October 31-November 2, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Only every 8 years are we able to celebrate All Saints Day on a Sunday. We remember all those holy men and women and children who have gone before us and are waiting for us to join them in Heaven. This Solemnity gives us a glimpse of eternal life for all who hope in the Lord.
One may ask, “How does one become a Saint?” Well, from the moment you were Baptized you did become a saint. All sin, original and actual (if you were Baptized after the age of reason) was washed away in those saving waters; you were then made a child of God with a heavenly destiny; and also a member of Christ’s Mystical Body – the Church. So what happened to tarnish our saintliness – the reoccurrence of sin! God in His infinite goodness does not leave us wallowing in our sinfulness. He provides the remedy – namely the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we cooperate with God’s mercy, the grace of our Baptismal innocence is restored. The penances we take on help to restore the justice due to God because of the destructive nature of our sinfulness. Penance helps to restore the breach in our relationship with God and others.
The Saints in heaven were keenly aware of this during their earthly struggles and constantly had recourse of God’s healing forgiveness. They emptied themselves of self-love and gave their lives completely to God and the service of others. This heroism is what we must emulate as we honor them and hope one day to join them.
Those who did not break themselves off for the love of God and neighbor, but who did not reach that level of perfect love while on earth may find themselves in the waiting room outside of Heaven. Their saintliness has to be perfected by the purifying fire of God’s consuming love and by our prayers and sacrifices for them. Our love and concern for our beloved does not end with death. Death cannot conquer love and so we offer our love beyond the grave for those souls imploring our help, just as we implore the help of the Saints to assist us in our earthly challenges. The offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the foremost means of assisting the Souls in Purgatory; the Holy Rosary; and the offering of our own inconveniences and sacrifices can also be applied to the relief of their Souls.
During the month of November we give special attention to Souls in Purgatory and remember especially those who have been called from our midst.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and may the perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
P.S. If you are planning on the Sacrament of Matrimony in the coming year, it is imperative that you immediately begin arrangements with your parish priests. In addition to your personal catechesis, couples are required to participate in Pre-Cana classes.
Below is the list for 2021 classes. Please register as soon as possible to be assured of space. You may register on the Diocese of Scranton website.
Saturday, January 23, Tannersville (tentative)
Sunday, February 6, Wilkes-Barre)
Sunday, March 21, Scranton
Saturday, May 15, Duryea
Saturday, June 26, Dickson City
Sunday, July 25, Scranton
Saturday, August 21, Tannersville (tentative)
Saturday, November 6, Dickson City
Sunday, December 5, Scranton