This year the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord falls on a Sunday. So we take leave of the Sundays of Ordinary Time we have been celebrating the last few weeks. The Feast is celebrated at all Sunday Masses and includes the readings proper to the feast itself. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:
“Jesus' Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain, before three witnesses chosen by himself: Peter, James and John. Jesus' face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses and Elijah appear, speaking of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. A cloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him’ Moses and Elijah had seen God's glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophets had announced the Messiah's sufferings. Christ's Passion is the will of the Father: the Son acts as God's servant; the cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ's glorious coming, when he ‘will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body.’ But it also recalls that ‘it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.’”
Next Sunday, August 13th, we take up the Annual Peter’s Pence Collection. Peter’s Pence is the name given to the financial support offered by the Catholic faithful to the Holy Father as a sign of our sharing in the concern of the Successor ofSaint Peter for the many needs of the Universal Church and for the relief of those most in need. The practice of providing material support to those charged with preaching the Gospel, thus enabling them to devote themselves completely to their apostolic mission and to care for those in greatest need, is as old as Christianity itself. By the end of the eighth century the Anglo-Saxons felt so closely linked to the Bishop of Rome that they decided to send a regular annual contribution to the Holy Father.
The offerings we donateto the Holy Fatherthrough the Peter’s Pence Collection are destined to Church needs, humanitarian initiatives and social promotion projects. The Pope, being Pastor of the whole Church, is attentive to the material needs of poor dioceses, religious institutes and of faithful in grave difficulties especially the poor, needy children, the elderly, those marginalized and the victims of war, disease or natural disasters. Pope Emeritus Benedict XV stated the following about this important annual collection: “Peter’s Pence’ is the most characteristic expression of the participation of all the faithful in the Bishop of Rome’s charitable initiatives in favor of the universal Church. The gesture has not only a practical value, but also a strong symbolic one, as a sign of communion with the Pope and attention to the needs of one’s brothers and sisters.”
If you look to the back of the Church you will see the statues of Saint Pope John Paul II and Our Lady of Fatima above you. Both of these beautiful images were generously donated to the parish. Now thanks to Paul Anderson we were able to place them in Church so that we might all be inspired by them. St. John Paul II and Our Lady of Fatima are intimatelyconnected to one another. The assassination attempt upon the saintly Pope took place on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1981. Two bullets hit St. Pope John Paul II, and he was badly hurt. He was rushed to the hospital where he required a 5 1/2 hour surgery to save his life. He survived and a year after the attack, in thanksgiving for her protection, he placed a bullet fragment from the attack in the crown of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. May they both intercede for our parish!
You may also notice new chairs in the sanctuary. They were newly upholstered along with all the chairs and kneelers we use. The “new” chairs are a gift from the Mt. St. Rita Chapel that recently closed. They bear the mark of the Cross of Mercy. They are a nice compliment to the newly upholstered old chairs and kneelers in our sanctuary.
In the midst of so manysummer distractions like going to the beach, golfing, taking vacations and trips, boating and watching the Red Sox, let us recall our duty to help the poor through the Peter’s Pence Collection! Thanks for your generous support of this charity. Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Sox!