CtR Update From Fr. Sean – November 18
Parish Update – Friday, Nov. 18
Happy Friday, one and all, and what a joyful Friday it is. Today is the unofficial start of the “
” with schools letting out for Thanksgiving, and with all the travel, shopping, and family gatherings commencing for so many of us. May the Lord protect and watch over all who will be on the move the next several days.
Let’s resolve to greet this extra-busy time of the year with joy in our hearts. It can be so easy to allow the busyness of this time of year to overwhelm us. We stress out and worry about so much that is beyond our control. If we can remember to always be “thankful” for all that we have in our lives (and return that thanksgiving to God first), then I am willing to bet we’ll approach the season with the right frame of mind. When we get anxious and worried, short-tempered and “
,” then we quickly lose the joy. Give thanks always and allow the Lord to guide you through this busy season.
One way to do so is to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus, and no better way to do so than to celebrate worthily and well the
Solemnity of Christ the King
, the final Sunday in Ordinary Time of the Church’s liturgical calendar. Next week we begin the great season of holy waiting, Advent. … But first we honor Christ as our King.
Not an earthly king of physical and political power and might, however, but a king who lays down his life in service to all.
Our Gospel for this Sunday reminds us of that with the powerful exchange on Calvary between Jesus and the two criminals that are crucified alongside him that we hear on Passion (Palm) Sunday. The King of the Universe is the one who triumphs even over death.
A little background on our feast this Sunday. In 1925,
Pope Pius XI
instituted the Feast of Christ the King in his encyclical letter
in response to growing nationalism and secularism around the world. He had the foresight to realize that secularism could soon wage awful wars against the Church. During the early 20th century in Mexico, Russia, and many parts of Europe, atheistic regimes threatened not just the Catholic Church and its faithful but civilization itself.
Pope Pius XI’s encyclical gave Catholics hope and, while governments of men around them crumbled, the assurance that Christ the King shall reign forever.
… Pope Pius XI said that Christ “
reign[s] ‘in the hearts of men,’ both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind
As you might suspect with the upcoming short holiday week, our schedule is a bit lighter than usual, but here’s what’s happening in and around the parish:
• We invite you to please join us for Mass this weekend. If you’d like to join us in person, we welcome you on Saturday at 5 p.m., or Sunday at 7, 9, and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also join us via our
on Sunday at 9 a.m. on both our Facebook and YouTube pages. You can find the link to the livestream at
, and in addition, you’ll find there both a worship aid and a link to the Scripture readings to follow along with Mass. And you can make your weekly offertory contribution online at
• This weekend we will have the regularly scheduled monthly
that helps fight poverty at its roots. For more than 40 years, the
Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)
has provided funding for groups that make lasting change and lift up the poor in the U.S.
The collection has helped secure funding for low-income day care centers, legal advocacy to enforce fair wages, programs that emphasize education, and affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods.
… For over 43 million Americans, there is a thin line between eviction and home, between hunger and health, between unemployment and work, between anxiety and stability. This line is the Poverty Line. For a family of four that line is $27,750, according to 2022 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. … Your donations will give those in poverty the support they need to make lasting changes. CCHD invests in community-based solutions that know no racial or religious boundaries. Together we can make a difference in families and communities. Please donate prayerfully and generously.
• Also on this Sunday of Christ the King we will welcome three new members into our Catholic faith through our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Those of you who attend the 9 a.m. mass regularly have witnessed these men and women on their journey throughout the year, and though the normative time for those in RCIA to come into the Church is at Easter, we also welcome a small group each year right before Advent. … These are baptized Christians (in a different denomination) who now seek entrance into the Church, and as they are as ready as they will ever be, it only makes sense to bring them in now so that they can celebrate the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons as members of the Catholic Church. We welcome them and we pray for the many others who will continue their formation and join us at Easter.
• We’ve got a couple of tweaks to the schedule this coming week that I want you to be aware of: First, tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 19, we will celebrate a Mass of First Communion for about 120 of our (mostly) 2nd grade children. We welcome our young children to the table of the Lord, and celebrate them along with their families.
Please note that due to the First Communion Mass at 9 a.m. we will not hold confessions tomorrow morning.
In addition, there will be no confessions or Mass on Wednesday, Nov. 23, the night before Thanksgiving
, since it is fairly deserted around here as people prepare for Thanksgiving the next day.
We will have 9 a.m. Mass on Wednesday
, however. Our regular Wednesday evening schedule for both confession and Mass will resume the following week, as does our Saturday morning confession schedule.
• And speaking of turkey day, though it is not a Church holy day,
we will have Thanksgiving Mass at 9 a.m. next Thursday, Nov. 24 in the main church.
… You are invited to bring items from the Thanksgiving meal you will be serving that day for the annual Blessing of Food at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Mass. This has become a nice tradition each year for families to start this special day giving thanks to God for the many blessings we have received. Bring a basket with some of the items for the dishes you will be preparing and at the end of the mass we’ll ask God’s blessing upon them. It’s a good way of making the connection between the bounty we receive at the table of the Lord to the bounty we offer at our table at home.
• As we enter the final month of the year please allow me to remind us all of the ongoing
Diocesan Services Fund
drive. The good news is we have reached 90 percent of our annual goal as set by
. Thank you to the 747 donating families who have made that possible! The bad news is we still need to close the final 10 percent gap of about $31,000. … Think of that for a moment –
10 percent of our parish families have gotten us to 90 percent of our goal. Now is the time for the remaining 90 percent of our families to help us reach the final 10 percent.
That’s about par for the course for all parishes, but it’s something we definitely need to work on.
• If you have not yet made your gift as of yet, I ask you to do so today. Any amount we are under our goal must come out of operating expenses and we don’t want to have to go down that road.
Remember the DSF funds more than 60 ministries of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston that no one parish could ever do on its own, but that collectively allows us to offer, among other things, chaplains at hospitals, food pantries and soup kitchens, ministry to the imprisoned, senior care centers, and outreach to the most needy, in addition to providing training for lay ministers in Religious Education and Youth Ministry.
… It’s an important work of the Church that benefits many and we all have a role to play. Your pledge of any size helps make it all possible. It’s quick and easy at
. Thank you for your support of this important work of our local church.
If you have some time on Monday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon and would like to help us deep
clean the church
in preparation for the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons, we would welcome your assistance.
There’s plenty of polishing and sweeping and general clean-up needed to make our church home shine. Many hands make for quick work. Thank you!
• We’ll send a short pre-Thanksgiving update next Wednesday (and not on Friday as usual) that will have all the
details on Advent
, but let me remind you in advance that our
parish offices will be closed beginning at 12 noon on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and will reopen on Monday, Nov. 28
, our deacons, and pastoral staff join me in wishing you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
All glory, laud, and honor to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!
That’s the official title of this Sunday’s solemnity, by the way.
Peace, Fr. Sean
Fr. Sean Horrigan
on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 12:00PM