November 17, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving! This Thursday, our nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day. This national feast day began with the uniquely American experience of the first settlers receiving great help from the Native American peoples in their first year in the new world.
The early colonists literally faced a life or death situation. Winters were harsh, the weather unpredictable, and they had to adjust to raising new crops in unfamiliar conditions. Most early colonies completely failed, leaving behind only the graves of the brave souls who tried and the total destruction of their colonies. The hope for a new life, which inspired them to sail across the ocean, turned out to be only a dream that was crushed by the harsh reality of what they faced.
One colony that did survive the desperate conditions did so with the help of the Native American people. After the first year, the colonists couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude to God and to their Native American friends. They collaboratively chose to celebrate the successful harvest with a feast. The tradition of Thanksgiving Day was begun.
In our modern era, we have so much, yet it can be difficult to feel a deep sense of gratitude because we take so much for granted. It may not be life or death as it was for the early colonists, but, for those of us who have had a big crisis or some other tragedy, it may be easier to summon up deep gratitude. It is so often our losses that help us to be able to appreciate what we have. The tragic fires in California in the past few weeks have taken scores of lives and thousands of homes, yet it has been impressive to see the survivors now express great gratitude for what little they have.
Whether we have lost greatly or not, each of us is incredibly blessed to be alive, to share the gift of faith, our great nation, and all that God has given to us. Please come and join us on Thanksgiving Day morning at 9 AM at Guardian Angels as we offer Mass and thank God for his gifts to us. Please bring something for the Food Shelf to offer for our neighbors in need. The parish office will be closed on Friday, November 23 and there will be no 6 PM Mass this Friday. I will offer Mass at 9 AM at Auburn Manor on Friday, November 23. May God make our hearts grateful to Him and to one another for all of our blessings.
November 10, 2018
Praying For The Deceased! During the month of November, the Church traditionally has emphasized praying for those who have died. At every Eucharistic, we pray for those who have died asking the Father to have mercy upon them. Everyone celebrating Mass can offer the Mass for someone. It’s important when we come to Mass to have an intention in mind for someone (living or deceased) that we can hold in prayer. This is one way that we, alive on earth, can assist those who have died on their way to heaven.
Post Election Prayers! With the elections now past, it is important that we pray for all those who have been elected to serve our country, state, and local communities. St. Paul exclaims in his First Letter to Timothy… “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior…” 1Tim 2:1-3 Most likely not everyone whom you voted for was elected, and there is often both satisfaction and disappointment with every election. It is especially important to pray for those leaders whom we may not like, as well as for those whom we do like. People centuries ago didn’t even have a chance to vote. They simply had to accept whoever was their ruler, king, etc. and they couldn’t exactly protest or complain either. Things are much different in our age. Democracy isn’t perfect, but many have noted that it is far better than the alternatives. We are so blessed to be able to have a say in our government, even when our say may not be heard or appreciated by others. We do know, however, that our prayers are always heard. So, now with the election concluded, we continue to make our voice heard in our civil society by advocating for what is morally right and just, and confident that God always hears our prayers for our leaders and our nation.
Thank you Veterans & Remembering World War I! This Sunday, November 11th, we celebrate Veterans Day. This is a day to say thank you to those who have served our country in the armed forces. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to them and
for their sacrifices which have won our freedoms. Please thank a vet when you see one today. God Bless all of our Veterans!
November 11 was originally celebrated as Armistice Day because, exactly one hundred years ago at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the cease fire ending World War I began. That war claimed the lives of over 20 million soldiers and civilians yet strangely and sadly it seems nearly all but forgotten now only 100 years later. It was originally called “the Great War” and was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but then it would be superseded just 20 years later with an even larger war. So much changes with time. We are reminded that God is eternal, and that everything in this world can change very quickly. God is our true and lasting peace. Our greatest and our only hope rests with his immortal nature and our union with Him in Christ. May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. Your Servant in Christ,
Remember to Vote This Tuesday
November 2, 2018
Please be sure to vote this Tuesday! This Tuesday, we all have a sacred right and duty to vote. We live in a country in which we are so blessed to have this opportunity. Many have died defending our freedom to choose our government. Many people still live in countries that do not have such freedom. We owe it to those who have died, we owe it to those still not in freedom, and we owe it to our neighbors and our fellow countrymen to exercise this great gift and responsibility. May your Catholic faith inform your conscience as you vote, and please do not allow cynicism, negativity, or apathy prevent you from this great responsibility. In addition to voting, please pray for our country, our leaders, those to be elected, and for those who serve our country to defend the rights that we are so blessed to have.
Good News from Tanzania! This week, my good friend, Fr. Augustine Mbiche, called from Tanzania in Africa to share some great news. You may recall that Fr. Augustine came here this past summer and we took up a collection to support his K-7 school of St. Monica’s in the village of Mtamba. Most of the students are orphans because one or both of their parents have died from the terrible AIDS epidemic that has hit that country very hard.
Father Augustine explained that the results of the national testing just came in and that their students did very well. So well, in fact, that out of more than 16,000 grade schools in Tanzania, their school ranked 126th. That means that their school is in the top 1% of all elementary schools in the country!
I congratulated Father Augustine on the accomplishment and promised our continued support. He thanked us for the support from Guardian Angels and St. Nicholas and he promised that he and the children will continue to offer their prayers for us.
Our contributions are having a profound impact on the lives of so many very poor children half way around the world. His school now has about 350 students and virtually all of them go on to high school, and most go on to college as well. Four of them have gone on to the seminary to study for the priesthood. When you think of it, we’re not only helping those students, but the entire Church and nation of Tanzania as they grow into adulthood and then give back what they have received. Thank you all for your generous support! Way to go St. Monica students! Praise God for His Goodness!
Your Servant in Christ,