Last week’s attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, is the cause of deep sadness and pain. This attack upon people of faith gathered to pray and celebrate the birth of a child and also upon police officers responding to the ensuing violence with no concern for their own safety should be condemned by all.
Anti-Semitism is also to be condemned along with our repudiation of all hatred, bigotry and violence. Let us stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters during this time of great distress. Let us pray for all those impacted by this terrible tragedy: “May God grant peace to the dead, healing to the injured, and comfort to the families of those hurt and killed and His peace to all the Jewish Community.”
On Tuesday this week our nation will mark Election Day. It is a day in which Americans vote for the leaders of our federal, state and local governments. As Catholics, we believe that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” Therefore, I urge you as a responsible citizen and faithful Catholic to vote on Tuesday.
As Catholics we are called to be a voice that is concerned with the dignity of all persons, the protection of the most vulnerable, and the common good of society. On Tuesday, November 6, we have the opportunity to be that voice by voting for candidates who reflect our values. Pray and reflect before you cast your vote and vote using your informed Catholic conscience. Pray too for all candidates for public office and for our nation on Election Day. This week our new Altar Servers begin their service at God’s holy altar.
After a week of training, these ten new servers now begin to serve both Daily and Weekend Masses over the next month. We thank them for their willingness to serve our parish and God. They join the many other OLM Altar Servers who do a tremendous job! Keep them in your prayers.
Last week I was privileged to visit the St. Cecilia Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Nashville, Tennessee. This past summer one of our own OLM Parishioners, Sister Laura Makin, entered the community. My visit with these good and holy sisters was truly joyful and edifying. The Nashville Dominicans are a thriving community of religious sisters. They are full of faith and joy and offer a wonderful witness of hope for our Church. A young and growing community, there are over 300 sisters in the congregation. I wish to thank Mother Anna Grace Neenan, OP, who was so gracious in allowing my visit with the sisters. Please pray for these sisters as I know they are certainly praying for us.
I am grateful to Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville who arranged the visit with the Sisters and who was a most gracious host during my brief stay in Nashville. On All Saints and All Souls Day, I was honored to concelebrate and serve as the homilist at Masses at the Cathedral. Bishop Spalding is a dear friend and classmate from the seminary. He was just made bishop last February and it was my first chance to visit with him since that time.
He is coming to OLM next Sunday to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation Mass is next Sunday at 5:00PM as 71 of our young adults receive the Sacrament. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is "sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit" and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ. Confirmation is not the end, it is only the beginning of a life committed to Christ and His Church.
So I ask you to continue to pray for these young men and women as they prepare for this milestone in their lives as Catholic Disciples. May it be the beginning of a deeper relationship with Christ and may they heed the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XV: “The Church has confidence in you and she thanks you for the joy and energy that you contribute. Generously put your talents to use in the service of the proclamation of the Gospel! We know that the Holy Spirit is granted to those who open their hearts to this proclamation. And do not be afraid: Jesus, the Savior of the world, is with us every day until the end of time (cf. Mt 28:20).”
Congrats to the Red Sox on winning the World Series, it was a great victory! Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!!!