My Dear Parishioners,
We just instituted our new weekend schedule, last weekend, and everything seemed to work well. I understand that not everyone will be pleased with the new schedule, but I hope that people will make the commitment to continue attending Mass at St. Joseph. Of course you can “go to Mass anywhere,” but for most of you, this is your home, this is where you are registered, and this is the Church you have supported faithfully over the years. While I appreciate it may be a challenge to change a schedule that you have developed over the years, I hope you can make the change, because our parish family is not the same without all members present.
This coming week we will welcome Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Edward Deliman, to confirm 36 of our young people. This is the “make-up” confirmation for the celebration that had to be postponed last spring because of the Coronavirus. Please keep our confirmandi, their sponsors, and their families in your prayers. We ask the Holy Spirit to shower the seven gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord upon them as they complete their initiation into our faith.
Next week we will celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 18, 2020. Archbishop Pérez has asked that we communicate the following letter in preparation for the Collection.
God Bless you,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The annual, worldwide celebration of our shared call to Mission, World Mission Sunday, is celebrated on October 18, 2020 this year. That Sunday will also mark the beginning of a year-long commemoration marking the 110th Anniversary of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
This special year begins at a time marked by the suffering and challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. Still, as Pope Francis reminds us, “the Missionary journey of the whole Church continues”. During the Mission Month of October, Pope Francis reminds us that, as baptized Christians, we are called personally to Mission. When the Lord asks us to respond to his call, ‘Whom shall I send?’ – what will your answer be? Hopefully, each of us will respond in the same way as the prophet Isaiah: “Here I am . . . Send me.”
“Here I Am, Send Me” is the response we can endeavor to live out throughout the Societies’ 110th Anniversary Year-Long Celebration. This response is displayed through our prayer, through our participation in the Eucharist and in our generosity to the World Mission Sunday collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
Through supporting the Pope’s own Missionary Societies, you, too, become partners with missionaries and those whom they serve. Your gift helps sustain priests, Religious and lay pastoral leaders in 1,111 Mission dioceses around the world as they proclaim the Gospel, build the Church and serve the poor. In supporting missionaries, you also answer, “Here I Am, Send Me.”
This year, in response to the challenges facing the Mission Church from the pandemic, I invite you to respond in the most generous way you are able. I offer you my sincere gratitude for your kindness in praying for and supporting the missionary work of the Church throughout this Mission Month and our local 110th Anniversary Year.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia