October 4, St. Francis’ Feast Day, Canticle of the Sun: “Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures!” Today say a prayer of thanks for God’s creation. Don’t forget your pets!
The phrase in today’s psalm, “May you see your children’s children,” is really a prayer for a long life. The good steward knows that every day is a gift from God, to be lived with joy and thanksgiving. “May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.”
“To me, it seems to be negligence if, after confirmation in the faith, we do not study to understand that which we believe.” – St. Anselm (Cur Deus Homo)
We all seek to grow in our faith lives. It feels like a constant battle. We try to carve out more time to be with God, to pray the rosary, to read the scriptures. We might go to daily Mass. We seek out confession on a regular basis and do penance for past sins. We try to avoid our habitual sins and look for opportunities to serve others. The spiritual masters invite us to fast regularly. Perhaps we even go on retreats or days of reflection occasionally. These are all good and necessary for spiritual growth.
These tools for spiritual growth, though, primarily focus on doing something for God. We serve others, say prayers, and offer sacrifices. However, there is another area in which we can grow spiritually; not only doing something for God, but growing in our knowledge of God. Both knowing God better and serving him well go hand in hand. Today, as you can guess from the introductory quote, I want to invite us, as Christians, to spend some more time developing our knowledge of God. Properly speaking, this is the meaning of theology-the study of God. St. Anselm’s original title for his work the Proslogion was “Faith Seeking Understanding.” This is an apt description of theology. It is important that we don’t get those two things turned around. For the past two millennia, Christians have immersed themselves in the Sacred Scriptures, delved into philosophy, sharpened their understanding of logic and rhetoric, pondered early Christian writings, and studied ancient languages. However, this was not done in an attempt to demonstrate or prove the faith.
Faith is a grace that comes from God and, as such, is always an unmerited gift. We do not earn faith; God generously bestows it. However, once we have received this precious gift, it is natural that we should wish to deepen in our understanding of it. In fact, wouldn’t it be odd if we didn’t? When people fall in love, it is natural that they ask all sorts of questions about their beloved. They want to know their likes and dislikes, their history, their family, their hopes and dreams, things both important and trivial; they want to know it all. Faith establishes us in a relationship of love with God. If we have true and living faith, if God is our beloved, then that same thirst to know him should compel us to deepen our understanding of him. This love inspired desire to know God is the very origin of theology.
And so, returning to the point, I invite us to deepen in our knowledge of God. There are many ways in which we can do that: books, podcasts, videos, and more. In particular, I suggest that Catholics in Walla Walla try the new online resource “Formed.” It is a single site in which people can access high quality Catholic faith formation programs, books, audio presentations, and movies. Simply go to formed.org and enter the parish code: CE6DCX. You will have to set up your own free personal account, but will then have instant access to all of these exceptionally good materials in your own homes. For a Spanish resource, I recommend www.catolicosregresen.org as a place to start. Finally, I echo the words of St. Paul: “Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.
Please join us in welcoming Father Nicks, Father Gaines and Father Ratuiste to the community.
This a great opportunity to share fellowship with them and your Catholic neighbors.
A potluck meal with pulled pork sandwiches and drinks provided will be served at 6:00 pm. Bring a salad, chips or dessert to share.
Please contact event coordinator Kathy Garbe and let her know to set a plate for you and your family at 509-394-2493.
After the second reading and a brief period of silence, the cantor begins the Gospel Acclamation. During most of the year this is an “Alleluia,” a song of praise to greet the Lord present in the Good News. Alleluia is a joyful word of praise and is used throughout the year, except during Lent. During Lent the Alleluia is suppressed. In a sense we fast from it throughout this season of preparation for Easter so that it may sound forth with renewed energy at Easter. Instead we sing, “Praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory” or a similar acclamation of praise. The Gospel Acclamation is supposed to be sung. If it is not sung, it is to be omitted.
October 17 Creation Fair POSTPONED to November 21, 1-4 pm, Assumption. Bishop Skylstad will present his slide show, “The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good”. Local residents and groups will present information about their projects which benefit the Earth and the community. Reception to follow. Please contact Beth, 529-0216, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to tell us about your pro-earth activities.
Needed men’s clean, gently used jeans. Christy at United Way is stocking for the winter. Please drop off at the United Way office at the Chamber of Commerce across from the Post Office.
St. James warns in today’s second reading that those who hoard their wealth and live only for themselves will be condemned. But in the Gospel, Jesus assures us that all who give of themselves for His sake will be rewarded.
Erick Dublinski, son of Mary Dublinsky and brother to Fr. Steve Dublinsky, recently passed away. His funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Parish on Friday, September 25th at 11:00AM. Please join us if you are available.
As you know, the 2015 wildfire season continues to devastate unprecedented numbers of acres all across Washington State. A Catholic Charities team went to Twisp, Brewster and Omak. We had a convoy of trucks with blankets, towels, food and water. We also brought prepaid Visa gift cards for families to get diapers, medications and gas for travel.
