My Dear Parishioners,
The Year 1922 was an interesting year. Pope Bendict XV died and Pope Pius XI was elected as the new pope. It was the year when insulin was first used on humans to treat diabetes; Britain declared Egypt a sovereign state; the first facsimile photo ever was sent over city telephone lines; the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt was discovered; and the Soviet Union was founded. The Ottoman Empire was abolished and its last sultan Mehmed VI, abdicated. Mussolini and the Fascist party came to power in Italy. Mohandas Gandhi was arrested, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years imprisonment. America’s first aircraft carrier, The USS Langley, was commissioned. The 2-month long Railway Shopmen’s Strike of 1922 began, affecting 400,000 workers. The Lincoln monument was dedicated in Washington, D.C. But a little closer to home, St. Joseph Parish was also founded in this year on June 16, 1922.
Starting in the Fall, we will begin a yearlong celebration to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of our parish. We are looking forward to you joining us for the various celebrations, beginning with our Parish 40 Hours; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, October 17, 18, and 19th at 7:00 p.m. I am very happy that we have a “parish son” coming back for this. Fr. Jim Olson will be the homilist for these three evenings. We see this anniversary as an opportunity for parishioners to reengage with the parish and become involved in ways that they may not have been prior to the pandemic.
Unfortunately, not all anniversaries are happy ones. It is hard to believe it has been 20 years since the violent terrorist attacks on our country. We pray for all those who lost their lives, and all the survivors and their families whose lives were forever changed. I am including a prayer that was offered by Pope Benedict when he visited ground zero in New York, in 2008:
O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here — the heroic first-responders: our firefighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness. Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope. We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth. Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events. Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain. Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all. AMEN.
God Bless you,