October 20, 2019 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  If We Are Baptized, We Are Missionaries!  Today, World Mission Sunday, we are called to personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in the Church, and to offer, through this Eucharistic celebration, our prayers and our generous financial support, through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, to continue the mission of Jesus. Today we are “sent” out to witness to Mission in the world through our prayers and personal sacrifices for our sisters and brothers around the world. As little as. . .

¨ $25 help support a catechist for a month in remote Latin America

¨ $75 provides the work of religious Sisters caring for orphaned children in Africa

¨  $100 assists children in boarding schools in Asia

As always, your prayers are your most treasured gift to the Missions. Your prayers and financial help, offered today, World Mission Sunday, support mission priests, religious sisters and brothers, and lay catechists who are Christ’s witnesses to a world so in need of His healing, love, And peace. Do you consider yourself a missionary, even locally?

II.  An Adoption Love Story: having children and raising a family had always been our expectation. We soon learned, however, that our chances of becoming pregnant were small. It wasn’t long before we started talking about the possibility of adoption. I wondered if my heart was big enough to love an adopted child as I would have loved a biological child. But with prayerful discernment, we decided to start the process. On Christmas Eve, Bob and I left the hospital with Luke. It didn’t take long before there was no doubt in our minds that he was our son, the greatest gift from God! We can’t imagine loving a child whom we conceived more than we love Luke. (Cf respectlifeprogram.org for information about all the Respect Life issues; “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life”).

III. Genuflecting or Bowing—A Sign of Reference and Respect: It is a long-standing tradition in the Catholic Church to genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament as we enter and leave the church building. A profound bow is also acceptable as another sign of reference to the Real Presence of Christ (for many of us, a profound bow is a necessary alternative)! It would be easy for this tradition to fall by the wayside, as we also emphasize the need to recognize and greet the presence of Christ often disguised in our neighbor. Truly, it is not a matter of either/or, but both/and. In fact, if we truly believe in the Real Presence of Christ under the form of bread and wine, it will be much easier for us to recognize Christ in another person.

IV.  Will you respond? All the faithful in the Diocese of Owensboro are invited to participate in the 2019-2020 Disciples Response Fund Appeal. Please consider making a contribution to support the good works of this annual appeal. Your generous donations to the DRF will support important programs such as diocesan youth and young adult ministries, parish grants, charitable works, support for clergy and seminarian formation, and faith formation programs including Catholic schools education, parish religious education, catechist formation, RCIA, and family enrichment. Our parish’s target goal is $26,000, which is the same target as last year. Once our parish exceeds the target goal in DRF contributions, 50% of that surplus will be return-ed to our parish to be used as we choose. We are proud of Saint Stephen Cathedral’s past support of the DRF; thank you for your generous participation and for your prayers for a successful DRF appeal again this year.

V.  Saint Pope John Paul II: Catholics and non-Catholics alike were attracted to this athletic man who sneaked out of his villa to ski, and reached out to the youth at World Youth Days.  People of many faiths prayed for him when he was shot in Saint Peter Square and were inspired with the mercy he granted his assailant. None escaped the poignancy of a feeble John Paul praying at the Western Wall in Israel, leaving a prayer inside the wall. Even a scant follower of the pope knew that the man who forgave his assailant, traveled the world to evangelize, sought healing in relations with the Jewish people, and looked to Mary as THE model of faith. You are invited to the 7:00am or 12:05pm (noon) Mass to celebrate his feast day on Tuesday, October 22.