I. Mass Schedule Change: the weekend “Mass Time Survey” had a great response; based on your input, beginning the weekend of October 31/November 1 (the weekend that we begin Daylight Saving Time), our Mass schedule will be 8:30am & 11:00am on Sundays, and the anticipated Saturday Mass will be at 4:30pm. (We have lots of weddings at Saint Stephen Cathedral, and this will make sanitizing the church building more timely after the Saturday 4:30pm Mass). I realize there is no perfect Mass schedule for everyone. My hope is that this will benefit the majority, and everyone will continue to make Mass (the Eucharist) central in your life. We all become creatures of habit; I sincerely ask you to give this schedule a chance. We are blessed to live in a time where the Eucharist is so available.
Furthermore, beginning in November we will restore the 7:00am Mass, Monday through Friday. Of course, there will continue to be a 12:05pm (noon) Mass Monday through Friday as well. I realize that some parishioners, during this coronavirus season, prefer a weekday Mass which is less crowded. Let’s pray for one another!
New Mass Times: Saturday, Oct. 31—4:30pm & Sunday, Nov. 1—8:30 & 11:00am
II. All Saints Day and All Souls Day: You and I are called to be saints, to be holy; we have been promised what we need, the grace we need, to become saints. My favorite definition of a saint is: “a sinner who keeps on trying.” Today we remember all the un-canonized saints, perhaps our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends and neighbors who enjoy the glory of heaven. In today’s Gospel account (Matthew 5: 1-12), we hear the Beatitudes, which are guidelines for true joy and the attainment of sanctity in our Christian lives. In his apostolic exhortation “Rejoice and Be Glad: on the Call To Holiness in Today’s World,” Pope Francis meditates on each of the Beatitudes individually. He warns us, “Even if we find Jesus’ message attractive, the world pushes us towards another way of living” (65).
III. All Souls Day (Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed): praying for the dead reaches deep into our human history, and has been our custom from the earliest days of the Church. Every time we profess the Nicene Creed: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” A wonderful way to remember our deceased loved ones is at Eucharist, in which there is built into our liturgy, a commemoration of the dead. So, regardless of the particular Mass intention, we have an opportunity to remember our deceased loved ones at every Mass. All Souls’ Day Mass schedule on Monday, November 2nd at St. Stephen Cathedral: 7:00am and 12:05pm.
IV. You Are Invited to a Special All Souls Day Remembrance: Solemn Vespers for the Dead (“vespers” is the official “evening prayer” of the Church). This remembrance will be held Monday, November 2nd, at 6:00pm. (Unfortunately, there will be no reception this year, but we will have a small gift for you). Everyone is invited, especially those who have lost loved ones this past year. A special candlelight service will be part of our evening prayer for our deceased loved ones, especially those buried from the Cathedral. If you have lost a loved one, even if they were not buried from Saint Stephen Cathedral, we invite you to make time for this simple but beautiful remembrance.
V. The Book of Remembrance can be found near the tabernacle, beginning October 31. Please write the names of any deceased loved ones who have died this past year. If you have written a name in the Book of Remembrance in the past, it is still there and that person will be remembered at all the Masses during the month of November, a month when our Church—the community of the people of God—especially remember those called to eternal life.
VI. Retreating: I neglected to put in the bulletin last week that I would be on retreat October 21-26. I normally ask for your prayers for me as your pastor. It’s never out of season to pray for the Spirit of God to guide, inspire, and challenge me to shepherd you wherever you are on life’s journey. Thank you!