From Father George's Desk 11/5/23
It has been a very busy month! In addition to getting in synch with the routines and the pace of life in the parishes, I have had an opportunity to meet with finance councils and other lay leadership. And, even though I haven’t been able to attend all of the meetings and events to which I’ve been invited, with the help of Father John, Deacon Mike and the parish staffs, I am becoming familiar with the many ministries and parish groups. I am most grateful for all of good input and information, particularly from the leadership councils. Over the next few months, I will be reflecting on and praying about everything that has been shared with me so far so that after the busy holiday season is over, we can begin to discern, with the Holy Spirit’s help, some direction to work in for the good of our partner parishes.
On Thursday we observe the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. The dedication of the original building was on November 9, 324, just eleven years after the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. Built on Lateran Hill and dedicated to the Holy Savior, St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist, it is one of the four major basilicas in Rome and, even though it has undergone near continuous renovation, it still has the basic floor plan for the church and baptistry. It is the cathedral church for the Diocese of Rome, which makes it the cathedral for the Pope himself, since he is the Bishop of Rome. The Latin inscription across the front of this great church reads: Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput, meaning Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head. The celebration of this cathedral’s dedication is, therefore, a celebration of the communion of every parish and diocese with the Universal Church founded by Christ and on the apostles Peter and Paul, with the Pope as the head of the Church and the College of Bishops. [2010 Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays, LTP, p. 283]
Finally, on our civil calendar this Saturday we observe Veterans’ Day. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the armistice ending the First World War went into effect. This day was known as Armistice Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a law officially designating November 11 as a day to celebrate all veterans of our nation’s armed forces. Over the years, in wartime and peacetime, millions of American men and women have served their country nobly and heroically, keeping our country safe and preserving our precious freedoms. To all of our veterans, a grateful nation thanks you for your service!