My Dear Parishioners,
Next week we celebrate our annual Catholic Schools Week. This is a special time when we acknowledge and celebrate all the blessings we have at St. Joseph/St. Robert School. This includes our terrific students, excellent principal, talented faculty, hardworking administration and staff, and generous volunteers. We are so grateful to all those who helped to keep our students learning in person through very difficult and challenging times. Our School is a true community where we are, “Focused on Faith and Learning.” Our Mission Statement reads: St. Joseph/St. Robert School (SJR), with Jesus as our foundation and inspiration, prepares students to live fully His message of love, courage, and compassion. Our philosophy of academic rigor and relevance prepares our students to be contributing members of the Church and the global community. All are invited to check out the good things happening at our Blue Ribbon school. St. Joseph/St. Robert School will host Private Family tours in celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Registration is required. Interested families should refer to the Church bulletin for registration information.
Pope Francis has designated this Sunday the Third Sunday in Ordinary time as, Word of God Sunday. I found the following from Vatican News on the website, www.vatican.va. Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio “Aperuit illis,” published on September 30, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.” The timing of the document is significant: September 30th is the Feast of Saint Jerome, the man who translated most of the Bible into Latin, and who famously said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” The year 2019 (the publication date of the Pope’s letter) also marked 1600 years since St. Jerome’s death.
The title of the document, “Aperuit illis,” is equally important. They are its opening words, taken from St. Luke’s Gospel, where the Evangelist describes how the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, and how “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Recalling the importance given by the Second Vatican Council to rediscovering Sacred Scripture for the life of the Church, Pope Francis says he wrote this Apostolic Letter in response to requests from the faithful around the world to celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God. In the Motu proprio (literally, “of his own initiative”), Pope Francis declares that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.” This is more than a temporal coincidence, he explains: the celebration has “ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.”
Pope Francis invites local communities to find ways to “mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity.” He suggests that the sacred text be enthroned “in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s Word.” In highlighting the proclamation of the Word of the Lord, it would be appropriate “to emphasize in the homily the honour that it is due,” writes the Pope. “Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with Sacred Scripture.”
The Bible is not meant for a privileged few, continues Pope Francis. It belongs “to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words.” The Bible cannot be monopolized or restricted to select groups either, he writes, because it is “the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity.” You can find more information at https://www.usccb.org/committees/divine-worship/sunday-word-god.
May God Bless You,