Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
In light of my last week’s homily, a question was raised with at least one family. . . regarding the Catholic Church’s teachings on voting in a conscientious manner.  Of course, in any major voting year, in my time here, we’ve always had brochures from the NCCB on the tables in the narthax for people to take and read through to be informed on the Church’s (NCCB’s) guidelines for voting.
To respond to the issue though, I would offer the following excerpts from the statement of our NCCB.  I hope you not only find it helpful, but also something to take to heart:

34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter's intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

36. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate's commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi:  in the past we have offered a blessing for pets, and it was modestly attended, but this year it falls on a Friday evening and our concern is that even fewer would come since it is a “thank goodness it’s Friday” night.

We have learned that the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration (the beautiful Order and Motherhouse and grounds over in Mishawaka (across from Marian High School) will be offering Pet Blessings on Sunday, October 6, from 1-3 p.m., on the Marian High School parking lot.  How much better that “real” Franciscans are making this available of their patron’s feast!  

If you wish, you can always pray a prayer of blessing over your pet on the Feast of St. Francis and maybe use the following prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. 
You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. 
You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. 
We ask You to bless this pet. 
By the power of Your love, enable it to live according to Your plan. 
May we always praise You for all Your beauty in creation. 
Blessed are You, Lord our God, in all Your creatures! Amen.

- Fr. John