I begin this week with offering condolences, and all of our thoughts and prayers, to Fr George Brennan on the death, on All Souls Day, November 2, 2019, of his brother,
Fr Eugene Brennan. Fr Gene Brennan was often here at St Monica helping with Masses, especially on Mondays when Fr George has another commitments, confessions, penance services, ACTS Retreats Penance Services, and was quite well known by many of our people. Fr Gene was only 74 and was ordained 49 years a priest. He served for many years as a Chaplain in the Missouri Army National Guard and retired at the grade of Colonel, after having served as the State Chaplain for the Missouri Army Guard for a good number of years. I was the State Chaplain for the Air National Guard at the same time as Fr Gene was State Chaplain for the Army Guard, so we collaborated on a number of things, especially during the 1993 flood and after the 9-11- 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. May he rest in peace. May Fr George, and all the Brennan Family, have consolation during this time of loss.
This weekend we celebrate the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are approaching the end of the Church Year, “the year of Grace for 2019.” This weekend’s readings will focus on DEATH. BUT, more importantly, we affirm the Resurrection. We are a people filled with hope, because we believe that death is not the end. As we will gather for Holy Mass next weekend, may our hope in eternal life comfort us as we recall our beloved dead.
Next weekend we will celebrate the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time. After this weekend there will only be one Sunday of Ordinary Time: Christ the King on the weekend before Advent. We will hear of horrifying signs that may portend the end of the world: earthquakes and famines, wars, and persecutions. Even though these warnings were given 2000 years ago, and the world still has not ended, they can spur us on to action now. As we prepare to celebrate Mass next weekend, may we look at our lives and consider what we should change and resolve to do so now!
The Book of the Names of the Dead: In light of the Month of the Poor Souls we have purchased a new copy of this book. It is up in the front of church near the pulpit. In this book you may place the names of any of your loved ones who have gone before us to their eternal reward. “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead,” as the Second Book of Maccabees puts it. So, may we remember our beloved dead by placing their names in the “book of the names of the dead.” (PLEASE use both sides of the page, even though there are only lines on one side of the page!)
Archdiocese for the Military Services: Every three years there is a special collection authorized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the benefit of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. The collection is the weekend closest to Veterans’ Day, which (of course) will be next Monday, November 11th. So, the collection is this weekend.
I hope that you have prayerfully considered a contribution to this special collection to support our military men and women and their families. The need is great. The resources are few. Again, the AMS does not receive any funding from the government or military for program or administrative costs. (Yes, chaplains are commissioned officers in the Air Force, Army, or Navy, and, as such, they are paid by the Government, but no program funds come from the Government.) Thank you. There are plenty of envelopes at the entrances of Church for this special collection.
Priest celebrants: We want to welcome another priest-celebrant to St Monica this weekend:
Fr Joe Laramie, SJ, who is from Sacred Heart Parish, Florissant, attended Saint Louis U High and Cardinal Glennon College, before entering the Jesuits, will be here to celebrate the 5:00 P.M. Mass. Father has been involved in numerous ministries since his ordination, including time as one of the Retreat Directors at White House Retreat, and is currently one of the Campus Ministers at Saint Louis University. He has just written a book, Abide in the Heart of Christ: a 10-Day Personal Retreat with St Ignatius Loyola, based on the Spiritual Exercises.
Father sent me this: The book offers accessible wisdom from the foundations of Ignatian spirituality. It is written for average Catholics. Readers can make a ten-day personal retreat in the midst of daily life. It could also be used over 10 weeks [using 1 chapter per week, etc]. Questions at the end of each chapter are designed to assist people in Ignatian prayer and reflection. These questions could be discussed in (any number of settings). I hope this book will help many to grow in their relationship with Christ. Information, excerpts, and online ordering are available here: joelaramiesj.com
Father Laramie will have copies of his book here at Saint Monica after the 5:00 P.M. Mass next Sunday. It is a very good examination of how to put into practice the principles as set forth by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Again, his website is joelaramiesj.com.
Again this week Fr Sean Solai, SJ, is helping us out, too, by celebrating the 9:30 A.M. Mass. He is a doctoral student at the Catholic University of America and currently living at Saint Louis University’s Jesuit Hall. I am so grateful to the priests who have said “yes” to assisting us keep all the Masses from the current schedule.
Unbound: In November 2016 we hosted Fr Rich Tillman, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis to come here and speak about UNBOUND, a very faithful and dedicated lay sponsored ministry located near Kansas City, Kansas, which serves the poor in 18 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Fr Mike Donald said at the time that it was one of the most effective Mission Appeals that he had ever heard. This coming November 16 and 17 I have invited another priest representing UNBOUND to be with us and to talk about the ministry of this Catholic Organization. November 17 is the “World Day of the Poor,” so it is a particularly appropriate time to invite a ministry that works with the poor to be here. Fr Robert McAleer, a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, will be here. He will also be here, along with Abbot Gregory Morhman, OSB, for Confessions that Saturday afternoon. He will be the celebrant for the 5:00 P.M. Masses on Saturday and Sunday and the 9:30 A.M. Mass on Sunday. However he will be preaching at all the Masses. I understand a number of you have donated to UNBOUND … and I hope you will receive “Fr Mac” cordially when he’s here the weekend of Nov. 16 and 17.
Fr Joe Weber