Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
This year, because November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, falls on a Monday, it is NOT a holy Day of Obligation. On Monday and on Tuesday, All Souls Day, we will have our normal 8:30 a.m. Mass.

We will begin our annual All Souls Novena for our deceased family members and friends on Tuesday, the 2nd and celebrate that Novena through November 10th.

Of course, today, is Halloween, the Day before All Saints.

One of the longest entries I’ve seen in Wikipedia is the one on Halloween. For me it sure fell under the heading of too much info. A lot of it was pretty interesting, however. I was looking for a little history on costumes, etc. Customs change and vary from country to country. Whoever thought that in our times maybe the happiest people around at Halloween are dentists. (I don’t think Dr. Laura Evatt would agree.)

In my previous parish we’d ask the kids to dress up as their patron saints on November 1st (or the weekend before the 1st.) Then when they went “Trick or Treating” they would use those costumes. My hope was “If you’re saintly, we will celebrate that with a treat.” It worked for me. At least we went through a lot of “Treats.”

The happy part of Halloween is what we are really celebrating: the lives of countless men and women who heard the voice of Jesus Christ and followed His call. The list of canonized saints has grown over the centuries, but they are a drop in the bucket of all those who lived great lives, in joy and in suffering. Each of us, I’m sure, can come up with our own lists that few other people know about. I can hear myself often saying, “If anyone is in heaven, sure is!”

May we always be blessed by such folk, and even perhaps BE one.

We did that big parish mailing this week. If you didn’t get a letter with the Synod questions, it means you are not on the mailing list. One quick call can fix that.

Annie and Judy Fisher did the heavy work and I got to help with stamps. The crooked stamps are probably mine. How ironic that the stamps now cost $.58 a pop first class, and the stamps are actually smaller.

We sent 525 letters. In these COVID hampered days, its hard to know just who is there and who isn’t. At least one good outcome of first class is that if the letter is undeliverable, at least it will be returned, and we can adjust the parish list.

We went to the trouble of doing the mailing because the Synod is such an important event in the life of the Church. I got a chuckle out of how Ed Rebholz talked about our simple input making its way up the chain to the “Big Guy.” Pope Francis would probably chuckle, too.

This is an effort to gather us together to hear and say what perhaps hasn’t been said before. Recall the words of Cardinal Joseph Bernadin when in 1994, three weeks before he died, he talked about dialogue within the Church as well as outreach to other groups. He was working to establish a Catholic Dialogue Group and he hoped the result would be, “A vision of Church that trusts in the power of the Spirit so much that it can risk authentic dialogue.” He got push back from some who thought he was somehow opening a way for inauthenticity to creep into the Church. I hope he is helping us experience the Spirit. That’s what saints do.

Again, I ask you to come into this process, either by attending our gathering on Nov. 14th and/ or by reflecting on the questions at home and taking the time to make some prayer-inspired responses.

With hope I’m yours
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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