A Word From Rev. Msgr. Richard Hanneke


Sunday, October 26, 2014

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who made our Day of Service on October 25 a wonderful display of love in action. It is always a blessing to see the joy that accompanies service to another. The folks that gathered definitely wanted to lend a helping hand. I have to believe they did so because of need and realizing how abundantly blessed they are! Sometimes to help another means a sacrifice on our part. Sometimes that is giving up something for another, giving from our means. Other times the sacrifice is being attentive to Christ present in the other. In either case, there is always a joy that accompanies the gift, the service, or the love in action. I believe this type of service, sacrifice, is growing in the love of Christ Jesus. Thank you God for all the good you work through us.

The month of November is a month for Thanksgiving. It begins with the Feast of All Saints. We, with thankful hearts, praise God for the faithful, exemplary lives of our Catholic ancestors who have revealed the face of Christ. Normally, this feast is a holy day of obligation. Because it falls on a Saturday the obligation is abrogated. However, I hope we have a ‘heartfelt obligation’ to celebrate these holy men and women. There will be an 8:00 a.m. Mass, Saturday, November 1, to celebrate All Saints. November 2 is normally the Feast of All Souls. Again, the day celebrates the holiness of men and women, not saints on the calendar, but those who have shown us the face of God and all of our loved ones whom the Lord has called to Himself. The 11:00 a.m. Mass on November 2 will be a Mass of Remembrance for all our loved ones who have died. We will remember, in a special way, our parishioners who have died this past year.

As we come to the end of the month, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a civil holiday that should be a holy day of obligation for us. Beyond the blessings and bounty of our nation are the abundant blessings God has poured into our lives. The preface for the Mass of Civic Observance best sums up the saintly lives of so many before us and the task for all of us still:

Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we do well to sing your praise forever and to give you thanks in all we do through Jesus Christ our Lord.

He spoke to people a message of peace and taught us to live as brothers and sisters. His message took form in the vision of our ancestors as they fashioned a nation where all people might live as one. This message lives on in our midst as a task for us today and a promise for tomorrow.

We thank you Father for your blessings in the past and for all that, with your help, we must yet achieve. And so, with hearts full of love, we join the angels today and every day of our lives to sing your glory a hymn of endless praise.

Blessings, Msgr. REH

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dear Friends,

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family that began in Rome October 5  has received some recent media coverage generating quite a bit of comment, concern, delight and confusion. An Associated Press headline read, “Report Seen as Seismic Shift in Vatican Thinking.” Another declared in a statement, “an earthquake, the big one that hit after months of smaller tremors.” Still others say this is the “silliest document ever issued by the Catholic Church.” What are we supposed to do or think?

First of all, go slowly. The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is not an official teaching of the Church. It is the first step in raising issues facing people today and, in this case, the many challenges facing families throughout the world. The purpose of the Synod is to address those issues, themes and trends prevalent in our world. All of this work then goes into study and debate over the next year, and an Ordinary Synod is convened in October 2015. A report is given to the Pope, and eventually the Pope will issue an exhortation that sums up all of this work offering a definitive teaching. So let’s go slowly. We have a long way to go.

Pope Francis, in opening the Synod, encouraged all of the participating bishops to speak openly, frankly and fearlessly.  This is the first step in affirming the goodness of God in all of humanity. Obviously, it also raises issues that are confusing and maybe even messy. He is asking that all trust in the power, presence and patience of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the work that lies ahead. Maybe we can do the same.

The link to Vatican News Service where the whole mid-term report can be read is www.news.va/en/news/synodon-family-midterm-report-presented-2015-synod. It is worth reading as it outlines the scope of this Extraordinary Synod.

Please keep the upcoming Day of Service on Saturday, October 25 in your prayers. We pray that all those served and those serving see the face of Christ in one another, that each finds the joy of Jesus’ love in serving another, and that someone’s life be made a little bit easier. Praise God for your generous response.


Msgr. REH