Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I’d like to first thank all of those who helped make our first ever Fall Festival a great success! So many volunteers gave of their time, so many came out to support the parish and grow together as a community, and I hope everyone had a lot of fun too!
Looking ahead at October, I couldn’t help but notice that we’re coming into what I like to think of as a spiritually “super-charged” time of the year. We celebrate different saints throughout the year, but especially in this coming week we recognize one heavy hitter after another.
This Sunday the 29th we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels – Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. We celebrate the three archangels found in the scripture who each play an important role: St. Michael, the Prince of the Heavenly Host, who commands the heavenly armies against Satan and defends us in our spiritual battles; St. Gabriel, the great messenger, who bears the message of the Incarnation to our Blessed Mother; and St. Raphael, the great healer, who heals Tobit and stirs the waters at the pool of Bethesda.
Monday the 30th we celebrate St. Jerome, the doctor of the Church, who translated the Hebrew and Greek scriptures into the common language of Latin in the Vulgate. We also have many of his letters where he wrote very critically of others. He was apparently a very cranky guy – there’s hope for us all!
Tuesday October 1st we celebrate St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, another doctor of the Church and perhaps one of the most popular modern saints. In her beautiful journal The Story of the Soul, she teaches the simple and powerful message of the little way to God, where even us simple souls can find a path to Him in holiness.
On Wednesday the 2nd we celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels. I still remember the prayer we said each day in 1st Grade – Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide, Amen. Sadly, so many of us have forgotten our Guardian Angels, but what a blessing that God has given us them so that we can turn to them whenever we are in need! Maybe this week we remember to thank them.
Friday the 4th is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – always a fan favorite. While he’s known for his love of nature and animals, there’s so much more about his life that’s remarkable. He renounced all worldly goods and founded one of the first mendicant orders who traveled about, preaching the Gospel and begging for sustenance. He received the stigmata, bearing the physical wounds of Christ. And in many ways he called the Universal Church back to simplicity and holiness.
Saturday the 5th is the Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska who inspired the Divine Mercy devotion. Her mystical visions have been the source of a beautiful spiritual movement in the Church and offer a much needed message of mercy in a broken world.
The list of feast days only goes on: Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope St John XXIII, St Teresa of Avila, St Margaret Mary Alacoque, St Luke, St. Isaac Jogues, Pope St John Paul II, Sts. Simon and Jude – and these are only the very popular saints!
As we approach All Saints Day, November 1st, maybe we use this as an opportunity to grow in our appreciation of the saints who are our great models and intercessors. Please keep an eye out in the future, as we are hoping to host a series on the saints in the coming months as well.
Yours in Christ,