Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
BLESSED THANKSGIVING:  We all have so much to be grateful for even in these difficult times for many.  We are still much better off than so many others around the world and every reason to be grateful for our blessings.  Funny that Thanksgiving is only a US celebration, but maybe an important reminder to us all as to why we should be so grateful to God for what is ours in life.  ‘Tis a good life, no matter what, at least I feel that way.
Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving.  You will be prayed for as a parish family at our Thanksgiving Day Mass (Vigil). 
We continue to learn of members of the parish, even though many are vaccinated, who are getting Covid.  It would seem that it is going to have its way of going around no matter what any of us may do to try to reduce the risk.  Much like the usual flu bug or bad seasonal colds.  Let’s just pray we all can get through it with no serious lasting effects and that natural immunity becomes more the norm. 
For the winter months, till we know more about how things are going, we will continue to take reasonable precautions for weekend Masses.  I’m told (at a recent priest’s meeting for our vicariate) that many parishes are not wearing masks (Ministers of Communion) and masks optional at Masses.  I would agree from all I read from reliable medical sources that a mask at Communion time worn by the minister does little to no good. One is not going to pass the virus in a 10 second exchange at that moment of giving the Host to another, but for the sake of those who think differently, we will continue to wear masks to distribute Communion into the winter months.  I am not certain at this writing but it would appear the school may continue to recommend masks or at least masks optional in the months ahead.  From almost all reports, children do not seem to get this virus with the serious effects that the more compromised older or unvaxed seem to be having. So much is guess-work on the part of those who call themselves our experts.  They change their minds from month to month too and don’t seem to agree with one another (Administration, CDC, etc.) and what one reads in trusted medical websites. Sadly, much of it too, continues to be a political football for some.

Let’s just pray for one another that when we get this flu of a new kind, that we can get through it and regain strength to continue on in good health. Very likely most all will get their turn at battling it for however long it stays with them.  What does seem clear is that it is time for many who had vaccinations early-on to get their booster.  The cases I’m hearing about are largely from people who were vaccinated but at the end of that time period where the booster is recommended.  And then there are the unvaxed who have their turns too, usually much sicker and with longer-lasting recovery.  We can forget herd immunity for a while, I’d bet. Just my own thoughts no one has to agree with. Pray for one another.

It is clearly time for people to return to Holy Mass and prayer, and stop using Covid as an excuse for not attending Mass.  Most all those doing so are going everywhere else. For all our good, be at Mass and pray for one another.  Set an example for your children by encouraging prayer and especially attending the church’s Perfect Prayer, given us by Jesus Himself.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~Fr. John
Veteran’s Day:  I know I should have had this in a week ago, but never too late to acknowledge and give honor to our many veterans who have served our nation so well, most especially in times of greatest need.  Blessings to them all for what they have done to serve the greater good and protect freedom for us and for other peoples around the world.

It is also a good time to give special thanks to ALL civil servants who protect us in difficult times (we seem to be living in them now in our nation and many communities where crime is at all-time high and where the inane notion of defunding the very protectors of our society is bandied about by extremists within some communities). Kudos to all our police, fire, and first-responders!  Thank you for your service and putting your own life at stake (so often) in order to protect us from the criminal behaviors of some among us.

If we had more police on the streets, maybe there would be less crime of all kinds, from gun violence to the many in this city who run red lights and stop signs with abandon, with no conscience at all—and never a ticket given.

When I was a child it was often said that police had a quota for each month in terms of stopping those involved in traffic violations.  Not sure if that was ever true or just a myth, but we had far less (nearly none) of the aforementioned traffic crimes.  There was a well-deserved respect not only for the police who would be there to catch the offender, but people had a greater respect for one another’s safety as well.  Sad where we’ve come over the years and sad there is less well-deserved respect for those who risk their lives for our safety, daily.  It is a moral issue.  Every time you blow through a stop sign or red light, it is a matter of serious sin; we should not kid ourselves to believe otherwise. I would love to see the media take this on as a challenge to help correct the problem. From my friends in Fort Wayne, it is just as bad there.  People have become less respectful it seems, less caring of others at a time when we should all be working to be just the opposite given the tenor of the nation at present.  And certainly the whole of law enforcement should not be punished or disrespected for their great work done because of the sins of a very few overall.  

