My Dear Parishioners,
October is annually observed as Respect Life Month in Catholic Churches across our nation. Human life is under constant attack in our culture today; from the moment of conception to natural death. Life is threatened because we no longer understand what it means to be human, and what our humanity calls forth from us in our responsibility to care for other persons. St. John Paul II in his encyclical the Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, EV) tells us that “For the Christian, it is an absolute imperative to respect, love and promote the life of every brother and sister, in accordance with the requirements of God’s bountiful love in Jesus Christ.” n. 77
Respect Life Sunday is today, and the United States Bishops are adopting the theme, Be Not Afraid, as the way to identify the Respect Life Program for the year 2017-18. St. Joseph is once again participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign which is a peaceful witness across the street from the Planned Parenthood Office on Louis Drive in Warminster. Our parish date to be present is Tuesday October 10th, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please consider signing up to spend one hour that day with us in Warminster, praying for an end to abortion. The sign-up sheets are on the tables in the back hallway.
Respect is the acknowledgement that all human persons are made in the image of God. It is important that children learn at an early age to recognize that they are a human person because they possess a God-given dignity. This can be done by emphasizing their Heavenly Father’s love for them. “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are… Beloved, we are God’s children now.” (1 John 3:16) When battered by life’s storms, or immersed in a dense fog of suffering and uncertainty, we may feel alone and unequipped to handle the circumstances. Yet with words that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, the Lord says to us, “Do not fear: I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10).
He speaks these words not as one who merely observes our pain, but as one who experienced immense suffering. And the very wounds that bear witness to his suffering indicate the essence of our identity and worth: we are loved by God. Reflecting on the healed wounds of the Risen Christ, we see that even our most difficult trials can be the place where God manifests His victory. He makes all things beautiful. He makes all things new.
October is also the time when we have our “October Count” during Mass. We count all those in attendance at all of our Saturday night and Sunday Masses and forward those numbers to the Archdiocese. Please pardon the additional clicking noise during Mass, and thank you to our ushers for taking the count.
Finally I want to invite everyone to our 40 Hours Celebration. This is a special time that we set aside to worship Jesus in the Eucharist. It will take place on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday October 15-17. Adoration will begin after the last Mass of the day and continue through to Evening Prayer with Benediction at 7:00 p.m. each day. Our homilist is Fr. Timothy Christy, the vicar for Evangelization and Communication for the diocese of Metuchen, NJ. There will be no public recitation of the Rosary that Monday night.
God Bless you,