Dear Friends in Christ:
It is hard to believe but the start of school is here. Where did the summer go? This Tuesday, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation. This means that The Holy Day is just like a Sunday in that all Catholics are obligated to go to Mass. Failure to attend Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation is a sin. The reason it is a sin is that we aredeliberately failing to give God the honor and love that He is rightfully due.
There are only a few Holy Days of Obligation in the Church’s liturgical year. They are January 1 – Mary, Mother of God, August 15 – The Assumption, November 1 – All Saints, December 8 – The Immaculate Conception, December 25 – Christmas. There are a few others on the universal calendar that the American bishops have either transferred to a Sunday or dispensed the obligation (St. Joseph’s Day, Ascension Thursday, Corpus Christi and Epiphany). Some countries have additional Holy Days of Obligation – St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Many people believe that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are Holy Days of Obligation. They are Holy Days but not “of obligation”.
Both the Second Commandment and the First Precept of the Church require that Catholics give God His proper due. It is both a matter of love and justice. As Catholics, we want to give God our love by offering the sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is our highest act of worship and praise because it is Jesus’ offering of himself to the Father out of love for us. It is an act of justice because God rightly deserves our love and honor. Offering Mass is pleasing to God, for in this act of thanksgiving God gives us his blessings and grace and we, in turn, grow closer to Him by growing in holiness and grace.
This is a busy time of year in the parish. We are gearing up for many wonderful things. Just as the kids are going back to school, our parish is gearing up for religious formation for adults and youth. I have always had a dream for our parish that every family would be engaged in religious formation. I dreamed that every adult would be in a bible study, a faith sharing group, fellowship group, or prayer group and, that every child would be in Youth Formation, Youth Ministry, or somewhere they can learn and grow in the Catholic faith. This year our parish is working to expand the number of small groups. I hope you and your family will take advantage of these opportunities.
One of the big successes this summer was among our Young Adults. They have been having different bible studies, happy hours, and activities. When it comes to Young Adult Ministry, success comes from four pillars: Spiritual, Social, Service & Sports! Over the years, I visited one of our young adult groups and have always been absolutely astounded and deeply impressed by the experience. We have some wonderful young adults!
Soon, we will begin again the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). This is for any adult who has never been baptized or who was baptized in a non-Catholic church and would like to embrace the Catholic faith. Notice, we do NOT call them “convert classes”. The reason is because it is not a class but a journey to enter into a relationship. The journey begins in the gathering with others who are also seeking the same goal, a relationship with God and His Holy Catholic Church. The “team” is comprised of people who are guides and helpers in the building of the relationship. Is information conveyed? Most certainly. But the goal is not
simply intellectual understanding of doctrines and dogmas. The goal is entering into a lifelong relationship with God in the community of the Catholic Church. If you know someone who is not Catholic, please pray for them and share with them the beauty of your faith and invite them to consider becoming Catholic. For more information, please call us.
In Pace Christi,