My Dear People,
This coming Friday is a Holy Day of Obligation, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Over the last 40 years the bishops and priests have become painfully aware that the Catholic people we are shepherding do not see Holy Days of Obligation as very important. The Bishops have moved some of these feasts to Sunday so the people will be exposed to the mystery being celebrated. Ascension Thursday is a good example. Because this feast fell on a Thursday, people didn't think it important to attend. The result is that we have members of the community who never celebrated this great feast with the community. We now celebrate Ascension Thursday on Sunday.
"But Father, I work." If you are working at both the 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM Mass times [the mass times for our parish], that is an excuse, unless you are willing to talk to your boss or manager to come in a little late or leave a little early. Most of our bosses don't even know we are Catholic. The group that cannot make either time is small. Then people give a list of things that are obviously more important than gathering with the community and hearing God's Word and Breaking Bread together.
The Church still believes that not attending Mass on Holy Days of Obligation is a serious matter which requires the Sacrament of Reconciliation to get ourselves back on the track that leads to the Lord.
I have had people ask why we do this for a feast like the Assumption. The Assumption is a unique tenet of our Catholic faith. Gathering on a special day to celebrate a unique belief draws attention from those around us and invites them to ponder this wonderful mystery.
Please join us THIS Friday and celebrate the uniqueness of our Catholic Faith.
May the Lord continue to bless each of you and your families.
- Fr. Tom
Fr. Tom is the new pastor of the parish I attend, the replacement for Fr. Ariel, who - if you remember my mentioning - was sadly was moved far away. I am excited about Fr. Tom, as are many people I believe, because he has proved to be very similar to Fr. Ariel. Which could be explained by the fact that Fr. Ariel served as associate pastor to Fr. Tom for several years thus learning from him. I look forward for what Fr. Tom has to teach us in the future.