The feast days of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd are both door-openers to November. On Tuesday, November 1st, All Saints’ Day, we pray to God through the intercession of all the saints and we 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 all canonized saints, but all our 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 these holy men and women to be people like parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, whose lives have been a compelling inspiration to us on our journey to the holy. All Saints’ Day Masses: Monday, 6:30pm; Tuesday, 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:00am (School Mass) and 6:30pm.
All Souls’ Day on Wednesday, 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.
ALL SOULS MEMORIAL CANDLES:
All Souls memorial candles are available for purchase from the parish office as a way of remembering beloved dead during All Souls’ month – the month of November. A label is available with each purchased candle. The names of deceased family members and friends can be noted on the label, and then placed on the candle. Candles can be brought to the Mass of your choice on All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, for a simple blessing during the prayers of petition. The blessed candle can be lighted during prayer time in the home during the month of November and may also be placed on the dinner table in the evening and lighted as a way of personally remembering those whose names have been noted on the candle. Perhaps praying the Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be would be an appropriate way to prayerfully entrust them into God’s loving care. The blessed candle is a sacramental in our Church practice, a way of reminding us of the holy. May our beloved family members and friends who’ve gone on before us in faith, rest in peace.
MERCY, MERCY, MERCY:
The Year of Mercy concludes on the Feast of Christ the King on November 20th. The focus of the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis was to highlight the centrality of God’s mercy for us, and the ongoing mercy ministry of Jesus through His other Body, the Church. All of us are embraced by His loving mercy and compassion. In turn, we are called to be merciful like the Father has been to us in Jesus.
The Holy Door leading to the reconciliation/confession rooms in the church will remain in place as a reminder to us of God’s ongoing merciful action towards us in the Sacrament of His mercy…the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. There’s always a way home for us to new beginnings through God’s personal mercy for us in this Sacrament.
The prayer of mercy & forgiveness that the priest prays over us in the Sacrament unlocks the floodgates of God’s mercy: God, the Father of mercy, through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, has reconciled the world to Himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you His pardon and His peace and I absolve you from all your sins, in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Weekly Reconciliation/Confession times are Wednesday 6:00-6:25pm, Saturday 4:00-5:00pm and 7:00-7:30pm.
PRAYING FOR MERCY BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
When Pope Francis inaugurated the Year of Mercy last December, I was asked the same question by several Catholics: “Are we supposed to be merciful for only a year? What happens when the year ends?” Needless to say, Pope Francis intended to emphasize mercy, not to limit it. In fact, you could say that his entire papacy has focused on that theme. The same might be said — with only a few quibbles from New Testament scholars —of Jesus’ ministry.
By this point you might be tired of hearing about all the ways you are called to be merciful (pick one): to your spouse, your family members, your coworkers, and your neighbors; not to mention the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and as Pope Francis reminded us in his encyclical Laudato Sí, the earth. Creation itself deserves our mercy.
So let me suggest one person you might have forgotten to have mercy on: you. That is the prayer I suggest for this month. Of course you an always pray that God in his infinite compassion might look upon you mercifully. But God is already looking at you with mercy. So why not also pray that you might look upon yourself mercifully. That you might give yourself a break for all that you do. That, as one of my spiritual directors liked to say, you might be “easy with yourself.”
Why not ask God to help you see yourself as God sees you: someone who is trying his or her best. Why not conclude the Year of Mercy by being merciful to someone God cares for very much: you.
Used with permission. Fr. James Martin, “Teach Us to Pray: Praying for Mercy,” from the November 2016 issue of Give Us This Day, www.giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016).
PARISH MERCY OUTLETS:
I like to think of our parish outreach ministries as mercy outlets. Our St. Vincent de Paul ministry surely is a mercy outlet to those who are most needy and vulnerable in our parish. Our Haiti minister and ministry is a mercy outlet to the poorest of the poor in the country of Haiti which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Sr. Jose Women’s Center is a mercy outlet to homeless women in our community who are so often abandoned and most vulnerable. Our sandwich-making and reach-out to Casa Maria where the hungry homeless are fed is another tangible mercy outlet from our parish. The following groups in the parish are also very mercy-centered and are authentic mercy outlets…our parish Care for Creation committee, Blessed Nuno Society, Primavera Shelter for Homeless Men, Reachout Pregnancy Center, PCIC, etc., etc.
The following poem entitled, Mercy Outlets, is a reflection on this reality of our parish:
God’s song is a song of mercy.
