Holy Days, Silence, and Hope

10-27-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Fall Back! Don’t forget that next Sunday is the end of daylight savings time. That 8:30am Mass will feel like 7:30am, so be sure to stop by Parish Perks after that Mass to get you some coffee and face time with fellow parishioners.

We have a beautiful Holy Day of Obligation this week – the Solemnity of All Saints Day, November 1. The feast was known as All Hallows Day in older English, “hallow” meaning “holy” / “saint”. The previous day – the Eve – was known as Hallows’ Even, (for evening), later contracted to Hallowe’en, and later ended up as Halloween. The rather pagan associations with Halloween are just that – pagan. Our celebration of All Saints Day has its origins around the legalization of Christianity in 313 when a common liturgical celebration of the Saints, especially the Martyrs, appears in various parts of the Church. November 1 seems to have been settled on sometime in the 8th century and eventually became the universal norm.

Saturday, All Souls Day, begins our solemn month of praying for our Faithful Departed. From the earliest days of the Church, we have prayed for our dead, for their cleansing from all sin through the saving Cross of Christ. Masses for All Souls on November 2 will be at 8am and 11am at Calvary Cemetery (Old St. Mary’s in case of inclement weather). We will also have available the Book of the Faithful Departed near the main doors of the church for you to write the names of your loved ones. There are envelopes for All Souls as well. Record the names of your departed loved ones on the envelope. These will be placed on the altar and remembered at Masses throughout the month of November.

Don’t miss a very special upcoming event we are hosting, sponsored by Catholic Charities together with the Aiken Deanery parishes: The Matthew 25 Call to Christian Service Workshop. What a great preparation for Advent! See the bulletin for details of the workshop. There is no cost.

Finally, I sometimes like to share titles of books that I have been reading. Two recent ones are both from Robert Cardinal Sarah: The Power of Silence and The Day is Now Far Spent. If you are really serious about doing something about your prayer life and want to take it to the next level, The Power of Silence is your book. “Without silence, God disappears in the noise. And this noise becomes all the more obsessive because God is absent. Unless the world rediscovers silence, it is lost. The earth then rushes into nothingness” (80). In The Day is Now Far Spent, Cardinal Sarah explores various crises in the Church and in the world. From an interview about the book: “A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance. But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal. I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn.”

There is hope, and it is always a faithful return to Jesus Christalways!

God bless and keep you holy. – Father Wilson