My Dear Parishioners,
Please pray for our young people who will be receiving the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Confirmation this school year. We present them to the community at the 11:30 Mass this Sunday. We pray that their families will nurture their faith by consistently bringing them to Mass to grow in love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am also happy to let you know that we have two adult candidates for our RCIA program. Please pray for them as well as our team and all teachers and catechists in our school, CCD, and RCIA program.
This week we welcome Fr. Jerome Bracken, C.P. as our homilist for our Parish celebration of Forty Hours. Fr. Bracken is a Passionist priest from Queens, NY. He has also been my Spiritual Director since my seminary days. He has taught Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and also for Seton Hall for a total of over 30 years. I am very pleased to welcome him to St. Joseph for our 40 Hours. This devotion to Jesus present in the Eucharist traces its origins back to the time of St. John Neumann. Here in Philadelphia, it is the special time that a parish sets aside to worship Jesus truly present Body and Blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. Our church will expose the Blessed Sacrament on the altar Sunday, Monday and Tuesday October 15, 16, & 17 (after the 11:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday and after the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Monday and Tuesday). We will celebrate Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 7:00 p.m. You can use these three days as a type of “mini-retreat.” Please sign up for an hour on the sheets at the exits of the church. The Blessed Sacrament should not be unattended. Schedule some time to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament during the day or early evening and pray. You can use the time to pray a rosary, or do some reading of scripture, or meditate about your life, or simply be present to God in whatever way inspires you. Just invite the Lord into your mind and heart and tell Him what is going on with you, or just rest in His presence.
Next week we will celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 22, 2023. Archbishop Pérez has asked that we communicate the following letter in preparation for the Collection.
God Bless you,
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On October 22, we will join Catholics worldwide to observe World Mission Sunday by celebrating the love of the Lord and help bring the Good news to all corners of the Earth.
Inspired by the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, Pope Francis chose this year’s theme: “Hearts on fire, feet on the move.” He invites us to reflect on these images, “their hearts burned within them as they heard the Scriptures explained by Jesus, their eyes were opened as they recognized him and, ultimately, their feet set out on the way.” As Missionary disciples, we seek inspiration in the Scriptures. We also look to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Church’s Mission so we can evangelize with zeal and urgency.
As we celebrate World Mission Sunday, we call to mind a Missionary disciple whose heart burned with the Gospel, Blessed Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Pontifical Mission Societies. She recognized that all are called to participate in the Missionary work of the Church through spiritual and material offerings. Her vision led to World Mission Sunday, which helps the Pope support Missionary activity.
The World Mission Sunday collection assists the Holy Father in proclaiming the Gospel and celebrating the Sacraments in over 1,111 Mission dioceses and areas that are young and in need of resources. Your gifts help build and operate schools and orphanages, construct churches, train catechists and educate Mission seminarians and Religious men and women.
I urge you to keep your hearts aflame and your feet moving this World Mission Sunday and every day. Working together with that spirit, we can bring everyone to recognize Jesus in the Word and the Eucharist. Your prayers are invaluable, and your financial support provides life-giving aid to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.,
Archbishop of Philadelphia