Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Before you know it!” How often we have heard this phrase which reminds us of how quickly time passes and how frequently we find ourselves scurrying to get things done. So let me give you a one year “heads-up.” It seems rather certain, though there has yet to be an official announcement, that a wonderful blessing will come to our nation and our commonwealth this time next September, 2015. That is the pastoral visit of Pope Francis. The highlight of his visit will be the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, PA. This world-wide gathering takes place every three years, and prior to the assembly of families and speakers, a catechesis on Christian Family Life is offered by the Church. I invite all of our families to participate in this preparatory catechesis. The first-rate Catholic weekly Our Sunday Visitor has prepared a book and materials entitled “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” which may be purchased here. Amazon also will carry the Kindle version of the catechesis, and if we have a significant number of requests, bulk orders may be procured by calling the Parish Office by September 30, 2014. Let us be filled with a renewed enthusiasm and commitment for Christ and Our Faith in anticipation of Our Holy Father’s visit to our “back yard.”
Also, as we are mindful of our own families well-being, spiritually, morally, and physically, we are in solidarity with our fellow Christians suffering so severely from maniacal forces in Iraq, Syria and Gaza. Daily we remember in our prayers the plight of these ancient Christian communities. The Bishops of our country have requested that a collection be taken-up in all parishes within the coming weeks to help feed, clothe and shelter those who have been forced from their homes because of their Faith. The weekend of September 13-14 we shall have this collection for the persecuted Christians. Please be generous in your response.