In my column last week, I forgot to thank our church Environment and Art Committee for the beautiful mums arranged in the Prayer Garden for our Festival Mass. These ladies work so hard to make our worship spaces so beautiful, not just on special occasions but throughout the year. So here’s a big shout out to them for all they do for us week in and week out!
October, the first full month of autumn, is one of nature’s most beautiful. It is also packed with observations:
First of all, October is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to honor and celebrate all of our brothers and sisters of Hispanic origin and descent, and pray God’s blessings upon them as they celebrate their rich culture, history and faith. We are proud to support Hispanic ministry and the Latino community that gathers at St. Jude Church (Our Lady of Hope Parish) in Blackwood, under the leadership of Fr. Renee Canales.
October is also Respect Life Month. We are called to reflect on the sacred gift of life and the need to respect, uphold, promote and defend it from every threat. Abortion is one of the gravest evils we are capable of committing because it is an attack on human life at its earliest, most innocent and defenseless stage. As such it is a despicable crime against humanity and life itself. But it is not the only one.
War, capital punishment, euthanasia, poverty, discrimination, and pollution – of the human body as well as the natural environment that sustains it – are all crimes against life. None of these can have a place in the Christian heart because they threaten to destroy life and the dignity of those to whom it has been given by our Creator.
In his encyclical Laudato Si our Holy Father Pope Francis addressed all these issues in the context of respect for all life. Let us dedicate ourselves to prayer this month for the conversion of those whose hearts are hardened in any way to the sacred gift of life, both within the womb and outside of it.
Finally, October is dedicated by the Church as the Month of the Holy Rosary. Pope Francis urges us to pray it each day this month for the healing of the Church from its political in-fighting; and for the healing of all victims of abuse, particularly committed by members of the clergy. We can also pray for the healing of our nation, which is also consumed with political in-fighting; for an end to all that threatens life both in the womb and outside of it; for the needs of the family; for the needs of our Hispanic brothers and sisters and members of all minority groups; and for our personal needs and intentions. What better way to demonstrate our love for Mary, Mother of the Author of Life, than to pray for these things in her name?
LET’S GO EAGLES AND FLYERS!!
In His Love,