Pastor’s Desk – November 2022

Nov 27, 2022 | Pastors Desk

A Message from Father Peter

November 27th – The First Sunday of Advent

THANKSGIVING DAY

Who exactly are we thanking on Thanksgiving Day? This question parallels an equally unsettling one about Christmas. How did “they” get Christ out of Christmas? These questions bring out the sad reality that in our contemporary culture, God and Christ have a hard time staying in our focus. Not that we deny that God and Christ belong intrinsically in these two important holidays but we somehow overlook or neglect or diminish their importance to us!

Gift giving, family events and visits are very, very important aspects of these days, but they must not crowd out our joy in God’s goodness. Yes, we have our share of Christmas – and Easter – Catholics at Mass on that day. We welcome them and earnestly pray that we (and God!) will see more of them. They are a little ahead of those we do not see even on Christmas, with its large crowds. Mass, church on Christmas Day? “Can’t do it. Too busy opening gifts, Christmas breakfast, getting to grandma’s, can’t do it, too busy, sorry!”

Hopefully, the goodness of God will touch them and they will again learn that God alone can meet all our needs for love and joy! Happy Thanksgiving, and an early Merry Christmas. Please look for my Christmas letter in the mail!

November 20th – The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Celebrant: Father Peter – November 22nd, 2022, 7:00PM

What is a Healing Mass?

Genuine contact with and receptivity to Jesus always result in the power of God being revealed, and positive change occurring. Jesus himself promised that signs like these will accompany those who profess the faith! “And the sick on whom they lay their hands will recover!” As Catholics we are accustomed to experience Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist, especially in the mystery and action of the Mass. We receive Eucharist to be transformed by him and be healed. Why not highlight the healing power of Jesus in certain Masses by making healing the central theme and using healing gestures such as the laying on hands “as used by Jesus and the apostles”? The atmosphere of faith created by dynamic preaching and lively music prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies to receive Jesus’ healing touch. We grow in the faith so conducive to healing. Come to our special healing Mass here at St. Francis. Every time we have one of these Masses someone witnesses to how God healed and worked with them whatever the illness, expectant, or burdens. Come to the healing Mass. Jesus is waiting for you!

We’ll miss you, Fr. Ben!

Fr. Ben, our summer priest from Nigeria, has left us and taken up an assignment as chaplain at Southside Hospital in Oceanside, Nassau County. We will surely miss his sincerity and willingness to be of assistance, the timely messages of his homilies, and the piety evident in his way of celebrating Mass. He is staying in the USA for the time being due to the dangerous situation for priests and all Christians in his home country. The church in Africa, in fact in all countries, needs more priests like Fr. Ben (short for Fr. Benignus! by the way.) We hope he will visit on occasion to hold some Masses once in a while!

November 13th – Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

The special liturgical “Double Header” – All Saints and All Souls Days – are a favorite with our Catholic people! These wonderful feasts make concrete the promises of Jesus “Come, Blessed of My Father, and take possession of the kingdom.” On Saints Day we honor the countless multitudes who, though not formally and publicly declared saints, rejoice in heaven with God for all eternity. They constitute “The Church Triumphant!” On Good Friday Jesus forgave the “good” thief and promised him paradise. Yes, it is clear he must do something to atone for his many sins. Hence Purgatory! We’ve assisted these souls with our prayers, and especially through the Novena of Masses available to us here at St. Francis. We kindly urge you to participate in this great prayer event. Envelopes are available in the vestibule of the church. These “poor souls” benefit greatly from us and from above, they are already praying for us! They make up the “Church Suffering.”

We here on earth make up the “Church Militant”; we engage in “spiritual warfare” against the powers of the enemy who tries to get us to turn from God and go in the opposite direction! The saints in heaven and these Holy Souls in purgatory are providing spiritual guidance and strength constantly. Let us remember them on these glorious days.

November 6th – Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

The special liturgical “Double Header” – All Saints and All Souls Days – are a favorite with our Catholic people! These wonderful feasts make concrete the promises of Jesus “Come, Blessed of My Father, and take possession of the kingdom.” On Saints Day we honor the countless multitudes who, though not formally and publicly declared saints, rejoice in heaven with God for all eternity. They constitute “The Church Triumphant!” On Good Friday Jesus forgave the “good” thief and promised him paradise. Yes, it is clear he must do something to atone for his many sins. Hence Purgatory! We’ve assisted these souls with our prayers, and especially through the Novena of Masses available to us here at St. Francis. We kindly urge you to participate in this great prayer event. Envelopes are available in the vestibule of the church. These “poor souls” benefit greatly from us and from above, they are already praying for us! They make up the “Church Suffering.”

We here on earth make up the “Church Militant”; we engage in “spiritual warfare” against the powers of the enemy who tries to get us to turn from God and go in the opposite direction! The saints in heaven and these Holy Souls in purgatory are providing spiritual guidance and strength constantly. Let us remember them on these glorious days.

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