Dear Parishioners: What a wonderful celebration of Confirmation we had last Sunday. Ninety-three young adults were confirmed in their Catholic Faith and received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We hope and pray these young people stay close to Christ and His Church. Pope Francis at a Confirmation Mass last spring invited the newly confirmed to: “Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage! There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives.”
We are grateful to Bishop John Noonan for celebrating the Confirmation Mass and for his great homily. We also thank our Parish Music Director, Henri St. Louis, our Parish Soloist Deirdre Donovan and the Parish Choir for the tremendous music they provided for the celebration. The Sacristans, Ushers and Altar Servers provided exemplary service for the celebration and we are grateful. Also I wish to thank all those who helped make the Confirmation Reception a spectacular affair. We thank Doug Green and Mickey St. Jean for leading our RE Program and the RE Teachers who helped to prepare these young people for this special occasion in their lives of faith. I am grateful to the parents and sponsors of our newly confirmed for being part of our Parish and for their commitment to ensuring their children grow in the Catholic Faith.
This weekend we celebrate All Souls Day, a day on which we commemorate all the faithful departed. We do so by praying for the dead and most especially by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the dead. The Church teaches us that the souls of the faithful departed if upon departing from the body are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions must enter a time of cleansing or purgation before appearing before the Beatific Vision of the Godhead. So we the faithful on earth help them by prayers, alms-giving and having Masses offered. We remember all the souls in purgatory and in charity pray for all the dead on All Souls Day. The importance of All Souls Day was made clear by Pope Benedict XV (1914-22), when he granted all priests the privilege of celebrating three Masses on All Souls Day: one for the faithful departed; one for the priest's intentions; and one for the intentions of the Holy Father. Only on a handful of other very important feast days are priests allowed to celebrate more than two Masses.
This Tuesday is election day and I encourage everyone to go out and vote. It is our civic duty and a moral obligation to be good citizens and vote. There are many important elections this year for federal, state and local offices. As Catholics we must prepare our vote by praying for guidance from God and prepare our conscience by properly understanding the Church’s teaching on the issues especially foundational issues that concern the right to life. We must also learn where candidates stand on these most important issues and what policies they might enact or support once in office. When we have done this kind of preparation we can then go into the voting booth and cast a vote as a conscientious and informed Catholic citizen. Remember that the right to life is not merely one among many urgent issues, but rather the foundational one. It provides the cornerstone for a whole architecture of human dignity found in such issues such as poverty, immigration, education and economics. So vote on Tuesday but do so as a Catholic with an informed conscience not a party member, union member, family member and not out of self-interest but rather vote for the common good especially for the unborn, the poor and the marginalized. God Bless! Go Pats!