Some may disagree with my opinion on the aforementioned, but you are welcome to come speak to me about it; I’ll gladly defend my thoughts and would like to hear how one might disagree and with what points. ~Fr. John
I know it’s not spiritual in matter, but I read in the SB Tribune that the city has $7 million for lead paint abatement.  Anyone with a home that still has lead paint? Only a small handful seem to have applied so far.  Go figure. It must involve a phone call or a small amount of paperwork! Gee, am I becoming jaded to think that even that amount of work is too much for some?
The Upcoming Bishop’s Synod in 2022:  I hope all read the insert of Bishop Rhoades’ homily that was in last week’s bulletin.  You can still read it “on line” at our parish website.  It explains as well as anything what the Synod will be all about. 
Praying for our beloved dead:  Again, encouraging all to attend the Solemn Prayer Service wherein we pray with those (especially) who have lost loved ones in this past year—though we pray for all our beloved deceased on this day and at the 4 p.m. service November 7,  (next Sunday afternoon).  St. Jude Parish with all welcome from either parish.
Advent, snow, and Christmas, all just around the corner!  All three are lovely until the day after New Year’s Day, then Florida begins to sound very enticing. Does time move faster when you get older?  Seems so at times.
If anyone likes to cut/dry the huge Hydrangea blossoms on the east side of the offices, feel free to cut what you want before they are gone, cut back for the season. Bring proper nippers rather than trying to break them off, please. ~Fr. John
Not a Church Holy Day of Obligation this year
Mass will be held Monday, November 1 at 8:00 a.m.
MANY THANKS TO. . . Rachel Mezzei (one of our school secretaries, members of St. Jude Parish) and her family for planting bulbs around the new St. Jude gazebo, and some other plantings as well. Spring should be exciting to see what pops up in 2022!  With winter around the corner, is it ever too early to “think Spring”? 

We all continue to pray with and for the Berzai family.  We had a committal service and military honors, as we interred Josh’s ashes this past Saturday.  Though Josh’s passing has been a while ago, the sadness is still with us all.  May he be at peace and may comfort come to all who miss him.

We have had a number of people this past year who have died and a number of parishioners of both parishes who have lost loved ones, not necessarily within our parishes.  Please come to our Solemn Prayer Service (watch for the bulletin announcements) November 7th, at      4 p.m., at St. Jude Church.  ALL are welcome to attend and pray in support of those who mourn the loss of loved ones.  We will all find ourselves in that state of loss someday if we haven’t already and we will be so grateful for those who help us through that time as they offer prayers with and for us.  Please mark your calendar now and join us on the 7th for prayer.  The service usually lasts about a 1/2 hour or so.

Speaking of the St. Jude gazebo, and some finishing touches, we are still anticipating our Eagle Scout, Dalton McCarty, working with Frank Macnick, as Dalton does his Eagle project; a Rosary Walk around the gazebo.  It will be stones laid in a pathway (so as not to be lost with grass growing over them). I’m sure it will be very nicely done and a tribute to his earning his Eagle in Scouting. And for Frank, in memory to his beloved wife, Annette.  The beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother in the gazebo (recently repainted by John Henry) was originally given in memory of Annette in honor of her great love for our Blessed Mother.

I’ll be away the weekend of the 30/31st, the last few days of this year’s vacay time, to be spent “Up North” (as they say just below the UP in Michigan).  A few days on beautiful Torch Lake at a friend’s home, taking in Fall Color and the areas around Traverse City; maybe even a winery tour or two! Bailey gets to go, so he’s happy. ~Fr. John