The roads were difficult to navigate with many closures and blockages, however the Catholic Charities box truck filled with supplies was allowed to pass in all spots, as the need for aid to get through was obvious. We witnessed the hard work of Fr. Pedro and Fr. Luta as they continue to do everything possible to serve and support their communities. Other incredible pastors such as Fr. Jeff Lewis in Chewelah, Fr. Tyler Smedley in Colville and Republic and Fr. Jake Morton in Omak/Nespelem are also facing difficult challenges with growing fires. Please keep them and their parishes in your prayers.
The need will remain great in these communities for weeks and months to come even after the fires are out. Last year, we witnessed incredible generosity from within our Diocesan family during the wildfire season and provided aid to so many victims. I have no doubt we will be able to do the same this year! Financial donations to the Catholic Charities Spokane Wildfire Relief fund will allow us to serve people in crisis right now and families in need of counseling, case management and housing for weeks and months to come.
Rob McCann, Director of Catholic Charities
Donations can be made online at www.catholiccharitiesspokane.com or mailed to Catholic Charities Spokane c/o PO Box 2253 Spokane, WA 99210-2253. Checks can be made payable Attn: 2015 Wildfire Relief. Please notate Wildfire Relief on the memo line of all checks.
If your group has information for the bulletin or an announcement you wish made, you must have it to the parish office no later than 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Questions, call the parish office or email.
There will be a display of photos (old and new) of St. Francis and its members at the 100 year Celebration on October 4th. If you have photographs or copies of photos from Parish events that you’d like to donate, please leave them in the box in the church foyer. Please note: these photos will not be returned.
For question call Wendy at 540-1245 or Rosalie at 520-2889.
Today’s second reading warns that a heart consumed with avarice and envy leads to jealousy, strife, conflicts, and disputes. A giving heart, in contrast, can sing instead with the psalmist, “Freely will I offer you sacrifice; I will praise your name, O Lord, for its goodness.”
“The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life.” Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.” Saint Jean Vianney
Sunday Mass is the very center of our lives as Christians. In it we are strengthened by God through his Scripture and Sacrament. We hear his word and are nourished by the Bread of Angels in communion. There is nothing more important that we do in our week… or in our lives.
Though we know this to be true, we also know the old adage: “familiarity breeds contempt.” Because Mass is a regular part of our lives, week after week, month after month, we can easily become numb to its importance and complacent in our participation. This doesn’t affect just the people gathering together, but can just as easily touch the lives of priests as well. I know it is a constant temptation in my own life. What, then, can we do to guard against this temptation?
Over the past few months, a number of parishioners have asked me why I dress more formally at weekend Masses. For me, one reason is to guard against this temptation of complacency. It is a little thing, but I have to be intentional about it. I don’t normally like dressing more formally – its more work and less comfortable. However, when I make the choice to do it for Sunday, I remind myself that something important is going on – something for which it is worth the effort.
Most of us would exercise that same intentionality about dressing up to meet an important person, like the president. We would also do it when attending a celebration of great joy, like a wedding. In the Mass, we encounter the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords; we participate in the wedding celebration between God and man, heaven and earth. If there were ever a time for us to be intentional about how we dress, would this not be it?
As I said before, it is a little thing. However, I propose it as one concrete way by which we can guard against complacency in the celebration of the Eucharist. It is one way in which we can remind ourselves that we are entering into the most important activity of our week and of our lives – entering into the Banquet of Heaven.
The Religious Education office is now open, 9:00 am- 5:00pm Monday – Thursday and on Sunday after class at the St. Patrick parish office. You may reach Sister Margarita Hernandez S.P, the Director at 529-5141- or via email at email@example.com for information regarding registration in children’s programs.
Classes will start October 4, 2015. You can find the registration forms in the three church foyers. Please return them to your parish office with the registration fee promptly.
There is a great need for catechists and aides for this year’s program. If you have a love for your faith and wish to share it with others, please call the Religious Education office at 529-5141 – God needs your help to continue His mission on Earth. Please talk to Sister Margarita Hernandez, SP.
Silence. We don’t have very much of it during the liturgy. Two places where it usually occurs, if only briefly, is after each of the first two readings. Before plunging into the psalm we are invited to take time to reflect on the word that has been proclaimed to us. Likewise, after the second reading, we are invited to reflect on the word before we move on to the Gospel. Frequently there is also silence following the homily and following communion.
The next preparation class for parents and godparents who wish to baptize their infants or children (under 7 years old) will be Saturday, October 3, 9:30 – noon in the John of the Cross Room. Please call the parish office to register.
Help celebrate St. Francis’ feast and Pope Francis’ Encyclical, at our Creation Fair, October 17, 1 – 4 pm, St. Patrick’s Parish Center. Make a display and/or tell what you or your organization do to care for creation. For example, Community garden, cloth grocery bags, conserve water and energy, bee-friendly gardening, ”Reduce, reuse, recycle,” etc. Please contact Beth Call.