CtR Update From Fr. Sean – Oct. 16
Parish Update – Friday, Oct. 16
Happy Friday to you and yours! The rains have cleared and it seems we are in for a nice cool weekend as we head into the
Sunday in Ordinary Time
. Our Gospel for this Sunday is perhaps one of the most widely misinterpreted passages in all of the Sacred Scriptures. We know the final line well: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God,” but it is anything but a tax lesson.
It is, however, a lesson on what it means to be a disciple of Christ and in union with the Father. It’s also a very clever wordplay by Jesus, one that undoubtedly would have stopped dead in their tracks those who sought to trap him. Even if you don’t understand the ancient Greek translation, I think you can see how he uses the language to arrest their attention. “Therefore, give back
ta Kaisaros Kaisari
(the things that belong to Caesar to Caesar) and
ta tou theou to theo
(the things that belong to God to God). Notice the play on the words? It’s like a child’s nursery rhyme that speaks to a deeper truth.
The point is not that Jesus is wittier and more clever than his accusers (though he clearly is). What’s he demonstrating to them – and us – is the absolute necessity of being focused on the Kingdom of God. Our whole mission as Christians is to, as we sing in Psalm 96 this week, “Give the Lord glory and honor.” Let us resolve to live not in deceit but in the light of truth, so as to better reflect that glory of God in all we do.
Here ends the Greek lesson! Now, on to some news and notes for the week:
• Of course, we certainly invite you to please join us for Mass 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
. If you’d like to join us in person for Mass, we welcome you on Saturday at 5 p.m., or Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
• If you are joining us in person, I want to remind and encourage you to give a bit of your time to help us after Mass to prepare for the next liturgy that will follow. We are in need of a handful of people (young and old alike) who will stay for about 10 minutes – seriously, that’s about all it takes – to lend a hand and help sanitize and straighten up the pews and other areas in the church. We’ve got a simple and effective system, but we do need some folks to give of their time for the good of others. We’ll give you all the instructions you need (it’s not hard, trust me) if you will but signup in advance at
. You can choose the time that best suits your needs, be it on Sunday or during the week. Thanks in advance in helping our ushers and greeters clean and sanitize the church for others.
• Remember our Respect Life Ministry, in conjunction with our St. Anne’s Society of young mothers, is in the final days of its collection drive for feminine hygiene products and adult and children’s diapers. They will begin distributing items this week to CAM, Catholic Charities, and Our Mother of Mercy, our twinned parish. You can order from an Amazon wish list, which you can find a link to at
, or simply drop off items at the Church this final week. Thank you for your support of these much needed items during Respect Life Month.
• Let me give you a heads-up (I’ll remind you again next week, but put it on your calendar now) about our
Fall Open House for our CtR Catholic School taking place on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
I know parents are looking at a variety of learning options for their child this year, and I invite you to come explore the gift of a Catholic education at CtR. Our teachers and administrators will be on campus that evening to show you all that CtR Catholic School has to offer. Come see what we offer and learn about how we are engaging our students to achieve academic excellence while growing as disciples in Christ. See
for details and to let us know you are coming. If you don’t have children or grandchildren of your own,
please pass the word on to others in your community.
• Speaking of our children, let me say, God bless all you parents! I marvel at what you all have done, are doing, and will do for your children. I don’t suspect parenthood has ever been easy, but in these days of virtual learning and social distancing, and so much more, it seems the degree of difficulty has been elevated a notch or two. May God give you holy wisdom and the patience of Job! The passing on of the faith to your children, which parents promised on the day their children were baptized, is of supreme importance, but I know that it, too, can not always be easy in this day and age. How can we best foster a love for Christ and his Church in our young children? Parents can set an example in the home by placing a priority on our prayer and service,
but it seems a role model, or even a hero, their age could help young people relate
to what it means to be a child of God.
To that end, I’ve been taken by the
incredible story of young Carlo Acutis
, a 15-year-old teenager who last Saturday was beatified in a ceremony in Assisi, Italy. Carlo died in 2006 of leukemia, and in his short life, he has left a model for not only teens of today, but for all people of faith. I hope parents will share his story with their kids – that, yes, you can play video games on a PlayStation and still become a saint. Here’s a recap of his life from Catholic News Agency:
While most Catholic mothers pray for their teenage sons, Antonia Acutis has the unique ability to pray to hers, the soon-to-be-beatified Italian teenager Carlo Acutis. His canonization cause has been popularized not only due to his young testament to holiness before he died of leukemia at age 15, but also because of his adeptness with technology. At age 14, he designed a website to share his great love for the Eucharist.
At first, his mother did not know what to do with such an intelligent and fervent young boy. “I was not the ideal model of a Catholic mother,” Antonia told CNA. Like many, Antonia’s faith was formed by a culture of Catholicism. But Carlo’s example challenged her, and she reached out to a faithful friend for advice. Antonia’s friend connected her with a priest, who encouraged her to take classes to further her Catholic faith. Before that, she “was quite ignorant in the faith things,” she told CNA.
Through the working of a priest she met through her classes, Carlo was able to receive his first Holy Communion at just seven years old – after which he never missed daily Mass, even while their family traveled. Carlo’s love for the Eucharist formed his mother’s own devotion to the Sacrament. “The source of the sanctity of Carlo was the Eucharist. He used to say the Eucharist is my highway to heaven,” said Antonia.
Since Carlo’s death of leukemia in 2006, Antonia has more deeply realized how special of a child he was. Although Carlo played on a PlayStation, Antonia never had to reprimand him for spending too much time playing video games. “He was also a normal child!” Antonia said. “He used to play with the PlayStation. But he forced himself to play once a week only for one hour because he didn’t want to become a slave to these technological games. He wanted to be free.”
After his death, Carlo’s example in holiness quickly bore much fruit. His mother said that people who knew Carlo began praying to him right after he died, and crowds who had been touched by Carlo’s life flooded the funeral. Pope Francis named Carlo venerable in July 2019, and his beatification ceremony, originally planned for the spring of 2020, was postponed until October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What a great story! You can read more about Carlo’s life on our Faith at Home page at
(where you'll also find a slew of other resources to help you grow in your faith). Parents, share his story with your family, and let Carlo’s love for the Holy Eucharist be an example and model for us all. I love that quote, “The Eucharist is my highway to heaven!” Now that he is beatified, we can rightly call him “Blessed Carlo Acutis,” and pray for his intercession. It will probably be a few more years until he is officially canonized a saint, but until then, let us cry out,
Blessed Carlo, pray for us!”
Peace, Fr. Sean
Fr. Sean Horrigan
on Friday, October 16 at 3:06PM