My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Peace of the Lord be with you.
From the reports that I am getting here at the hospital, it seems as if the carnival was a great success. I want to thank all of you who worked so hard to make the annual Halloween Carnival the success that it was. It was truly an example of what can happen when the entire parish community comes together to work for the good of the parish. The school’s PTO officers and the members of the Halloween Carnival committee did a great job in putting it all together and making sure that everything ran smoothly. It takes several months of hard work to make the carnival a positive experience for our children as well as raising necessary funds to support our parish school and our Parish Religious Education program. I was particularly proud of the way the parish community came together to show their support. All the parish organizations and many individuals who do not belong to a particular organization worked together with the school and the religious education program to make this carnival a great success. This was truly a SSCM Parish endeavor.
As I mentioned in my letter last Sunday, school tuition only brings in about one third of the school’s budget. It is necessary then to have several fund-raisers during the year to meet all the expenses of running a school. Without your cooperation, the school would not be able to stay open. As you can figure out, if we raised tuition to cover the actual cost of educating a child, parents would not be able to afford to give a Catholic education to their children.
We should never forget that both the school and the parish the parish’s religious education program are necessary in the evangelization of our all our children. Not only does the school provide an excellent education, but the religious education offered in the school and the parish’s religious Ed. program provide our children with what they need to live their Catholic faith today, as well as provide a foundation upon which they can build for their adult lives. I thank you for your support.
November 1st is the Feast of All Saints is usually a holy day of obligation. This means that all Catholics are obliged to participate in Mass on that day. There will be a Vigil Mass on October 31st at 6:00 p.m. and on November 1st at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
A saint is one who died with Christ and is enjoying eternal life in heaven. Not all who are in heaven are declared saints by the Church, but nevertheless they are still saints. Those persons declared saints by the Church are the ones that we know for sure are in heaven. The saints do not need our prayers, but we need theirs. Remembering their lives gives us hope that we too can find our place in heaven and gives us the courage to become men and women of prayer – to live saintly lives now. It is important for us to get to know the person of Jesus. In doing so, we discover that He is there for us and offers His help on our own road to sainthood – living with Him in Eternal Life.
November 2nd is dedicated to the Poor Souls in Purgatory. These are the people who lived good lives but needed to go through some stage of purification. At the moment of death, we will find ourselves before the throne of the Lord for our particular judgment, to give an accounting of how we lived our lives. We will be held responsible for the choices that we made in life. At that moment, it will be too late for us to make any changes. We will not even be able to pray for ourselves or to atone for our past sins. We will be completely at the mercy of those who survive us. A soul in Purgatory enters Heaven when the Lord judges them ready. That is why the church stresses the need for us to pray for the dead. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead.” (1032).
Let us pray frequently during the month of November for all the souls in Purgatory. Our prayers may well assist some poor soul to pass from Purgatory to eternal life in Heaven. One day we too might need the prayers of those who survive us. Since the Mass is the perfect prayer, it behooves us to remember our loved ones who have died in the Novena of Masses 2nd (nine consecutive Masses) which begins on November.
May all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
I also want to thank you for all the prayers offered for me that my surgery would be successful. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I recoup which should take about six weeks.
I love you,