Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As was announced, a week ago Thursday we held a town hall meeting in the Church to discuss the future of our parish. After some time of prayer, we had a great conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the parish, and many parishioners shared ideas on how we could continue to build on all the good that occurs here. Thank you to all of those who came that night and took part.
Many ideas were very helpful in terms of creating a long term vision for the parish, and they will take time and discernment to implement. One idea in particular struck me though as simple and easy to put in place: a parishioner recommended that we renew the practice of reciting the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after every Mass. It’s something that the Pope has encouraged, many bishops have made mandatory in their diocese, and many parishes even in our own diocese have begun to do. Many might remember that until 1965, it was customary to have a series of prayers following Mass, and these prayers included the prayer to St. Michael. The practice dated back to Pope Leo XIII in 1886, who personally composed that prayer in particular. Tradition tells us that one day while celebrating Mass, the Pope had a vision, and to all those in attendance his face became pale and fearful. He is said to have seen demonic spirits gathering around the Church, and he asked the St. Michael prayer be said to invoke his protection against evil.
In our times where the Church seems to be surrounded on all sides by darkness, and far worse, in so many ways filled with that darkness, it seems like no better moment to implore angelic assistance. Therefore I am considering starting the practice of reciting the prayer on the weekend of October 28th. It would be said after the final blessing and before the closing hymn. I am waiting a few weeks, as I would like parishioners to have the opportunity to offer feedback to make sure this is something that the entire parish can support. Please let me know. But until then, I do hope many of us include St. Michael the Archangel in our daily prayers, that he may protect all of us and the Church from the evils that surround us.
Yours in Christ,