Dear Parishioners: We remember during this All Souls Month of November our beloved dead. We commend them to God’s mercy in our payers, light candles for them and we have Holy Mass offered for the repose of their souls. It is the ancient and venerable tradition of our Church to pray for the dead. In special way at Sunday’s 10:30am Mass we remember our beloved OLM Parishioners who died this past year and we continue to commend them to God with our prayers. We also pray for the consolation of their grieving families. We are to process to St. Patrick’s Cemetery to pray for all the many souls at rest in that sacred ground. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.
Just three weeks ago, Pope Francis canonized a 14 year old Mexican martyr named Jose Sanchez del Rio a Saint of our Church. In 1927 civil war racked Mexico and the Church was persecuted. Many Catholics began to defend their civil and religious freedom with armed resistance. Jose Sanchez del Rio joined these Catholic fighters, called “Cristeros” for their distinctive battle cry: “Long live Christ the King!”
When government forces captured him, they offered him a pardon and various rewards if he would reject his Catholic faith. But the 14 year old boy responded: “My faith is not for sale.” And so they tortured this faithful fourteen year old boy. When they reached the place of execution, his captors stabbed him numerous times with bayonets. Jose shouted out: “I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!' “Long live Christ the King!” Moments before his death, the young boy drew a cross in the dirt and kissed it. St. Jose Sanchez del Rio died refusing to forsake his Lord or his Catholic Faith. May he intercede for us.
On Tuesday our nation elects a new President and Congress, our state a new General Assembly and our Town a new Council. Contrary to what the media and some in so-called polite society say, there is a deep connection between faith and politics. We must recognize our call and responsibility to be faithful citizens, not just citizens. This is part of our Catholic identity.
Saint Augustine used the expression “citizens of two cities,” the city of God and the city of Man. We are citizens of both. We can’t forget this truth. Jesus Himself taught us: “We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world.” We are citizens of two cities, two worlds: earth and heaven, human society and Holy Mother the Church. When we go into the voting booth on Tuesday, we shouldn’t leave our faith outside. We must not renounce our citizenship in heaven or our citizenship in the Church when we exercise our American citizenship. We don’t cease to be citizens of heaven, members of the city of God, when we exercise our right to vote as American citizens, as citizens of the earthly city.
We must bring to the public square what our faith teaches about human dignity, the sacredness of human life, the truth about marriage and the family, the dignity of work, the importance of justice and peace. These aren’t optional topics of our faith. We must look at the candidates’ positions on a range of issues, recognizing at the same time, that some issues are more important than others. In fact, all stem from our teaching on the sanctity of all human life from conception until natural death.
The teachings of our Lord and His Church are not optional for Catholics – they are part of our faith. Be brave in the public square, do not to be afraid to stand up for the truth of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. We are citizens of two worlds, of two cities. Let’s not lose sight of our responsibilities in either. We should be active in political life, but not more Republican or Democrat than Catholic.
And so we must think deeply and clearly before we vote. We also need to fervently pray before we vote. We need to bring God into the voting booth with us on Tuesday and not leave him at our bedside with our morning prayers or back in the pew on Sunday. We must turn to God after we vote too and pray, perhaps even more fervently, for those who are elected to lead our nation, state and town.
On Tuesday, November 8th as we enter the voting booth may the words of St. Jose Sanchez de Rio be ours: “My faith is not for sale.” Our faith should not be for sale to any candidate or any political party. Viva Christo Rey! Long live Christ the King!
On Friday we celebrate Veterans Day and remember the many men and women who have served our nation in the armed forces. Keep them in your prayers and thank them for their service. Happy Veterans Day! God Bless America! Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!