ABOUT MANY THINGS
Our annual three-day Fiesta was again a great success. It was caked-out…. Never have there been so many cakes for the cakewalk. It was rained out on Sunday evening the final segment of the three-day event. However, it did not stop a large number of parishioners from attending. There was a wonderful presence of community, family and loving-service evident the three evenings of the Fiesta. Thanks to RJ Saavedra, her family, and the entire core committee who presented the 40th Annual Fiesta.
EAST SIDE CATHOLIC MAGAZINE
This is likely the final Pastor’s Monthly Update. The monthly update will be replaced with a monthly parish magazine entitled Eastside Catholic. It will be published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media and will be underwritten by advertising sponsorships. The magazine will have significant local parish content and some timely evangelization articles. The new magazine is scheduled to appear in our parishioner mailboxes at the end of the first week of December.
The three-day emergency shelter in our Parish Hall on October 11th, 12th, and 13th accommodating 39 people who were released from detention was very well-served by our parishioners. Special thanks to the many loving hands and hearts for serving our special guests with such great love during their hour of need. The quick and calm loving response at the heart of the parish was indeed exemplary and a transparent community action of living the Gospel.
UPDATE FROM JOAN MARTIN
I have arrived safely in Port-au-Paix… About 2pm on Saturday, October 13th on the big MAF plane (10 seats) with the Sunlight school group. No flight problems.
Because of the earthquake, there is much talk of damage to schools, rectories, convents, churches, etc. It does not seem that many of the structures have fallen down. Some have been declared necessary for demolish by the city officials.
There are still the old pre-earthquake problems; difficulties to pay teacher salaries, no food for the nutrition programs, health problems for the priests, sisters, and teachers.
With the assistance of several benefactors, four of the parishes were able to get new vehicles this year. The money was sent in May 2017. The vehicles arrived at customs in Port-au-Prince in December 2017. The vehicles were finally released about May 2018. However, I am now learning that the government has not yet given the license plates for the vehicles… Plates were paid for in May 2018. So priests cannot drive the vehicles very far for fear of being arrested. I’ll write more later, after I have been able to visit the area.
What’s a Catholic to do? The following is a paraphrase of a recent article by Lindsey Kettner which deals with this question. The article appeared in Catalina Foothills Catholic Magazine and is shared with permission.
With the holiday of Halloween comes a certain amount of controversy. Is it a religious holiday that Catholics should embrace or is it a pagan celebration that should be avoided? There are many differing opinions. Halloween is observed on the eve of All Saints also known as All Hallows Eve. Some see it as a pagan holiday. The old customs and traditions our cultures had, the Church did not try to destroy or wipe them out. It merely tried to purify them and make them holy, orienting them toward something good.
Today, Halloween is different; it has become darker and less innocent. As Halloween has taken a turn towards being more wicked and morbid. What’s a Catholic family to do? There are certain things that Catholics should avoid when it comes to Halloween celebration. 1) Anything overly morbid. Bodies hanging from trees, severed limbs and other gruesome displays have no places in the Christian faith. 2) The supernatural and demonic. We don’t want our children to be terrified of the devil, but we also don’t want to instill in them a curiosity for the demonic or witchcraft, which is very dangerous to the Christian soul.
Celebrating Halloween is not necessarily incompatible with being a Christian. Halloween can be seen as a secularized version of the “Catholic Church’s ancient practice of anticipating this great feast day when we honor the saints.”
Some families avoid the celebration of Halloween altogether, while others embrace the American traditions of the holiday. With so many ideas of how to approach Halloween, it is up to you to use your best judgement about what’s best for you and your family. If you’re not sure, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your decisions and help you choose the path that will deepen your faith and lead you closer to God.
NOVEMBER DOOR OPENERS TO THE HOLY
The feast days of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd are both door openers to the Holy. On Thursday November 1st, All Saints Day, we pray to God through the intercession of all the saints as they clearly acknowledge the company we keep in the opening prayer of the Mass… Today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. In this prayer, we acknowledge not only our canonized saints but all those loved ones who have gone on before us, and who, in the course of their lives, let God’s light shine through them to us. We acknowledge that these holy men and women to be faithful-like parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles whose lives have been compelling inspiration to us on our journey to the holy.
