Twenty-Sixth Sunday of the Year
30 September 2012
Dear Friends in Christ,
1. During this coming week, the priests of the Diocese of Charleston will be on retreat, and then I will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 8 to 19 October. For these reasons, the following modifications to our sacramental schedule are required: We will not have the Wednesday afternoon Holy Hour or Confessions on 3 or 10 October, and we will not have the noon Mass on any weekday in the first three weeks of October. I regret that these changes are necessary, but things will return to normal in the fourth week of October.
2. The Year of Faith will begin on Thursday 11 October 2012. This date is significant for two reasons: it is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it is the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In preparation for the Year of Faith, I encourage every family in the parish to secure your own copy of the Catechism by visiting St. Anthony’s Catholic Bookstore on Congaree Road, across from Haywood Mall.
3. Another splendid way to observe the Year of Faith is pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day; this is the Church’s official prayer, and it is recommended to all the baptized. The Liturgy of the Hours, also called the Divine Office, is built around the Psalms, and by praying at regular intervals (or Hours) throughout the day, the Church fulfills the precept of St. Paul to pray always. It is possible now to pray the Liturgy of the Hours online by visiting www.divineoffice.org or by the use of an app for iPhones and iPads, but the traditional means of praying the Office is with a handbook called a breviary. These are also available at St. Anthony’s in several different forms. And by far the best way to pray the Divine Office is with others, most especially in the church. Plan now to join us at 5 pm on every Sunday of Advent and Lent during the coming Year of Faith to pray Vespers, one of the hinge Hours in the Divine Office. If you have never experienced the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours, you have lived only half a life as a Catholic, and I exhort every family in the parish to make room for Sunday Vespers on at least one Sunday of Advent.
4. The twin feasts of All Saints and All Souls are now just a month away. Thursday 1 November is the Solemnity of All Saints, a holy day of obligation, and Friday 2 November is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed or All Souls Day. On that day we pray for the souls of the just who are being prepared for the glorious vision of God, and in your stewardship envelopes you’ll find an envelope for All Souls Day with lines on one side for writing the names of your beloved dead whom you would like remembered at the altar here during November. Please complete that envelope and drop it in any collection during October.