Here are a number of items I’m thinking of right now for our parish:
The closing of our Holy Door will be Saturday, November 19 at the 6 PM Mass. This date is a bit different than what we had planned all along, because the Bishop himself had to change his plans for closing the cathedral Holy Door, due to the national bishops’ meeting that he has to attend. So get your visits in within the next couple of weeks! It has been a privilege for us to host this Holy Door for the year on our side of the diocese. I’m so grateful for those who helped me plan for the special year, especially for those who decorated at the beginning, and kept flowers happening throughout the year; also for those who were trained as docents to lead groups when they visited. I’m very proud of all of our parishioners who made the Holy Door work so well at our parish!
Please consider the upcoming parish-wide consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. There will be a couple opportunities each week for a group viewing of the videos, along with discussion at the parish. But you can do this consecration at home in your family as well, or in other groups you create. It is very flexible, given that we have the videos on our FORMED parish subscription online. For anybody who did not order a hardcopy book, an electronic version can be sent to you from the office. The period of preparation and prayer will end with a consecration made after each of the homilies on the Masses of the Immaculate Conception December 7-8.
Our junior high youth group seems to have gotten off to a great start. I stopped in on the first meeting Sunday, October 16. In addition to the normal food, fellowship and fun, the group is using the ALPHA program for youth. The conversation at this first meeting was dynamic! Call Theresa Conley, Ruth Graham or Elizabeth Cox to sign up, if you missed the first meeting or have questions.
Looking ahead to the forthcoming elections, I beg you all to form your consciences regarding the very important issues connected to each of our candidates. Every area of our life should be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and our privilege to vote is no exception. Please consider especially the abortion issue. It is a foundational issue, since if a person is not even given the opportunity for life, then there is not even the opportunity to consider that person’s need for the basics of life. To say it differently, the issues of poverty do not even apply, when a person is not even given a chance to live. The right to life is the first right. Having said this, I certainly understand what a confused conundrum our presidential election has become. Where is this country heading? Please pray and think thoroughly about your vote.
Next weekend I am out for the Saturday evening Masses, because I am going to an event hosting Fr. Cassian Fulsom, OSB, whom many of us met on our pilgrimage to Rome last February. I will be back for my Sunday Masses, but then I will be out again for a five-day diocesan priests’ retreat at Our Lady of the Pines retreat center in Fremont, Ohio. Please pray for the fruitfulness of the priests’ retreat. Thanks in advance for that prayer! Fr. Cassian was invited by the Vicar for Priests to lead our priests’ retreat this fall. Fr. Stites will be covering my Fab 50’s and school Masses for me Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,