I. Becoming Saints is our Baptismal Call: we begin this month with the solemn reminder that not only are we called to be saints, we are expected to lead a holy life. Each one of us has what it takes to “die to selfishness and sin, and rise with Christ.” We do this by developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, and loving others as Christ would love them. This month is a great time to think about our death, and how we want to be remembered, not only by others, but, more importantly, by Christ. We will be judged by how well we have reflected Christ to others, how well we have seen Christ in our brothers and sisters, how well we have used our gifts to serve others.** (see Sidebar on page 3)
The large stained glass window on the north side of our church, over the choir area, showcases the images of four saints: Saint Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower), Saint Thomas More, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. St. Therese is known for “her little ways” and her contemplative life; St. Thomas More is decked out in his fine robes, the robes of his office—childhood counselor and Lord High Chancellor to King Henry VIII; died a martyr not submitting to the King’s wishes. St. Vincent de Paul worked tirelessly for the poor and marginalized. His name is synonymous for charity. Finally, St. Frances “Mother Cabrini” who is the first American saint. Frances was known for being as resourceful as she was prayerful. She was always able to find people to donate their money, time, and support for her institutions. These pictures are intended to remind us that men and woman, rich and poor, contemplative and active worker, can, one and all, become saints! We can!
II. The Solemnity of All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation (Opportunity). The Church honors all the saints, those who have finished the race and now rejoice in God’s presence. Today we remember all of those people we know who have lived saintly lives, and have reflected God’s goodness to us and others in so many ways; this includes family and friends, teachers and parishioners, and strangers who lived their faith to the fullest and inspired faith in others. Our Mass schedule at the Cathedral will be: 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. Mass at Blessed Sacrament Chapel (Sycamore and 7th Street) will be Thurs., November 1 at 6:00 pm. All are welcomed and invited!
III. Welcoming Reception for New Parishioners: on Thursday, November 1, at 6:30 pm there will be a gathering at the Saint Stephen Cathedral Rectory for new families. We will feast on heavy hors d’oeuvres. If you are new to our parish family and have not made it to a “welcoming reception” you are invited! We will finish by 8:00 pm.
IV. All Souls’ Day (Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed): Remembering the Dead is a “noble and holy action.” Today can vacillate between feelings of sadness and gratefulness; as we remember and pray for our loved ones who have died, the reality that we ourselves will also die one day is brought home to us as a gentle, insistent reminder. In Mexico, the “Day of the Dead” is a way of praying for our ancestors, remembering and celebrating them, and making friends with death. “Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of humankind’s salvation. Death is not something to be avoided, for the Son of God did not think it beneath his dignity, nor did he seek to escape it” (Saint Ambrose). Masses at the Cathedral will be as follows: 7:00 am & 12:05 pm.
V. Solemn Vespers (official Evening Prayer of the Church): everyone is invited to participate in evening prayer, November 2nd, as we pray the Psalms and remember loved ones who have died throughout the years. We especially invite those who have lost loved ones this past year. Our Vesper Prayer Service, at 6:00 pm, will be followed by a bite to eat in our Community Center. If you plan to attend the reception, please call the office.
VI. Financial Accountability & Gratitude: on the tables at the church doors you will find a report outlining where God’s money was spent the fiscal year, July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018, and the budget proposed by our Finance Committee, approved by our Parish Pastoral Council. “Generosity” is the word that keeps lingering in my heart! As well as your time and talent, I want to thank you for sharing your treasure for the mission of our Parish. “God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:6-7). Looking at this year’s budget, we will need to average $20,385 per week. Giving back to God through the Church which Jesus founded is a spiritual discipline and a precept of the Church, as well as an act of faith. On your behalf, I wish to thank the members of our Finance Committee: Tom Neal (chair), Ed Cecil, Joe Connor, Jim Tony Fulkerson, Joyce Gruenewald, Bill Goetz, Mark Heinz (council liaison), Kristine Henning, John Kurtz, and Chris Warren (vice-chair). I would especially like to express my gratitude to Eddy McFarland (Business Manager) for his outstanding commitment to this important ministry. This financial accountability and budget statement is also available on our parish website at www.ststephencathedral.org. PLEASE PICK ONE UP TODAY!