Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you all for your generosity and support last weekend as we began our final push for the We Stand With Christ campaign. You pledged over $300,000—a truly incredible show of sacrificial giving! Over 200 families have participated in the campaign and many more are prayerfully considering a gift. I can never adequately express my gratitude for what you are all doing for our parish community, but let me again say thank you! Some people have expressed concern about committing to a pledge over 3 to 5 years, and have shared with me that they are worried they cannot participate in the campaign as a result. Please allow me to clarify: every gift is gratefully received, whether a multi-year pledge or a one-time offering, and everyone in the parish is invited to participate in this extraordinary endeavor in the way that is best for them. We Stand With Christ is not about equal giving, but about participation. We, the parish community of St. Pius X, are all in this together. I do not want this effort to become a reason for anyone feeling excluded. Again, I thank you all for your goodness and for the generosity that you show again and again.
As we move into the month of November, we enter a time that the Church has traditionally observed as a time to remember those who have gone before us in faith. We begin the month with the great solemnity of All Saints, followed by the feast of All Souls. The Church invites us to reflect on those heroes of the faith whose virtue and holiness is known to all, the saints whose example teaches us what it means to follow Christ with our whole hearts. All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. On October 31 (Halloween – All Hallows Eve), the vigil Mass for All Saints will be celebrated at 5:30 PM. On November 1, Masses for All Saints Day take place at 8:30 AM, 5:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. This last Mass of the day will be a Solemn High Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, that is, in Latin. We look forward to celebrating this great solemnity with you as we remember the communion of saints.
Please mark your calendars for our annual Mass of Remembrance on November 14 at 7PM. During this Mass, we pray for and remember those who have died in the last year and we pray for their peaceful rest. I am struck each year as I read the names of the deceased, many of whom I buried and whose families I know well. It is a reminder that, as we say in the funeral Mass, “life is changed, not ended” and we look forward in hope to the day of the Resurrection.
Over the next few weeks, I will use this space to reflect on what we as Catholics believe about death and the prayerful response of the Church to the reality of death. In particular, I will offer a catechesis on the Rite of Christian Burial, the Church’s liturgy in a time of grief. The funeral is an often misunderstood element of the Church’s pastoral ministry, and I hope that the reflections offered here will help to clarify any confusion and give us all a healthy spiritual perspective for facing the challenging reality of death and grief. Our hope remains always in Jesus Christ, the one who conquers sin and death and promises us the gift of eternal life in heaven!