We hope that the Dead will Rise
In November, the Mass readings point more toward reflections on the Last Four things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. On November 1st and 2nd, we celebrated the masses of All Saints and All Souls (all the faithful departed) to reflect the Church's focus on the Last Things. In light of this, we focus on Christian hope in the resurrection of the dead in this Sunday's liturgy. The seven brothers in 2 Maccabees 7 bore witness to their belief in the resurrection of the dead. One of the brothers, as he was dying, did so "with the hope God gives of being raised up by him" (v. 13-14). We, Catholics, as we say in the Creed, hope that the dead will rise (et expecto, resurrectionem mortuorum) but also believe that many dead souls may need the help of our prayers to get an early release from purgatory into heaven before the second coming of Jesus.
The Church instructs us to remember in a particular way during November "our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection" (Eucharistic Prayer II). Here in St. Peter, we have a tradition of making available a book in which we could inscribe names of our loved ones who have passed on to remember them in suffrages for the dead. I also encourage us to write the names of our beloved dead in the envelopes provided. These are placed on the altar to remember them more intentionally at mass and prayer of the rosary. There are other practices in November, like visits to the cemetery, gaining plenary indulgences, and praying the office of the dead, that I also encourage.
I published our budget summary for the last fiscal year (2021-2022) last Sunday. I believe you have perused it. You would have noticed that our financial state is not particularly in dire straits because of your generosity over the years. I am thankful for your stewardship. However, you would have seen a steady decrease in our Sunday and DAC collections. Please consider giving more so we can make our target for the current year. I plead with those individuals and families yet to contribute to doing so in the months ahead. Thanks for your anticipated positive response.
I also want to bring to your notice the cement repairs beginning at the Historic Church tomorrow, Monday, November 7th. The repair will make the front of the church more walk-friendly and beautiful. As a result of the repair work, all daily masses for this week (beginning Monday, November 7) will be at the church on the hill, as I prefer to call the main church.
Finally, I am happy to announce an additional mass to our weekly schedule. We have started having the First Saturday masses! We had a "test run" on Saturday, November 5, at 8 a.m. in the historic church. The next one will be on Saturday, November 3, at 8 a.m. in the Historic Church.
In the Heart of Christ,
Fr. Bernard, OP