Pope Francis has called for today (October 27) to be an international day of fasting, penance, and prayer for peace in the world. The Holy Father, while mentioning that conflict around the world could possibly spread, stated, “war does not solve any problems, it only sows death and destruction. It increases hatred and multiplies revenge. Please, may everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.”
I am celebrating Mass today (Friday) at the Cathedral in Salina at 12:05 pm to pray for peace. All are invited to attend. There are different ways to fast, pray and do penance. Some ways include praying the rosary or the divine mercy chaplet.
The Church recommends on days of fasting to eat only one full meal, and two smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal. The best rule of thumb is to make sure our meals are smaller than what you would eat on a normal day – and to avoid snacks. Of course, exemption is allowed for pregnant women, those who need regular meals for medical reasons, and the elderly.
May I offer a recommendation? Please read the short book of Esther from the Old Testament of the Bible. Priests and others who pray from the breviary have been reading the story of Esther this week. It focuses on a man named Haman who wants to destroy the Jewish people. As it often happens in the Bible, God chooses a woman, Esther, to be the instrument in defeating the enemy, Haman.
This Sunday I will be at St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in Hays to celebrate Marriage anniversaries. What a blessing to witness the love of married couples that reflect God’s love for us.
What a great time to be a Saint! On Wednesday, November 1, the Church celebrates All Saints Day. We honor those who are experiencing the fulfillment of their desires—being with God for eternity.
A spiritual work of mercy is to pray for the dead. Thursday, November 2, is All Souls Day. Please say a prayer for those that have gone before us.
The Memorial Mass for Deceased Priests is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. November 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. Priests wishing to concelebrate are asked to arrive by 11:40 A.M. The reading of the names of those deceased begins at noon, followed by Mass. All are welcome to attend.
Our next issue of faith magazine, which will come out in November, is on death. The magazine also discusses the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Hope you will learn and enjoy faith.
The Annual Adoption Mass is scheduled for November 3 at 6 P.M. at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina. The event is hosted by Catholic Charities in honor of those who have been touched through adoption, and in celebration of National Adoption Awareness month.
The Synod on Synodality recently concluded at the Vatican. The Holy Father is expected to present a report tomorrow, which I hope all of us will read. The Synod on Synodality will meet again in October 2024.
Living out our baptism leads to our vocation in the Church. National Vocations Awareness Week is Nov. 5 – 11. Imagine a tree near a stream of water. The trunk of the tree and its roots reach out to the stream. That is our baptism. Our baptismal vocation leads us into three states of life vocations: 1) ordained (deacon, priest, or bishop), 2) consecrated (religious life, consecrated virgin, diocesan hermit, etc.) and 3) the laity (marriage or dedicated single). Whatever state of life vocation Jesus calls us to, we are called to bear fruit (imagine leaves or fruit on a tree) for the Kingdom of God.
The Catholic Rural Life organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary on November 11. Hope all the farmers celebrate that day! We also give thanks to God for the rain that much of the diocese received this past week.
Our nation honors our military veterans—living and deceased—on Saturday, November 11. We thank God for their service to protect our freedom. Please if you meet a veteran, thank them!
One of my favorite saint stories is St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day is November 11. While still a young soldier, he met a poor man on the street numb and trembling from the cold. He then took his own cloak and, cutting it in two with his sword, gave half to that man. Jesus appeared to him that night in a dream smiling, dressed in the same cloak. This is a great example of our Gospel this weekend on loving God and neighbor.
I will be in Baltimore Nov. 11 – 16 for the Bishops Annual Fall Conference. Please pray for us!
Super excited to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis Nov. 16 – 18. Our diocese is blessed to have around 595 youth and 100 chaperones attending. What is always great to hear is when most of the youth say their favorite part of the conference are Eucharistic Adoration and Confession. They are drawn to Jesus.
This past Sunday evening on my way home from western Kansas I stopped by St. Patrick’s Parish in Lincoln for their annual turkey dinner. The food tasted so good! It makes me look forward to Thanksgiving Day. I hope you have a wonderful day with your families in giving thanks to God.
Many of our parishes and schools are participating in #iGiveCatholic. Please, if you are able, support them. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 28, advanced giving begins November 13.
I hope you enjoy all the communications efforts of our diocese, whether it’s faith magazine, the Register, and social media. We are having our Communications drive in November. Please help support our efforts in evangelization by donating if possible. Thanks!
I am looking forward to being a guest to help support Divine Mercy Radio the week of November 27 – Dec. 1. We are extremely blessed to have Divine Mercy Radio in our diocese for the work of evangelization. Please support them if you are able.
Bill Meagher, our Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry, recently talked about a new book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World. The book’s author talks about the disease of hurry and the impact that it is having on our society. There are two stats that stick out to me.
The book asks an important question. What if we had 2,617 interactions with God throughout the day? What if we spent 2.5 hours praying, reading scripture, or reading great spiritual books? What would our relationship with God be like? How would our life be different?
May I make another recommendation: Make Sunday a day of fasting from your phones (unless phone calls)—at least for part of the day, perhaps until evening. Focus more on the other person. I remember when I made a 30-day silent Ignatian retreat in 2006. We had a one-day break in the middle of the retreat. The first thing I did was check the computer with the sense that I missed something that happened. Turns out I didn’t miss anything important. In fact, I noticed that my body started getting anxious reading all the news. Silence leads to peace in the heart.
I know–lots of information today. However, in the midst of the Church and the world tossed by the waves and storms of life, the most important thing to do is to stay close to and trust Jesus, who loves you more than anyone
Have a blessed month in November and enjoy the cooler weather.
With my love and prayers,
Inspiration from the Saints:
Today’s saint quotes come from St. Francis Xavier Mother Cabrini, whose feast day is November 13. Mother Cabrini grew up in Italy and immigrated to America. She became the first American saint.
“I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”
“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend upon material success . . . but on Jesus alone.”
“If you are in danger, if your hearts are confused, turn to Mary; she is our comfort, our help; turn towards her.”