ALL SAINTS DAY MASSES
Wednesday (Anticipated), 6:30pm; Thursday 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:00am (School Mass), 6:30pm, 7:30pm (Spanish).
ANOTHER DOOR OPENING FEAST
All Souls’ Day on Friday, November 2nd, we pray that any of our loved ones who may still be separated from God by any burden might be set free by our prayers on their behalf. The memorial altar set up in the vestibule of the church is a reminder to us of this door opening into this All Souls’ month of November. All three All Souls’ Day Masses (6:30am, 8:30am, 6:30pm) will have a special All Souls’ Day emphasis and will be the opportunity to come and pray for our beloved dead.
COMFORTING THE SORROWFUL
November is a month when many Catholics think about the dead. Does that sound morbid? It needn’t be. Recalling the life of a beloved family member, longtime friend, or trusted mentor can be consoling, especially if that person has led a rich and full life.
But for most people thinking about the dead evokes sadness, particularly if the death was recent or untimely. That awareness should remind us of the need not only to pray for the dead but to pray for those who survive them. Comforting the sorrowful is one of the traditional “spiritual works of mercy.” Part of that comfort includes praying for the person who is grieving. But there are other ways to help as well.
Often we may want to help someone who has lost a loved one but feel paralyzed by the fear of saying the “wrong thing.” We may have heard stories of otherwise well-meaning people who want to comfort and say things like, “It’s all for the best.” Or, “I know just how you feel.” Which sometimes makes people feel worse.
The most comforting thing we can do for someone grieving a loss may be to be physically present and simply listen to them. In general, you needn’t worry too much about saying the “right” or “wrong” thing. Just try to consider the situation, speak from your heart, and do your best. And don’t forget to pray that God will console them in their sorrow.
-Fr. James Martin, SJ
This comment by a parishioner to me recently aptly describes the three new statues occupying the niches in the back of the church. In our Catholic tradition, statues, images and holy pictures remind us of the company we keep… holy companions. The late Father Andrew Greeley in his book The Catholic Imagination eloquently describes these Catholic practices.
Catholics live in an enchanted world, a world of statues and holy water, stained glass and votive candles, saint and religious medals, Rosaries and holy pictures. But these Catholic paraphernalia are mere hints of a deeper and more pervasive religious sensibility which inclines Catholics to see the holy lurking in creation. As Catholics, we find our houses and our world haunted by a sense that the objects, events and process of daily life are revelations of grace.
A common misconception among Catholics is that we worship the saints. Not true. Worship is reserved for God alone. The saints are “venerated,” much as you would venerate a beloved mentor. The other misconception is praying to the saints. Some people think that when Catholics pray to the saints we are replacing prayers to God. Also not true. We are simply asking for their prayers. If we ask for the prayers of friends from earth, why not ask for the prayers of friends in heaven?
PARISH KINO MISSIONS TOUR
More than 300 years ago, a tireless Jesuit priest by the name of Eusebio Francisco Kino made countless forays on horseback toward much of what is now the Northern Mexican state of Sonora and Arizona. Fr. Kino brought with him ideas in material culture - chiefly the Christian faith, the Spanish language, cattle, and crops - that would change the region deeply and forever.
Join us in retracing the steps of Kino who established the first Mission Dolores in Sonora and the missionaries who followed him. You will be guided on the tour by scholars and enthusiasts who know and love the region and volunteer their time to share it with others. The Mission tour is scheduled for February 26th – 28th, 2019. A valid U.S. Passport is required of all participants. The bus will leave Tucson on Tuesday morning at 8am and arrive back on Thursday evening around 6-7 o’clock. The fee for this tour is $575 per person, double-occupancy ($100 for single supplement). A deposit of $100 is required at registration, and final payment is due February 1, 2019. Fuller information and registration forms for the Kino Missions Tour are available at the parish office or in the literature rack in the vestibule of the church. This parish Kino Missions Tour is a special feature of our 60th anniversary year.
MANAGING STRESS IN TIMES OF CRISIS
In this time of deep pain in the Church, you might experience complex reactions such as confusion, anger, and hurt.
