Dear Brothers and Sisters,
October is a beautiful month not only in New England with the foliage (I'm sorry for those who have to rake the leaves), but also in the Life of the Church. In the past, October has been associated with the month of the Rosary, because of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In recent years, the Church has instituted October also as the Month of the Missions in the Church, mainly because of its patron saint of the missions, St Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast day is observed on October 1st. For some, it can be difficult to understand how she could be the patron saint of the missions, if although she dreamed of becoming a missionary, she never left the convent. Pope Francis, in 2013, said that the Church was wise in choosing St. Therese, who was “humble, small, trusting in God, meek," the patron saint of the missions, because the strength of the Gospel was present in her humility. He continued speaking of the need of bringing the strength of the Gospel to the whole world. This includes the missions in remote and difficult places, for which we will have two collections this month (this week and next week). It also includes the need for a new evangelization, reaching out to people who already have heard the Christian message. How do we do that? We will have soon (January and February) an opportunity to attend a day-long workshop on becoming evangelizers.
For now, let’s commend the missionaries all over the world, including those who evangelize in our midst to the care of our Blessed Mother, so that she can always lead everyone to her Son.
Father Steven Clemence