It befriends the hungry and the lost,
The abandoned and the stranger,
The homeless and the refugee.
God’s never ending mercy
Flows like a mighty river.
Its flow is all-embracing,
Embracing burdened, sinful, and broken hearts.
Mercy’s flow absorbs and possesses
Individual and collective hearts.
It flows to and through God’s community
Forming mercy rivulets and outlets.
Our God of infinite mercy
Acts in and through us.
His face of mercy
Shines brightly on and through our faces.
In God’s never-ending mercy
We become merciful like the Father.
Forgiven and forgiving
We become mercy outlets.
Tomãs õ Cathalãin
“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. My deepest thanks to Saul and Tracy Rodolfo who shared personal witness on their tithing/stewardship practices during the annual preaching on this important aspect of holistic stewardship. All registered parishioners will be receiving their annual “Yes, Lord” mailing this week. Commitments for this annual appeal is to begin on November 5-6.
INCOME/BUDGET PLATEAU: Our stewardship/tithe weekly income seems to have reached a 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 to $19,000 a week income – a decrease of $500 a week from last year’s budget. This has been attained through some reorganization. Our regular givers are encouraged to consider a dollar per week increase in their giving during the upcoming “Yes, Lord” annual stewardship/tithe campaign. 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.
OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS HOME BOUND MINISTRY: Few realize the congregation that extends beyond our church walls and reaches to our home bound. These wonderful people whose parish seats happen to be in their homes, nursing care facilities or hospice are visited weekly by the dedicated home bound Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist (EMEs) from Our Mother of Sorrows parish. The anticipation of receiving the body of Christ, having someone to sit and pray with them as well as provide the news of the parish is seen on the face of each of our home bound.
Our parish has a large home bound congregation. Currently we have 36 regularly scheduled EMEs, 12 EMEs who are substitutes for EMEs ill or on vacation that visit 81 home bound once a week, all year long. Our parish priests visit each home bound parishioner at least once every 2.5 months. This comes to a total of 280-300 visits per month to our home bound. For many of the home bound the EME is the only visitor they receive separate of a nurse or doctor visits.
The EMEs remind our home bound they are not forgotten, they are still part of the congregation and their spiritual need and desire for communion, prayer and company are actively recognized and provided for. Please keep these wonderful EMEs as well as our home bound congregation in prayer. If anyone wishes to respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit by joining the EMEs for Home Bound Ministry, please me at 305-3613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ~Patsy Klein
JOAN MARTIN & HURRICANE MATTHEW: First, let me say that the damage in our area is NOTHING, compared to the devastation in the South--Jérémie and Les Cayes. So far, I have heard of no deaths in our area.
Hurricane Matthew hit our area midday on Tuesday Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Port-de-Paix had no major problems. The area most affected was to the west of Trois Riviere. The roads in the area were blocked by downed trees, displaced rocks, mud, and overflowing rivers. I got a ride to Jean Rabel on Thursday Oct. 6, but it was two days before I could go farther west.
Two sisters of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa`s sisters) had organized an expedition of a pick-up, a large shipping truck, and their Land Cruiser to deliver 500 sacks of food (rice, beans, oil) and individual sacks of water to the west; they had a small space for me in the back with 5 people and the water sacks.
1. Savan Mole--a chapel of Mole St. Nicolas. Trees down, houses without roofs, many people lost their gardens and their goats. Over 150 people, mainly women, assembled in the Digicel school (where some had been spending the night because their homes were gone), and the sisters and young people gave out the food sacks and water.
2. Bombardopolis--probably over 400 people assembled, but there were only sacks for 150. Many more trees down, more gardens lost, more houses without roofs; for the convent--about half of the back side of the roof was ripped off...2x4s and sheet metal completely gone. The chunk of twisted metal and lumber managed to hit 2 of the priests` cars that were parked there for protection during the storm---one on the front windshield, one on the roof...skipping over the car of Pere Ricardo, the parish priest, that was parked in between the two.
3. Baie-de-Henne--the River Henne comes down the mountain and creates a beautiful lush gardening area as you enter Baie, which is located right on the ocean. The banana and plantain trees are almost all down, and the gardens are covered with mud. Many goats lost. Many houses without roofs. Over 150 people received sacks of food and water, with 50 sacks for the people of Petite Tans which is a little farther down the road. Because it is even closer to the ocean, many homes were destroyed--plus the chapel/school. Fr. Ader was one of the priests whose windshield was cracked by the convent sheet metal in Bombard.
