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From the Pastor 10/22/17

Please help us in any way to keep current on our financial needs. We experience a deficit in our weekly envelope giving almost every week. If you can help in any way, possibly by increasing your weekly giving by $5/$10 per week, that would be a great blessing to the parish. Please pray about this and ask yourselves, “Can I increase my weekly giving in any way?” Thank you so much.

I wanted to take a moment, as I do on occasion, to provide you news about developments within our wonderful parish ministries.

After many years of service participating in, then leading, our Baptism Ministry, Marla and Steve Spaeth have decided to step away from this ministry when the current schedule they manage ends in the winter. It has been a blessing to have them commit so much of their time to help other families and their babies celebrate this most precious Sacrament. Steve and Marla, on behalf of the entire parish, the staff, and all the couples who you’ve touched in this ministry, we say THANK YOU!

While transitions can be challenging, the transition to new leadership should not be. We welcome Mike and Mary Clare Peck as the new leaders of the Baptism Ministry. The Peck’s have been involved in this ministry for many years as well, primarily as lay catechists that, along with the friars, teach the class for those first time parents and those requiring a refresher course. Please join me in a prayer for Mike and Mary Clare as they assume this leadership role in our parish.

I am pleased to introduce a new ministry for men that has a different focus than our Knights of Columbus and Catholic Men’s Fellowship and new Men’s Familia. Ferro Acuitur, led by Rick Sammons, is to bring together men to sharpen each other like iron on iron, in all aspects of manhood, from protector and provider to relationships, vocations and spiritual life. This ministry will operate on the principles that men need other men to support them and build them up to be the Men of God, warriors for Christ and spiritual heads of their families. Through spiritual strengthening and applying what they learn, each man will be challenged to courageously address an area of his life, where he needs to grow.

Monday, October 23, Optional Memorial of St. John of Capistrano. John was born at Capistrano in Abruzzi, Italy in 1386. He studied law at Perugia and for a time was a judge there. He joined the Franciscans, became a priest, and pursued a tireless apostolate across the whole of Europe, seeking to strengthen Christian life and to refute heresies. He died at Villach, Austria, in 1456.

Tuesday, October 24, Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret. Anthony was born at Sallant, Spain, in 1807. After ordination he spent several years as an itinerant preacher in Catalonia. He founded a society of missionary priests (Claretians Fathers) and as archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, did much for the salvation of souls. Upon returning to Spain, further trials awaited him in his labors for the good of the Church. He died at Fontfroide, France, in 1870.

On Saturday, October 28, we celebrate the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude. Jude is so named by Luke and in the Acts of the Apostles Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except of course where all the apostles are mentioned. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to “Jude” in English.

Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called “the Zealot.” The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans — the very domination of the Romans — was a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and “collaborating” Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two “sons of thunder,” and a man named Judas Iscariot.

It is a reminder that holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort, or achievement. It is entirely God’s creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: Only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.

A blessed week to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor