September 26, 2021

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI RESPECT LIFE

Monday, October 4, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis showed care and concern for all, especially the poor. He reverenced God’s hand in all creation. He lived his life so faithful to that of Christ that he is called alter Christus, another Christ. As we honor this saint known throughout the world, I urge all parishioners to pray and work hard for a deeper respect for all of God’s creation, all of life. Francis began life in a small Italian town that saw war and destruction constantly. He lived in a time of scandal in the Church and in society. Francis' approach to the many problems and issues of medieval Italy can also teach us much about being faithful to the Gospel in our own turbulent times.

Francis heard God's call in the small church of San Damiano on the outskirts of Assisi. Gazing upon the large cross in the church he heard God, Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely into ruin. Initially Francis thought God wanted him to repair the physical church where he was praying. However, under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, Francis realized his real task was to bring healing and repair to a broken Church. Under God’s inspiration he brought peace and respect between all classes of people. God continues to call us to do no less…..respecting all of life in the world, in our country and right here in Chicago.

Franciscans throughout the world remember the passing of St. Francis of Assisi to eternal life on October 3rd. The Franciscans here at St. Peter's invite you to join us for this prayer service to commemorate the death of St. Francis. It will be held in the church on Sunday, October 3 at 1:30 pm. On Monday, October 4 we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi at the 11:40 am and 1:15 pm Masses. This coming Saturday, October 2, we will have our annual blessing of animals at 12 noon in the front of the church. All pets and their owners are invited to attend.

St. Francis said, I have done my part; may Christ teach you yours. (2Cel.214) As Catholics our task is to Respect Life! In his second encyclical, Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis has reminded all of us that we are bound together as brothers and sisters on our planet earth. And as human beings made in the image of God we are charged to be concerned for sister earth” and every living thing that dwells here, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. As the Pope wrote, In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much is always present. God does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for God has united himself definitively to our earth, and God’s love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.

If you have not read the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si, I encourage you to read it. It is available on the Vatican web site or copies may be obtain through our St. Peter's Book Store. You can also find a number of books about St. Francis of Assisi, other Franciscan saints and books about Franciscan spirituality in the shop. You will also find items commemorating our 175th anniversary in the gift shop. St. Peter's Book & Gift Shop is open every day. You will find the hours it is open elsewhere in today's bulletin, on our website and on the posters located on the church bulletin boards.

The month of October calls us to honor and respect ALL of God’s creation. With an increasing awareness that many of our human activities are negatively impacting our mother earth, Pope Francis has called all inhabitants of the earth to do whatever we can to preserve and protect our planet. Why not begin reading this important reflection from Pope Francis during October, Respect Life month? Perhaps you will be moved to do your part in respecting God's gift to us of life here upon planet Earth.

7TH ANNUAL GALA

Our most important fund raising event for our ministries here in the Loop..... St. Peter's 7th Annual GALA is this Saturday, October 2.  Due to COVID, it will once again be a virtual event from 6:30-8:00 pm on Saturday. Please check out the information elsewhere in this bulletin about how to register for the Gala site or go to St. Peter's website for more information at www.stpetersloop.org. Your generosity helps us maintain our ministry to you and all who come to St. Peter's for Masses, confessions and a quiet place to pray in the midst of the noise and busyness of the Loop.

FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS

 On Wednesday, September 29 we celebrate the feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Angels are mentioned many times throughout the Old and New Testament — from when God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses and said, “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20-21) to when the angel Gabriel delivered the message to the Virgin Mary that she would carry the Son of God, and beyond. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." (Luke 1:30-31)

Angels bring us a sense of peace and security. How awesome is it to know that as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "from its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading them to life." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1997)

St. Michael is known in the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths. As Catholics we honor St. Michael as patron and protector of those serving in the military and police officers. In the world in which we live today, those who serve (in the military & as law enforcement officers) to protect all of us from others who seek to do us harm, are in need of our prayers. Though not all may live up to the ideals of their profession, the majority of police men and women go to work each day, often placing themselves in dangers we cannot image, in order to keep each of us safe. When you see a police officer this week thank them for helping to keep us all safe. They have an impossible task these days to protect the rights of all people in often very dangerous situations.

Please pray the following prayer for the police officers of our city and state that through the intercession of God they may be protected in their service to all of us. And please say THANKS to our St. Peter's Security staff and keep them in your prayers also.

 PRAYER FOR THOSE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

 O Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe,
Watch over all the members of our law enforcement community, and all members everywhere.
Protect them from harm in the performance of their duty.
Help them, we pray, keep our streets and homes safe, day and night.
We commend them to your loving care, because their duty is dangerous.
Grant them strength and courage in their daily assignments.
Holy Father, protect these brave men and women.
Grant them your almighty protection, unite them safely with their families after duty has ended.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

(from the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburgh, FL)

If you haven't registered for our annual Gala celebration there still is time before Saturday. Consult elsewhere in this bulletin or the church website for how to register. Your generous support enables us to continue our ministry here in the Loop. We hope to see you at our special services next weekend to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

May you have a blessed and safe week.

Fr. Michael