per month. If you wish to have one burn for your particular intentions, call the parish office.
Last Monday, the 22ndh, was the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C. This is to commemorate the horrendous decision of our U.S. Supreme Court, which legalized abortion. About 500 young people and adults from the Archdiocese and thousands of others marched in our nationís capital for this important cause. I offered Mass for them at the cathedral last Saturday night. What a fine dedicated group of young people. The Church is very much alive!
I also note that our new president is wasting no time in promoting his pro-life, anti-abortion agenda. Please pray for all lawmakers so that they will have a true respect for all human life.
At the same time, let me remind you that we are either pro-life or we are not. The Church promotes what we call a "seamless garment" when it comes to pro-life issues. That means we are against abortion in any for any reason whatsoever, euthanasia, so-called "mercy killing," the death penalty, and the whole range of pro-life issues. Now, in this wide range, is there one issue that takes priority? Yes! It is the abortion issue. If there is no respect for human life at the very beginning, you can forget the rest of the life issues.
A couple of weeks ago, The Indianapolis Star carried a front-page article outlining one of the most despicable crimes weíve ever read about. It concerns the case of the day care center operator who abused young children, allowed others to do the same, and even attempted to "sell" the children into prostitution. The children in question were two years old and younger. This wicked crime is still in the news media.
Now, the news media, the legislators, and everyone else are up in arms about it. And they should be! But the same media and many of the same legislators think that abortion, including partial birth abortion (clearly murdering an infant), is somehow okay. Isnít this nuts? What do these people think about?
Our own parish Pro-Life Committee is alive and well, encouraging us to be educated about these issues and to pray for these intentions. The group also publishes our own pro-life newsletter, Vita, (Latin for "life") each month. Pray for an end to abortion in our land and in our time.
This (Sunday) afternoon Iím off to Saint Rita to represent the archbishop and the archdiocese for the Vietnamese Catholic Community. It is Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Iíll be preaching in English, but it will be translated into Vietnamese. Iím bad enough in English; imagine what I would sound like in Vietnamese!
Faithfully yours in Godís Providence,
Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel