This weekend (October 5th) is the memorial of St. Faustina, the religious sister the Lord used to offer the Divine Mercy devotion to the world. So we are including a short biography of St. Faustina in the bulletin. I hope you get to know her better. [In 1990 my mother traveled with a group to Medjugorje, and that group often prayed Divine Mercy chaplet, and it was the chaplet of Divine Mercy that sustained my mother up until the time of her death about a year later.] Although it is St. Faustina’s feast day, and she is the main instrument for the Divine Mercy devotion after which our parish is named, the fact that her feast day falls on Sunday means the Sunday prayers and readings take priority. But we can still venerate this saint by making her relic available around the Masses, and then by using a relic to ask her special intercession as we give the closing blessing at each Mass.
Did you know that in the Tradition of the church, there developed very specific words for the veneration due to saints, as opposed to the worship due to God alone? The traditional word (in both Greek and Latin) designating veneration due to any saint is dulia. The traditional word designating a bit higher veneration due to St. Joseph, given his role as the guardian of the Holy Family is proto-dulia. The traditional word designating the highest veneration given to a saint–that due to the Blessed Virgin Mary–is hyper-dulia. But these various levels of veneration are all still quite distinct from the worship due to God alone, which is called latria in the Tradition.
Looking ahead to spring, the first weekend after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. Although there are many details to work out, I am suggesting that we have an afternoon celebration of the feast. We would begin at 3 PM (the hour of mercy) with a sung Divine Mercy chaplet. [Soon I am going to write a letter to our new Bishop asking him if he would consider visiting our parish on this occasion… but I realize it is likely he would have to decline, because I can already see on the schedule on that same day a celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. But perhaps items on the schedule could change, since the schedule was set up by the current Diocesan Administrator.]
Please be constant in your prayer for the transition of our new Bishop, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Daniel Thomas. His task is not an easy one. Our prayers for him are so necessary. He will be installed on October 22nd.
On a practical note, I want to tell you about a decision I made regarding our school, Divine Mercy School in Payne. I am told that in the past we have had families leave the school without paying accumulated tuition for education already received. Although we have asked for payment in the past, we have never involved lawyers; and in many cases we have simply never been paid. As a matter of basic justice, especially considering the fact that the students have received such a good education at our school, I think it is appropriate to demand full payment for education already received. Because the parish already subsidizes the school significantly, I even feel obligated to parishioners in general to ask that the remaining debt of accumulated tuition be paid off by families who leave the school. With this in mind, I have done some research to acquire names of collections lawyers who might be of help.
Also, we are finally able to provide with this bulletin Mari Ivan’s fine summary of the parish survey results.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,