From Father George's Desk 10/29/23
This week we begin the month of November by celebrating the twin observances of All Saints and All Souls. The celebration of All Saints Day can be traced back to the fourth century and its celebration by the entire Roman Church was established by Pope Gregory IV in 835. Rooted in ancient tradition, St. Odilo of Cluny established a memorial of all the faithful departed (All Souls) in 988; it was accepted in Rome in the 13th century. These days are a kind of “Catholic Memorial Days”. We distinguish between our loved ones in heaven, “all saints,” who pray for us, and our loved ones who have died, for whom we are moved to pray, the poor souls who still may be undergoing the purging process of death-to-self that follows repentance. In this month of harvest and dying, the Church memorializes the dead and recognizes Jesus as Lord of the living and the dead. [Catholic Sourcebook, 1990] We will be praying throughout the month of November for all those who have gone before us in faith.
All Saints Day is a holyday of obligation; the Mass schedule for the partner parishes may be a little bit different than may be remembered from past years but offers ample opportunities to attend Mass:
Holy Family ` St. John
Tuesday 6:00PM Wednesday 8:00AM, 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00AM, 12:10PM, 7:00 PM (Latin Mass)
Please note that while the 9:00AM Mass at Holy Family may be understood by some to be a “School Mass”, everyone is welcome to attend. The students from CDT will be attending that Mass and students and school staff will be ministering but it is a parish Mass. We will be tracking Mass attendance for this and upcoming holydays and maybe experimenting with the schedule so that we can do our best to meet the needs of both our partner parishes.
For All Souls’ Day, there will be an 8:00AM Mass at each parish. The All Souls’ Masses of Remembrance will be celebrated on Thursday evening at 6:00PM at each parish; at these Masses we will remember in a special way each person buried from the parish since last All Souls’ Day. Everyone invited and encouraged to attend this annual commemoration.
Election Day is just around the corner. I remind everyone that it is the long-standing policy of the Diocese of Greensburg that only voter guides published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, or the Diocese of Greensburg may be distributed in parishes and other diocesan institutions. This is for reasons of both U.S. civil law and the Church’s canon law. While Catholics are strongly encouraged to be engaged in the political process by being informed on the issues of the day and by voting regularly, the Church does not endorse candidates for public office. It is also totally permissible to actively campaign for candidates of your choice, but not on Church property. No dissemination of political materials or active politicking on parish property is permitted, including the leafleting of cars. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to police our parking lots or adjacent streets to prevent leafleting so if you do find such literature—during election season or any other time of year—when you come out of Mass, please know that this activity was done without permission and should not in any way be seen as the diocese, this parish, or yours truly endorsing the candidacy of any politician or political party. I might also add that our neighbors who park on the streets surrounding the church and who are not our parishioners do not appreciate their cars being leafletted. I ask all parishioners to please be respectful of this policy. If anyone would like more explanation or clarifications of diocesan policy, please contact me.