“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis
A CHALLENGE GREATER THAN POLITICS
There is an old adage that “sports don’t build character, they reveal it.” Who we are, deep down, is indeed revealed by how we respond to winning or losing, giving our best effort or quitting, and working together or aiming for our own glory. We can say much the same about politics. We have seen some obvious things that have been revealed by the most recent election – the polarization in our country, the lack of charity, and the lack of civility in how we talk about our differences. What has also been revealed are the struggles that our political leaders seem to have in working together and compromising for the common good. An important question today is “what will be revealed about our hearts and the heart of our nation in the weeks and months to come?” Who are we and why? How do we see justice, how do we see what a good life is or what the best way is for us to live and work together?
In so many ways, we have been convinced that “rugged individualism” is central to the American way, that we have no necessary relationships with others, and that our only obligation is to pursue our own desires. Is it true, though, that we must be totally free to define our own happiness, and that nothing should stand in the way of how we want to live? Let’s remember that we did not and do not create ourselves. To be human is to be a “creature,” to be created. We are born into families and communities, we have relatives and histories. We are not isolated individuals. We have a basic need to be loved and cared for and we have a basic need to love and care for others. We are made “to belong” and to be in relationships — with other people, with the world we live in, and with our Creator. Our country’s founders insisted that democracy cannot be maintained without religion and the virtues and values that religion brings, especially the virtues of personal discipline and the values of family and community. We have inherited a commitment to equality and human rights; we have no foundation apart from the belief in a Creator who endows us with inalienable rights.
Let’s remember also that our duty as Catholics remains bigger than politics. We are here to serve God and bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the coming of His Kingdom. We do that first by living faithfully as Jesus teaches us to live, even when His commandments and priorities for our lives are not popular or are opposed by our culture and society. The most important thing we can do right now as Catholics in America is to strengthen and share our faith, with joy and with confidence. May we be deliberate and vigilant about passing on this story — our Catholic way of life — to our friends and neighbors, to our children, and to the next generations. We do this, in large part, by serving others with sacrifice and love, by caring for the elderly and vulnerable, by helping parents and their children, by helping families to grow and thrive.
Again, this project (which is also a challenge) is far greater than politics. But this is what we are here for. And if we live our faith with generous and grateful hearts, we can renew the soul of our nation. We really can! And, soon, it will be revealed if we are serious about the challenge before us.
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT IS NOVEMBER 29!
- Use an Advent wreath to mark the four weeks leading to Christmas, lighting a new candle each Sunday
- Make a paper chain that has 25 links, each link serving as a day to Christmas Day
- Pray each evening as a family and learn about our Christian ancestors from the Old Testament
- Make a nativity scene with your family and display it in your home
DID YOU KNOW FR. MARK HAS A BLOG?
It is on the parish website and there are always many topical issues addressed. Check it out regularly to see the latest blogs: https://www.
All Saints Day & All Souls Day
All Saints Day is on Sunday, November 1 and honors all of those holy women and men who are wonderful examples for us to follow.
Here is a great video from Busted Halo with Fr. James Martin, SJ, sharing about All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day. Fr. Martin addresses the following questions: How saints get made? What is a patron saint? Is praying to the saints considered idolatry?
He also discusses the lives of three of his favorite saints. Follow this link:
All Souls Day is on Tuesday, November 2 and is a day to remember and honor all of those who have died. All Souls Day is also knows as Dia de los Muertos, though, this day is typically celebrated over two days (November 1 and 2).
Here is an interesting (and short) video from a Catholic perspective:
The Parish continues its tradition of remembering our loved ones who have died. Please consider adding a photo of your loved one to the Altar of the Dead. You are welcome to drop off the photo at the school or parish offices. Please make sure to have your name on the back so we can return it to you.
The school also wants to create a Virtual Remembrance of our loved ones. Please email a photo to Miss Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give the person's name and their relationship to your family.
FAITH FORMATION OCTOBER IS THE MONTH OF THE ROSARY
October is dedicated as the Month of the Rosary because we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary each year on October 7.
The origins of the rosary are complex. The use of knotted ropes to count prayers or scriptural verses (including the Lord's Prayer and the Jesus Prayer) is an ancient practice and is even found in non-Christian cultures. Most probably, the Christian recitation of 150 such prayers was intended to mirror the monastic prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours in which monks prayed all 150 psalms each day.
The rosary is a living prayer form and continues to develop even in recent times. An invocation known as the Fatima Prayer was commonly added in the early 20th century.
In 2002 Pope John Paul II added a new set of five reflections called the Luminous Mysteries which encourage additional meditations on the life of Jesus.
The rosary is an invitation to experience the grace of Mary's spiritual motherhood as she leads us to her Son, Jesus. For this reason, it has been an invaluable source of countless spiritual graces for the saints. Remember, every time you pray the rosary you are given the privilege and honor of pronouncing the holy name of Jesus more than 50 times.
For more on the history of the Rosary, follow this link:
Here are some tips on praying the Rosary with children:
HOLY CROSS LIVESTREAMING EASTER MASSES
Feb 7 - Learn to See Things in a New Way
November 25 - A Knight in Shining Armor Teaches Us To Help Those In Need
November 18 - Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?
November 11 - A Simple Shift Of Language Can Influence Our Love and Concern for Others
November 1 - What Do Carving Pumpkins and Inviting Jesus into Our Hearts Have in Common?
October 21- Life-A-Thon