On the way back to Bombard, the sisters passed out the remaining 20 sacks of food (plus some boxes of crackers, and small sacks of water) to anyone we passed on the road---women with families, boys on bicycles, drivers with broken down cargo trucks, old people sitting by the road, women leading their donkeys. ~Joan Martin
CASA MARIA MASS - A TRULY HUMBLING EXPERIENCE: There are moments in my life that have had a profound impact on my spirituality and on who I am as a person and as a Christian. One day, when I lived out of the country and was in Tucson on vacation, my mom asked me if I wanted to help her make lunches for Casa Maria. I gladly accepted the invitation and, as I was making the sandwiches, I came to the realization that much of who I am today is thanks to my mother and father (who had passed away a few weeks earlier). Giving of oneself is part of life, sharing what we have with those who have less is not the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s the only thing to do. I finally understood why I had suffered when I was not able to give of myself or my resources due to external factors.
Today, going with Msgr. Tom and Jobita, who is new to our parish, to Casa Maria where Msgr. Tom celebrated Mass, was another one of those moments. The Mass was this morning. Now, in the late hours of the night, I still feel the effects of the Holy Spirit flowing through me. To say that it was a moving experience would be an understatement.
The modest house, that serves meals to over 300 people a day, exudes with Christ’s love. It is a true home to anyone who arrives with an open heart. The joy of serving in God’s name, the acceptance of people for who they are, the vibrant energy, and the caring spirits of those present all join together as these witnesses to the Lord’s Word took time out of their activities to participate in Mass.
The music was in Spanish, the Mass in English, and I heard people’s prayers in both languages. But more important than that was the fact that the universal language of God’s love, which has no barriers, was so present that I felt as if it were penetrating my pores and filling my soul.
If you ever want to feel, to experience, to live a truly humbling encounter with God and His disciples, I strongly recommend that you accompany Msgr. Tom when he celebrates a 10:00am Mass at Casa Maria on the 2nd Monday of each month. ~Susan Hillman
POPE FRANCIS AND THE NOVEMBER 8TH ELECTION: Pope Francis has advised U.S. Catholics voting in the presidential election to study the proposals of the candidates well, to pray about it, and then “choose in conscience”. In a lengthy press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome on October 2nd, Pope Francis was asked what counsel he might give to Catholics who are unhappy with both the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. “I never say a word about electoral campaigns”, the Pope replied. “The people are sovereign. I will only say: study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience.”
Specifically after addressing the U.S. election, the Pope continued to speak about the selection of political candidates in a more general way, outside the context of the presidential contest. “When it happens that in a country, any country, there are two or three or four candidates that do not satisfy everyone, it means the political life of that country may be too politicized.”
SCHOOL REFLECTIONS FROM OUR PRINCIPAL, ERIN VU: During the month of October, families were asked to share their thoughts and ideas about the school. The data will be used as part of our self study and accreditation process through the Western Catholic Educational Association. As a school, we are committed to continually improving the educational and faith experience at Our Mother of Sorrows, and this survey helps us to continually improve!
Of our 265 families, 94 families responded to our annual survey, and the results were positive about the school. Our families shared that the top two reasons they send their children to Our Mother of Sorrows is our academic excellence and our Catholic faith formation and values, and 98% of parents responded that they are satisfied with the school. The survey also asked families to reflect on the quality of our academic and religious programs and experiences. The families overwhelming responded that our school provides opportunities for students to learn about their faith and experience their faith. The parents also responded that our core academic programs are effective or highly effective with 100% of families responding positively regarding the Language Arts program and 95% responding positively regarding the math program. Over 95% of parents positively responded to statements regarding the safety of the school, the perceived working relationships at the school, and the availability of the faculty and staff.
DECEMBER 3RD 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 3rd. Executive Director Carl Sylvester 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 3rd 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 or email email@example.com.
PARISH OFFICE RECEPTIONIST IN TRANSITION: Thanks to Rossy De La Torre for her three years of faithful service and welcome back to Sylvia Ramirez to her former role.
Yes, Lord Renewal of Tithe/Stewardship Season
All Saints’ Day Masses - October 31 (Anticipated) & November 1
Monthly Memorial/All Souls’ Day Mass/Altar of Remembrance - November 2
Anointing of the Sick - November 4 & 9
Veterans Day Mass for Active & Retired Military - November 9
Feast of Christ the King - November 20
Thanksgiving Day Mass- November 24 at 9am
First Sunday of Advent - November 27