Pastor's Page - 10/25
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Unfortunately, two of our boilers have stopped working, and we have been told that another two will not continue to work for long. We are going to try to replace only the two that no longer work this fiscal year and hope that the other two will make it through one more winter. The estimated total cost to replace these two boilers, including material and labor is over $20,000. We would be grateful for anything you could contribute to defray the cost of this unexpected project.
On a more positive note, we have finished with the project of replacing rotted wood in the fascia of the roof on our buildings, replacing the gutters, putting a leaf guard on them and repainting everything. I think this was something that has been necessary for some time, and the finished project does look good. The total cost of this project was $36,564.50.
We will begin a novena (nine days) of holy hours starting on Monday, October 26 and finishing on Tuesday, November 3 at 7 PM to pray for peace in our country. I would like to encourage you to come to this Peace Novena. We will pray Evening Prayer (also called Vespers, from the Liturgy of the Hours) and the rosary together and sing the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Of course, there will also be moments of quiet prayer and we will finish with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
(On Monday, November 2, since it is All Souls Day, the 7 PM Mass will take the place of the Holy Hour, although some people may remain and pray Evening Prayer.)
Our minister for evangelization and youth, Kelly Bennett, is teaming up with Epiphany Catholic School inviting you to participate in the “trunk-or-treat” on Friday, October 30, 6-8:00 PM at the school. Register at: https://ecstrunkortreat.weebly.com/ (just type this into your browser to offer to be a trunker and/or a volunteer); there wasn’t enough interest to host a second trunk or treat here at Precious Blood on October 31st.
The Church celebrates November 2 as the Feast of All Souls, a day to pray for all the faithful departed, especially those who may be in Purgatory (or the process of being purified). The Solemnity of All Saints is followed by the commemoration of All Souls to express the Christian belief in the "Communion of Saints." The Communion of Saints is the union of all the faithful on earth (the Church Militant), the saints in Heaven (the Church Triumphant) and the Poor Souls in Purgatory (the Church Suffering), with Christ as the Head. We are bound together by a supernatural bond. The Church Militant (those of us on earth still engaged in the struggle to save our souls) can venerate the Church Triumphant, and the saints can intercede with God for those still on earth. Both the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven can pray for the souls in Purgatory. Each day, from November 1 through November 8, one can gain a plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls.
On All Souls day we will have an 8:30 AM and a 7:00 PM Mass. We will be remembering our faithful departed from this past year during Mass.
Thank you to Joan Soutter who beautifully created the new signs on our rectory office and who painted our mailbox. No visitor should have any trouble finding our rectory office door now!
I am sure you have been concerned about the divisions in our country, and even the hatred and violence that have been increasing in many parts. I think that the pandemic restrictions have exacerbated the situation. As we approach the November elections, I fear that the tensions and vitriol will only increase. Although we may disagree, even within our parish, over many things, I hope we can all agree on one thing: our country and our culture need prayers.
As your pastor, I would like to ask you to set aside some time each week for prayer that you would not usually do – whatever prayer appeals to you. It would be good if you could set aside 15 minutes or 30 minutes or even an hour. I also believe that there are certain spirits that only go out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Therefore, I would also like to ask you – if your health permits – to choose at least one meal a week (from now until the crisis we are going through has passed) and fast from that meal. The three traditional acts of piety are: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, so I would also ask you to consider giving some alms to the poor. We need to ask our Lord to give us light in the present darkness, and to bring good out of evil, as only he can do.
We are grateful to our parishioners who are able to continue to support the parish during this time as we still have our payroll expenses. We would like to encourage you to sign up for FaithDirect, by going to: https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/va226
Thank you for your continued generosity.