The Month of November 2018


My Friends,

 
All Saints
The following is a homily by Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of All Saints.  It provides for us a prayerful reflection on this beautiful feast.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Our Eucharistic celebration began with the exhortation: ‘Let us all rejoice in the Lord’. The liturgy invites us to share in the heavenly jubilation of the Saints, to taste their joy. The Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly. We are unacquainted with the faces and even the names of many of them, but with the eyes of faith we see them shine in God's firmament like glorious stars.

“Today, the Church is celebrating her dignity as ‘Mother of the Saints’ and displays her beauty as the immaculate Bride of Christ, source and model of all holiness. She certainly does not lack contentious or even rebellious children, but it is in the Saints that she recognizes her characteristic features and precisely in them savours her deepest joy.

“In the first reading, the author of the Book of Revelation describes them as ‘a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues’.

“This includes the Saints of the Old Testament, those of the New Testament, the numerous early Christian Martyrs and the Blesseds and Saints of later centuries, to the witnesses of Christ in this epoch of ours.

“But ‘why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this Solemnity, mean anything to the Saints?’. A famous homily of St Bernard for All Saints' Day begins with this question. It could equally well be asked today. And the response the Saint offers us is also timely: ‘The Saints’, he says, ‘have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs.... But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning’.

“This, then, is the meaning of today's Solemnity: looking at the shining example of the Saints to reawaken within us the great longing to be like them; happy to live near God, in his light, in the great family of God's friends. Being a Saint means living close to God, to live in his family. And this is the vocation of us all, vigorously reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council and solemnly proposed today for our attention.

“But how can we become holy, friends of God? We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties.

“The Church's experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. The Saints' biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment; one reads in Revelation, ‘they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’. Their names are written in the book of life and Heaven is their eternal dwelling-place.

“The example of the Saints encourages us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.

“Holiness demands a constant effort, but it is possible for everyone because, rather than a human effort, it is first and foremost a gift of God, thrice Holy. In the second reading, the Apostle John remarks: ‘See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are’.

“It is God, therefore, who loved us first and made us his adoptive sons in Jesus. Everything in our lives is a gift of his love: how can we be indifferent before such a great mystery? How can we not respond to the Heavenly Father's love by living as grateful children? In Christ, he gave us the gift of his entire self and calls us to a personal and profound relationship with him.

“Consequently, the more we imitate Jesus and remain united to him the more we enter into the mystery of his divine holiness. We discover that he loves us infinitely, and this prompts us in turn to love our brethren. Loving always entails an act of self-denial, ‘losing ourselves’, and it is precisely this that makes us happy.

“Let us invoke Mary, Mother of the Lord and mirror of all holiness. May she, the All Holy, make us faithful disciples of her Son Jesus Christ! Amen.”

Book of Remembrance
Again this year, throughout the month of November our parish Book of Remembrance will remain in place near the Baptismal Font and the Easter Candle at the foot of the Shrine Altar of the Sacred Heart and its prominent image of the Risen Christ.

The Book of Remembrance in the midst of these potent symbols speaks, in ways words cannot, of the hope that is ours because by dying Jesus has destroyed our death and by rising Jesus has restored our life.  You are welcome to enter the names of deceased family and friends in the Book of Remembrance throughout the month. We will pray for them, in the Prayer of the Faithful, each November weekend.

Anniversary Day
On Sunday, 4 November 2018, we commemorate the 158th anniversary of the dedication, by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick, of St. John Apostle and Evangelist Church.  This Pro Cathedral Church has been in continuous and uninterrupted use since that day.

Thanks be to God for the blessings abounding here since then, and we pray, for many more years to come!

Abuse
Archbishop Carlson has asked all pastors to acknowledge the catastrophic revelations of recent publication of details related to the abuse allegations made public, regarding now-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the recent Grand Jury Report from the Pennsylvania State Attorney General.

You likely know that it was announced on August 20th, that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has accepted Archbishop Carlson’s invitation that he review all files “for the purpose of making an independent determination of our handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.”
         
We acknowledged these catastrophic revelations last week, in the first intercession, which I personally composed, of the Prayer of the Faithful.  We repeated it again this week.  Join me, now, as we repeat, this prayer, yet again:
          Rid the Church finally of the scandal & crime of abuse & the lack of effective response to this evil.
          Impel bishops & all church leaders to right past wrongs & protect – especially – the most vulnerable.
          Heal all who have been violated.  Remedy hurt & anger & disillusionment among the Catholic faithful.
          Hasten the day that – soon – the Church will be more credibly Alive in Christ!
          Let us pray to the Lord.

In Brief
On 17 November 2018, we will baptize the second-born of our parishioners Andrew and Abby Hartnett, daughter Catherine Frances.  God keep Andrew and Abby and first-born son Peter, and now Catherine, growing great in His love in all ways always!

On Saturday, 20 July 2019, parishioners Cecelia Reicher and Phil Heslin will celebrate their marriage here.  God grant them grace abounding to live the truth that “love never counts, love alone counts”.
 
 
Faithfully,
Monsignor Delaney