This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. Today, we not only remember the famous saints, and all those canonized by the Church. We especially remember all those holy ones who have gone before us in faith, who have led exemplary lives, and who now stand at the throne of God, yet never have been officially named saints. The early Church first honored the martyrs as saints and then gradually began to recognize that there were others who did not shed their blood for the faith and who led holy lives worthy of imitating. Today’s Scripture Readings give us the qualities of being an authentic disciple of Christ, and they show us the pathway to sanctity. The Gospel passage from Matthew is the account of the Beatitudes which are very familiar to us. As we reflect upon them in conjunction with today’s feast, let us ask ourselves the following questions:
Where do I see the poor in spirit, those who prize the love and justice of God’s kingdom over the riches of the world? Where do I see the meek, the merciful, the pure of heart, and the others whom Jesus calls blessed?
Which of the Beatitudes presents the greatest challenge for me? Why do I think it is so difficult? What steps can I take to begin embracing this virtue?
Our annual Mass of Remembrance will take place on Tuesday, November 3, at 6:30 PM. Please join Saint John Paul II Parish Community and all those who lost a loved one this past year as we remember the beloved dead of our parish in a special way Tuesday Evening. Individuals bearing candles of a loved one will walk in procession and place the candle near the Baptismal font as names are read. The names of those who have died this past year will appear on a Memorial Page in the bulletin during the month of November. That page is included in today’s bulletin. Also, throughout the month of November, a Book of Remembrance will be placed in Church. All are invited to sign the names of any individuals who have passed through death to life in Christ. It makes no difference on the year of death; anyone’s name may be placed in the Book of Remembrance. All of these individuals will be remembered in prayer throughout the month of November.
The Fall Craft Show and Bazaar will take place next Saturday, November 8 from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM at the Education Center. I would like to thank all who graciously worked together to help make this event possible, whether set-up, presenting crafts, preparing the luncheon, working at the bazaar itself, providing baked goods, working on the scene, working behind the scenes, selling raffle tickets, providing prizes for the raffles, helping with cleanup, etc. I am most appreciative of your stewardship. If you still have raffle tickets to return after this weekend, you may bring them to the Parish Office throughout the week, or you may place them in the Rectory mailbox. [If those options aren’t convenient for you, please return your tickets the morning of the bazaar].
Two weeks ago, I realized that I would not be able to be present at any time during the day for the Fall Bazaar, so I was little disappointed. Every October and November I teach sacramental theology to the second year Lay Ministry students. The Director of the Lay Ministry Program sets those dates, so I don’t have control over my calendar those weekends. I taught the Sacraments of Initiation (Part I) in October: primarily Baptism and Confirmation and also the RCIA process. The weekend of November 6-7, I am teaching Sacraments of Initiation (Part II): Eucharist. I do enjoy teaching but I will miss being with you.
I have CSJ Community meetings at Nazareth this weekend which last throughout the whole day on Saturday. Thus, I am unable to be present with you at the 4:00 PM Saturday Mass. Several times a year we have major meetings which we are expected to attend. Since we merged seven Congregations of Sisters of Saint Joseph, we cover a vast amount of geography. Most often I travel to Kalamazoo for those meetings, but I have been to Cleveland, Wheeling (W.V.), and Chicago as well. In many cases, the meetings are repeated in various locations. This coming April we have one general assembly in Chicago which I will be attending.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