My Dear Parishioners,
This week we welcome Fr. Timothy Christy as our homilist for Sunday and Monday of this week and Fr. Anthony Hangholt for the Tuesday Closing of our Forty Hours Devotion at St. Joseph. 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 (after the 11:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday and after the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Monday and Tuesday) until 7:00 p.m., when we will celebrate the Evening Prayer of the Church concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This time of year, many priests and religious make their annual retreat. 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 21, 2018. Archbishop Chaput has asked that we communicate the following letter in preparation for the Collection.
God Bless you,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Pope Francis has called for an “Extraordinary Missionary Month” to be celebrated in October 2019 with the goal of fostering an increased awareness of our baptismal call to be missionaries.
In light of this request by the Holy Father, I am happy to announce that beginning this World Mission Sunday, October 21, 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will dedicate the year leading up to October 2019 as the Extraordinary Year of Mission.
On World Mission Sunday, as we begin this Extraordinary Year of Mission, you are asked for a response in the way of your prayers and help to reawaken this calling to be missionary and to work with a new impulse to further the missionary transformation of life and pastoral activity. The Pontifical Mission Societies were born of devoted hearts as a means of supporting the preaching of the Gospel to every nation contributing to the human and cultural growth of all those who thirst for truth.
The prayers and the material aid generously given and distributed through the Societies enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives.
It is my hope during this year each one of us is frequently reminded of our vocational call, by our baptism, to be missionaries. “We need to bring Jesus Christ to the whole world and the whole world to Jesus Christ.” I have said this before, and it holds true today.
I pray that beginning on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, each of you will pray daily, increase your heartfelt generosity and sacrifice for missionaries and the people they serve, and embrace missionary discipleship.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.