NEWS AND UPDATES
Please know that we rescheduled this past Thursday’s Forward in Faith Listening Session due to inclement weather. Our new date is WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6th @ 7:00PM in the church. If you were unable to make either of the previously scheduled times, please consider joining us next week. No need to RSVP. We hope you will join us!
In addition to what was shared in the in-person sessions, we will also compile the information from the digital and paper surveys and provide a report of the Forward in Faith Listening Sessions in due time. These are exciting times here at St. James!
This weekend I continue my interviews with each of our parish’s Confirmandi. These young people have worked hard in their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. I look forward to meeting each of them individually and hearing from them not only about what they’ve learned, but, more importantly, which Gift of the Holy Spirit they hope to receive at Confirmation. Please remember to pray for our Confirmandi! ?
LITURGICAL MINISTERS WORKSHOP
On Monday, October 4th, at 7pm in the church we will be welcoming our CURRENT Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and Ministers of Hospitality for a Liturgical Ministers Workshop.
The focus of the workshop will be to regroup as our liturgical ministries continue to ramp up. We hope that this event will be for our liturgical ministers a time to refocus on the importance of liturgical ministry.
If you are currently a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, or a Minister of Hospitality here at St. James, please be sure to RSVP to your ministry’s coordinator ASAP.
REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
In our readings this weekend, there is an underlying theme: Marriage.
As a sacrament of the Catholic Church which affect one’s state in life – not to mention somewhat of a hot-button issue in today’s American Catholic Church – it is worth making some important clarifications on the Sacrament of Marriage.
Matrimony is a sacrament of the church: a call to fidelity, a vocation to family life, a consecrated union for the betterment of the partners. The church is primarily concerned with the sacramental character of that bond and whether it is properly understood and lived out. Where a valid sacrament exists, nothing can diminish or deny it, just as consecrated bread and wine remains the Body and Blood of Christ, and the baptized remain baptized.
Strictly speaking, divorce, when it occurs, is not a sin. Marriages end for a lot of reasons that may include occasions and habits of sin, but the civil action of divorce does not negate a Catholic’s standing with the church. (The Council of Baltimore in 1843 did call for excommunicating the divorced, but that censure was removed by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884.) Anyone convicted by a sense of moral wrongdoing, including individuals whose marriages have ended, should feel welcome to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Many believe they are automatically excommunicated if they remarry after divorce. The American bishops lifted that excommunication in 1977.
Many fear that, should they pursue an annulment, it will “erase” their marriage and make their children illegitimate in the eyes of the church. Annulment is concerned with the validity of the sacrament and makes no claims about the reality of the civil marriage. The church concerns itself only with the sacramental bond.
Friends, understanding that many families experience the pain of broken marriages, as a church our focus should not be on judgement and condemnation, but ather reconciliation and healing. Please know that my door is always open to anyone who is in need of support and prayer, especially when it comes to marriage.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.– Mother Teresa of Calcutta