During the Extraordinary Missionary Month – October 2019, Catholics throughout the world prayed the Rosary for the Church’s mission and for peace in the world. The month of October has awaken our missionary responsibility to announce the joy of the Gospel to all people. We shall continue to pray the rosary as BECs, families and individuals daily for the strength to carry out the Church’s mission and walk in the path of Mary, who surrendered to the will of God.
We are in the month of November now. We started with the solemnity of All Saints Day (1 November). We ask ourselves of what use is this feast day? Saints are friends of Jesus. Our Christian vocation first and foremost is to grow in holiness and to be saints. The beauty of holiness is revealed in the Beatitudes (MT 5:1-12) – poor in spirit, be merciful and pure in heart. We should set our eyes on things above (Col 3:2). In celebrating this solemnity, the Church assures us that “With so vast a multitude praying for us”, one day we may be numbered among the saints in heaven.
November is also a special month dedicated to the deceased. The Church commemorates this month for the all the known and unknown souls who have departed from this earthly life but have not been admitted yet into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Church always teaches us to remember all departed souls who are in Purgatory.
Many of you have written the names of your beloved departed souls in the Book of Remembrance, which was placed at the Parochial House this past one month. There are about 4600 names listed in the book. We shall collectively offer all these names together with all other souls whom we have forgotten, during the weekday and weekend Masses throughout the month of November.
Besides offering them during Mass, we should also devote some time every day to pray for the dead. Why not start praying for those who were closest to us – our parents, children, siblings, etc. When we pray continuously for them, one day when they have passed purgatory, they will pray for us from heaven. It is important to pray for the dead, and the Catholic Church encourages this habit of praying for the holy souls. The Church also includes and offers them collectively in every Eucharistic celebration.
Some of you would have paid a visit to the cemetery on All Souls’ Day (2 November). Although few of us observe this practice, many still use this occasion to meet at the graveyard of their beloved ones. During this month, let’s find time to pay a visit to the cemetery.
Since August 2019, the committee of the Parish Ministry of the Poor (PMOP) has worked tirelessly to raise money for the free school uniform project. This Sunday (3 November) we will be taking measurements for school uniforms for 404 under privilege students from 10.30 am to 3.00 pm at our Parish Hall. I would like to thank you for all your kind donations and support toward this project. We have succeeded in reaching our target. On 14 December 2019, we shall distribute the uniforms to the students personally.
We are in the midst of organising an exciting event – the Third World Day of the Poor cum Parish Family Day 2019 from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm at our Church premises. It is our annual event primarily held to benefit the underprivileged families and low-income families living in our vicinity. I would like to make an appeal to parishioners to contribute and support this event, either in terms of cash or kind so that we can celebrate the event joyously. Your generous contributions towards our project will ensure that we are able to continue our commitment of caring for the poor.
Our Parish is very effective when it comes to outreach for the needs of the poor. Everyone gets involved to make all our activities and events successful. We, the parishioners of St. Joseph, can do it!
by Rev. Fr. George P.