My Dear Parishioners,
This Tuesday, October 4th, is the Church’s feast of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Joseph Church will host our annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis this Sunday, October 2nd at 1:00 p.m. Please bring your leashed animals to the grassy area between the two back parking lots for a brief prayer service and blessing.
October is also the time when we have our “October Count” during Masses. 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.
As part of our 100th Anniversary celebration, we will celebrate our 40 Hours with a special “Eucharistic Retreat.” Our Homilist for 40 Hours will be Fr. Pio Mandato, FMHJ. Fr. Pio is a Franciscan priest living as a missionary hermit. Fr. Pio was born in Italy and along with his brother Vincenzo, received his first holy communion from Saint Pio before coming to the USA. He grew up in New Jersey and entered the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of 17, and was ordained in 1985. In 1998 he was accepted in the diocese of Scranton, Pa., and now lives a life of solitude, prayer, and intercession. He is also Chaplain to the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth and at times is engaged in the preaching apostolate. When summarizing his “Eucharistic Retreat” he says, “Jesus’ whole life can be summarized as the offering of Himself in sacrifice on the cross so we could share in deep communion and intimacy with His Father in the Spirit (Hb. 10:12). Three words that synthesize this teaching which is embodied in the Eucharist are presence, sacrifice and communion. These words are the very core of any act of authentic love. The retreat will focus on these Eucharistic realities in the life of the Lord and pray for the grace so we may enter into them.
Our 40 Hours will be on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday October 16, 17, and 18. There will be opportunities for confession, the celebration of Evening Prayer and benediction, and on Tuesday, a healing prayer service with the opportunity to be blessed with the glove of Padre Pio.
October is annually observed as Respect Life Month in Catholic Churches across our nation. Archbishop William Lori, the chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference Committee on Pro-Life activities has written a reflection, Building a Culture of Life in a Post-Roe World. Below is an excerpt of his letter.
God Bless you,