These emotional stressors can impact your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. While no one can eliminate all stress from their environments, you can learn to recognize and cope with them to minimize their impact on daily life. Indeed, the solution may be as simple as changing certain routines and setting a few goals. First, slow yourself down. Practice bringing yourself into the present moment versus focusing on the past or future. Engaging in deep breathing may assist this process.
Second, try to reflect on your feelings without judgment. Such awareness can help you respond to stressors which create clarity and prevent you from being swept away by toxic thoughts.
Practice acceptance. Accepting the reality of a situation does not mean you approve of it. Rather, acceptance allows you to shift focus from what is going wrong to how to respond.
Throughout this process, prayer can play a crucial part. Taking time to rest and pray is essential… as modeled by Jesus Christ. In every Gospel, we read of Jesus leaving His disciples in order to pray. The disciples knew Jesus regularly took this time in order to find the strength to do His Father’s Will.
Self-care entails engaging in healthy habits and omitting unhealthy ones. So manage what you eat, do your best to get adequate sleep and exercise, and allow for opportunities for leisure and solitude.
In addition to teaching them the importance of prayer, Jesus demonstrated to them the importance of solitude and rest by regularly going to a deserted place to be alone.
Talking with a trusted, objective friend or adviser to help you express your feelings and obtain compassionate and candid feedback. Finally, focus on what you can control on your choices, and on what will make you more resilient.
The above article on stress appeared in a recent issue of Luke Notes from St. Luke Institute. Printed here with permission.
DECEMBER 8TH PILGRIMAGE DAY TO OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS ORPHANAGE IN AGUA PRIETA
The Arizona chapter of the Blessed Nuno Society, home-based here at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, is sponsoring an all-day pilgrimage to Our Lady Queen of Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta on Saturday, December 8th. Rocio Zamora will lead the one-day pilgrimage. The onsite visit to the orphanage will give a hands-on prayerful experience of reaching out to the most vulnerable among us, the homeless orphans at the orphanage. Parishioner pilgrims need to have a valid passport. The carpool will depart from the parish at 8am on Saturday, December 8th and return by 8pm that evening. Cars will be parked on the Douglas side of the border and the pilgrim group will walk across the border and board a bus for the 5-minute ride to the pilgrim site in Agua Prieta. There is no cost, but a freewill offering to offset the cost of the Mexican bus and to assist the orphanage will be collected at the orphanage. Pilgrims are responsible for paying for their own lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Interested parishioners may contact Rocio at the parish office.
THANKSGIVING MEAL PRAYER
God most provident,
We join all creation
In raising to you a hymn of Thanksgiving
Through Jesus Christ, your Son.
For generation upon generation
Peoples of this land have sung of Your bounty;
We, too, offer you praise
For the rich harvest we have received at Your hands.
Bless us and this food which we share with grateful hearts.
Continue to make our land fruitful
And let our love for you be seen
In our pursuit of peace and justice
And in our generous response to those in need.
Prayer and Glory to You, Lord God, now and forever.
“YES, LORD” ANNUAL RENEWAL OF TITHE/STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE
During these weeks, our parish is into the annual exercise of the renewal of our stewardship giving of treasure. All registered parishioners will be receiving their annual “Yes, Lord” mailing during this time. Commitment Weekend for this annual appeal is on November 10/11.
Our stewardship/tithe weekly income seems to be on a stationary plateau. Overall support of annual operational budget seems to be adequate for now. Recognizing the plateau reality, our current year’s budget has been adjusted from $19,500 to $19,040 a week income. Contributions for the seventeen week fiscal year to date are $18,379 per week or 4% below budget, or $11,242 shortfall. Last years deficit at this point was 1.5% or $4,723 shortfall.
Our three months in the parish hall and the successful Three R’s campaign seem to have been contributing factors towards this years deficit. The “Yes, Lord” annual renewal has always been helpful in erasing the early deficit of the year. Non-givers on our parish roster are invited to consider beginning a weekly giving within a $1 to $5 range. Our deepest thanks to all who are regular and faithful supporters of our parish.
Yes, Lord Renewal of Tithe / Stewardship Season
All Saints' Day Masses - October 31 (Anticipated) & November 1st
All Souls' Day Mass / Altar of Remembrance - November 2nd
Thanksgiving Day Mass - November 22nd at 9am
Feast of Christ the King - November 25th
Parish Kino Mission Trip - February 26 - 28 2019