Ask any child/adult what Tuesday (October 31) is and most will reply... It's Halloween and "Trick or Treat." It's time for candy, hot dogs, and parties for both kids & adults. It's time for scary tales and movies, of carved pumpkins and varieties of costumes both funny and frightening.
Over the years, the day of All Hallows Eve [Halloween] has become known for its parties and costumes rather than the day to prepare to remember the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1. Perhaps, even as Christians, we need to be reminded that in our daily life we are to be about becoming saints.
As Christians, All Saints reminds us that "trick or treat" should be seen as symbol of Christian hospitality (not how much candy we get or partying that we do). The practice of "Trick or Treat" should remind us of the willingness to receive and give without requiring something in return.
On All Hallows Day (Halloween), we need to recall that the tradition of Jack O'Lanterns (lighted pumpkins) began not as symbols of fear but as welcoming lamps to guide us home, to realize that we who walk the earth are called to be lamps lighting the way for others. This tradition began hundreds of years ago in Ireland and was brought by Irish immigrants to the USA.
We celebrate All Saints to remind you/me that we are called to be saints. Who me?!? YES you!!! Because isn't that what our lives are all about... to grow in holiness & w/compassion for one another? The Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, said, “A saint is not so much [someone] who realizes that they possess virtue and sanctity as one who is overwhelmed by the sanctity of God.”
This year on All Saints, I encourage you to remember that in humility we realize we become saints not by our great works, our selfless deeds, our many prayers, our being Catholic, but rather through the boundless love of God who calls each of us to be saint.
This feast of All Saints calls us not so much to remember the Blessed Virgin Mary or St. Joseph, St. Francis or St. Clare, St. Mother Theresa or St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Anthony or St. Patrick but to remember those saints who are not listed on the Church calendar. To recall to memory those who may not have statues in their honor but have been or can be powerful influences in our lives. People who have been examples of faithful followers of Jesus who now call us to greater faith because of how they lived Christ's message in their lives.
When I think of All Saints, I recall the men and women, priests, religious and laity of Central America who were murdered in the 1980’s because of their faith in Jesus. I think of the many people of the Mideast today, especially those Christians in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan who are trying to practice their Catholic faith and are suffering persecution, are forced to leave their homelands or even murdered all because of their belief in Jesus. Of those suffering in various Asian countries because of their faithfulness to the Gospel.
I think of parents who sacrifice (large & small) for their children. Husbands & wives who care for one another… in good times & in bad… in sickness & health… The spouse who cares for their husband/wife who is chronically ill. The grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
Please note that this year the Solemnity of All Saints is a Holyday of Obligation. We celebrate this great remembrance of All Saints of the Church and I encourage you to join us for the 5:00 pm Vigil Mass on Tuesday, October 31 or on Wednesday, November 1 at the 7:30 am, 11:40 am or 1:15 pm Masses on as we honor All Saints. Please note that there are NO CONFESSIONS ARE SCHEDULED on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, the Holyday of All Saints.
On the feast of All Saints we are called by God to remember the saints who touch our lives. This week we will also recall our tradition of prayer for the faithful departed, especially on All Souls Day, Thursday, November 2. Masses on All Souls Day are at 7:30 am, 11:40 am and 1:15 pm. As we begin the month of November, I encourage you to remember your loved ones who have died. Feel free to write in our Book of the Dead, those you wish to remember. You will find the book in the back of church.
PRAY FOR PEACE
Please continue to pray for peace and an end to the wars and violence touching so many countries and people throughout our world. The recent attacks and killings in Israel and the area of the Holy Land make a mockery of the peace and compassion of this significant center of the birth of the three largest religions in the world of Christianity, Jewish faith and Islam. Jesus, Abraham and Mohamed spoke of peace and compassion towards all. As followers of Jesus, may each of us pray and do as much as possible to promote understanding with one another and with those who might be different than us.
DON'T FORGET...TIME CHANGE
Remember next weekend (November 4-5) we change our clocks and gain an hour as we return to Central Standard Time. You get an extra hour to sleep next weekend! Remember next weekend to set your clocks back one hour.
WELCOMING THE STRANGER
Asylum seekers — men, women and children — are arriving in Chicago. Will you welcome the stranger? We are the body of Christ alive in this world. The stranger is hungering and thirsting — Christ is presenting himself to us in their need. We are called to respond with faith and love. Thousands of people are fleeing violence, political oppression, and overwhelming poverty in Central and South American countries. For more information or to help contact: www.catholiccharities.net or call (312) 655-7525.
WEDNESDAY LUNCH TIME TALKS
If you are on your lunch break from work, you are invited to bring your lunch and join us for these Wednesday, 12:15 pm, Lunch Midday Talks!
Nov 1: 12:15 pm - Day of the Dead/ Dia de los Muertos
Fr. Tony Posadas will give a talk about the intercultural custom of honoring, praying for, and remembering the dead in Mexico.
Nov 8: 12:15 pm - Financial Planning with Josh Quail
Josh Quail will be here to give a presentation about financial planning in these challenging times.
Nov 15: 12:15 pm - AMA (Ask Me Anything) about the Catholic Sacrament of Marriage
Fr. Tony will give a brief presentation on the sacrament of marriage and will take your questions about Catholic marriage and weddings.
AND A LITTLE ADVANCE NOTICE…
For those who like to plan well in advance, please note the following times for Masses for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The times may be different than other years.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23 Mass is at 9:00 am. (Please note the time of this Mass.)
Advent begins the weekend of December 2-3.
Holyday of the Immaculate Conception, December 8(Vigil Mass on Dec. 7 at 5:00 pm. Masses on Holyday, December 8 at 7:30 am, 11:40 am and 1:15 pm).
Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24 Vigil Mass is at 4:00 pm and Night Mass is at 7:00 pm. Christmas Day, Monday, December 25 Masses are at 9:00 am and 11:00 am.