Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time. After celebrating All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day we continue to remember those who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith.” For God, no one is lost, no one is dead.  All are alive in God.  Let us find comfort in knowing that our God  of life is stronger than death as we journey with Zacchaeus when Jesus tells us that he “came to seek and save what was lost.

Next weekend will be the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are approaching the end of the Church Year, “the year of Grace for 2019.” Next 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.

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!)

Annual Collection for retired religious: Support aging religious. This weekend we have a collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious. Many senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests served for little or no pay. Today, religious communities often do not have enough savings to meet retirement needs. Your gift helps provide medications, nursing care, and more for tens of thousands of elderly religious. It also helps ensure younger members can continue the good works of their elders. Please be generous. There was an envelope in your set of envelopes and there are more at the entrances to Church.

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. In 250 of the bulletins (that’s all they sent us!), there is a flyer about this collection. The AMS is the largest diocese in the United States, but receives no support from the U S Government.  There  is an $8.2 Million budget that must be met for the various programs that the AMS sponsors. I had the honor of serving in the AMS for almost 28 years, as a member of the Missouri Air National Guard, and am still in touch with many former chaplains and Chaplain Corps personnel. I encourage your support for this collection and helping the 1.8 million Catholics spread across the globe. Thank you. Again, there was an envelope in your mailed set and there are PLENTY of envelopes for this collection, which is next week, at the en- trances of Church.

Priest celebrants:  As you know since the departures of Fr Mike Donald and Fr Stephen Schumacher I have been trying to get priests to cover all the weekend (and some weekday) Masses. This coming Sunday, November 10th, Father 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 helps many to grow in their relationship with Christ.

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.

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. Father 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 17th 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. Father 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 “Father Mac” cordially when he’s here the weekend of Nov. 16 and 17.

The Renovation of Msgr. Schneider Hall and the new elevator: Work continues. Thanks for the nice comments made last Sunday after the “open house.” I hope that the work now stays on schedule. We will soon be meeting about the storage lockers and “who gets what”! If you have any questions, and perhaps there are some, please e-mail him at [email protected]

Have a good week! I hope that you all had a safe Halloween, and a joyous All Saints Day, and a prayerful All Souls Day. I hope you remembered to “fall back” Sunday morning! Stay warm!

Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber