CtR Update From Fr. Sean – Sept. 11
Parish Update – Friday, Sept. 11
Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve made it through the first week of the school year, praise be to God! (See the photo below for a terrific shot of a cool “Welcome Back” sign that was in front of the church and school earlier this week.) It has already been – and will continue to be – a strange year, no doubt, but together we will grow in knowledge and holiness, which when you think about it, is exactly what the Lord asks us to do every day of our lives.
I’m in a reflective mood today. It’s the 19
anniversary of the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001. I suspect it will be commemorated in greater detail next year on the 20
anniversary, but it’s a day that always gives me pause, even though I have no direct connection to anyone who was killed in the attacks on America. Everything about that day is still crystal clear in my mind. Nearly all of us remember exactly where we were when we heard the news.
This morning, I did the same thing I did on this very day 19 years ago – I woke early and drove to Memorial Park for some exercise. I was the vicar at St. Michael the Archangel Church near the Galleria back then, and I frequently went to Memorial Park for a run. I went back there this morning, and afterwards I did the same thing I did in 2001 after I finished my workout. I drove to the Hot Bagel Shop on South Shepherd for a post-run bagel (I know, it kind of defeats the purpose of the workout, but I did it anyway back then, and I did it again today to honor the memory).
It was right there in 2001 while on South Shepherd, turning into the parking lot of the Hot Bagel Shop, that I heard on the radio (I was listening to Stevens and Pruett on KLOL, believe it or not) that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City. What a way to get the news. I got my bagel and drove back home to turn on the TV to see the events play out in real time. Later that night we held a prayer service at St. Michael and the church was packed as we came together to try to make sense of the senseless.
I suppose we all lost something that day.
It was the day the world changed forever, and it hasn’t stopped yet.
As I ate my everything bagel again this morning, I joined with millions of Americans, indeed millions upon millions of people of every race, language, country of origin, and way of life, who are remembering this day with a wish that we could go back to like it was before the world stopped turning. But we cannot.
Instead we go forward, forever changed. And we’re being changed again during these pandemic days. Let us pray and work –
ora et labora
as we say in Latin
– to be forever changed into instruments of God’s mercy and love, to never forget, and to be the face of Christ to all who long for a glimpse of His peace.
This weekend is the
Sunday in Ordinary Time
and the readings are especially fitting for such a reflective look deep within our hearts. The first reading from the Book of Sirach is particularly challenging:
“Forgive you neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?”
Let us again pray and work so that the Lord might grant us hearts of mercy toward all.
Now onto the news of the week:
This week we resume the public celebration of our 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday.
I invite those who feel comfortable venturing out to please join us. This is just one more step to us easing back toward our regular schedule, and hopefully will give another option for those who wish to attend in person. Our 9 a.m. Mass has lately been reaching max capacity of 300, necessitating overflow seating in the Parish Hall where they can watch the live stream on the big screen. As a reminder, the 11 a.m. Mass will be subject to the same conditions as all other masses, i.e., masks are required, social distancing is enforced, and we’re still limited to 25 percent capacity for seating.
We’ll still have our other masses at 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, too, and we invite you to join us at any one of them. And, of course, our live stream will continue 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
. Whether you watch online or join us in person, we’re happy to have you with us on the Lord’s Day!
• Now that we are post-Labor Day we’ve got a number of Adult Faith Formation opportunities that are beginning to meet virtually. Please see our Faith@Home page on our website (
) for links to bible studies, a new book study (on the Jewish roots of Mary led by parishioner
), and a wonderful class taught in Spanish on the mysteries of the Eucharist. We’ll be updating the
regularly as new things come online, so check back often.
• Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to our special emergency collection last week to assist those impacted by
. We had a terrific response to the Amazon Wish List and we’ll also be making a financial contribution in your name to Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana. As we who have been through hurricane clean-up in the past know all too well, the recovery process is long, so we’ll keep our webpage active at
if you would still like to contribute. In addition, I’m meeting next week with a group of religious sisters whose house in Lake Charles was badly damaged to find out how we can assist them directly. I’ll keep you posted. For now, keep the donations and prayers coming for all who have lost so much.
• Catechetical Sunday, the kickoff to the 2020-21 Religious Education year, will be next weekend on Sept. 20. We’ll have a special blessing for all catechists at our masses, and this year, that role of catechists will be filled by the parents for the most part as we move to all home-based catechesis for our younger children. We’ve had a wonderful response from parents to this new initiative, and I’m grateful to our RE team that is working to provide a plethora (great word, by the way) of resources for use in the home. See
for all the details on this upcoming Religious Ed year.
• One thing that is happening on campus is First Reconciliation. Next Saturday, Sept. 19, we will celebrate that important sacrament for a group of about 130 2
graders beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the church. We’ll also have another group coming at 10 a.m. so as to keep the numbers manageable and provide social distancing. As a result, we won’t have our regular Saturday morning confessions on Sept. 19, though if any adults want to come when we are done (probably around 11:30 a.m.) we’ll be happy to hear your confession. Remember as well you can make an appointment for confession at any time by emailing
. We see people for reconciliation throughout the week at a time of their convenience.
• Lastly, I recommend this blog post from
, a Catholic writer whose work I enjoy, entitled, “Lord, Bless That Person I Hate So Much,” on the Word on Fire website:
I have to admit, it was that title that drew me in. When I saw that, I chuckled and thought, “Hmmm, that might hit a little too close to home.” And then upon reading it,
I knew it was excellent food for thought.
I suspect it will resonate with you, too. It’s a quick read that won’t take you more than a couple of minutes, but whose message is one we would all do well to take to heart.
Our Lady of Sorrows
, whose feast day is next Tuesday, pray for us, and bring your comfort to all who mourn this day.
Peace, Fr. Sean
Fr. Sean Horrigan
on Friday, September 11 at 3:37PM