Busy Days: Advent is filled with preparations of all kinds. Confessions in various parishes (helping in many), at Marian HS and SJHS, a Day of Recollection for clergy (past already), a gathering for Parish Councils for both parishes (at the rectory), our own Penance Service, the Parish Mission with Prof. John Cavadini (we hope you attended), and the list goes on. I’m sure many of you are just as busy in your own preparations for Christmas.
The busier we are the more we can get run down and the easier it is to catch a bug. Be good to yourselves and don’t overdo. Try to stay focused on what this season is really all about—not running to everything and everywhere, or shopping till one drops, but the birth of Our Lord and what it means for our salvation, and a deeper awareness that one day He will come again and being prepared at all moments is our need. In all likelihood, we will go to meet the Lord before He comes in final judgement. A more immediate need to be prepared at all moments! Death is the thief in the night, to be sure.
In the mail from St. Meinrad the other day was a prayer that I thought was particularly meaningful and many of you may like it as well—for these busy, troubling, and difficult times we live in all the while we would prefer to stay focused on the beauty of these Holy Days of Advent and Christmas. The prayer is as follows: O God, our refuge and our strength, at every hour and in every season, we turn to You now in these troubling and difficult times. Protect us from anxiety, restore health to the sick, and comfort those in distress. We ask You to guide and guard those who care for our health and safety, and assist us as we help bear the burdens of all who suffer. We ask this through Christ, the Good Shepherd, and our Divine Physician. Amen.
As all of Sacred Heart Parish knows, Fr. Greg is in Nigeria now through the 23rd. It is a most unusual time to be away from the parish, but it was the most opportune time for him to plan the long journey. We have some wonderful priests helping in the meantime, and weekday Masses at St. Jude.
I urge you to read all the bulletins in the next weeks (of course, I would hope you read them all the time—if you want to know what’s going on in your parish). Mass times are a bit odd and some changes due to how the Holy Days fall this year, mixed with weekends. If you don’t pay close attention, you will miss something or you will show up when nothing is happening! All is posted (too) on the parish website and on Facebook. The only excuses will be if you don't read anything. (Smile)~Fr. John
This comes from an interesting response to a question posed to Msgr. Charles Pope in his column in Our Sunday Visitor: It has to do with the dying receiving the Apostolic Blessing, the likelihood of Purgatory for most all of us, and the overall spiritual disposition of the person who has died. Some seem to think a last-minute Anointing or Blessing is magic and will be the person’s ticket straight to Heaven. Only God knows where we stand at the moment of death in terms of having a true relationship with Him, but I suspect the person who has not darkened the church doors for years or had any prayer life, or lived less than a moral life, may be in for a surprise and should only hope for Purgatory. But all a good reason, again, why we pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Most of us will likely pass through. Pope’s answer to much of this is as follows:
Answer: There is certainly an important role, at the threshold of death, in the Apostolic Blessing, which is a sacramental. Even more so is the value of the Sacraments of Confession, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Communion. However, they do not work like magic; their fruitfulness is tied to the disposition of the one who receives them. Even the absolution of confession does not take away all temporal punishments due to sin. The apostolic pardon, while conferring a dispensation from punishments due to sin, acts much like a plenary indulgence and requires freedom from all attachments to sin. Hence, even those who have received these wonderful blessings ought still be seen as likely needful of our prayers. The Lord alone is the judge of all. ~Fr. John
The St. Jude Parish celebration of Thanksgiving will take place at the Vigil Mass this Wednesday, November 24th at 7 p.m. A reception will follow the Mass in the Keller Room
We are serving dessert after this Mass and need your help!
Please consider making an extra Thanksgiving pie or dessert for this special occasion. You may bring your tasty donation to the Keller Room before Mass. Please pre-cut your desserts into small individual portions. Thank you! ***** ***** ***** ***** The Thanksgiving Day Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart at 9:00 a.m. We have lots to be thankful for. As Fr. Solanus said “Thank God ahead of time!”