October 24, 2020 Column Father De Celles

Adoration for the Election. Please join us in 3 days of Adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to pray for God’s will in next week’s election. The hours of Exposition will be: 2pm on Sunday, November 1st until 7pm on Tuesday, November 3 (except during Mass times). A signup email will be sent to everyone this coming week—so please watch for it and sign up. And if you can’t sign up, join us whenever you can.

Rosary. As most of you know October is the “Month of the Rosary.” Tradition attributes the Rosary to an apparition of the Blessed Mother to St. Dominic around the year 1200. The use of strings of beads to count prayers dates back to pre-Christian times and to the first centuries of the Church. Over the early centuries of the Church the beads were used to count various prayers, including psalms, the Kyrie and the Our Father, especially among the monks. By the end of the 8th century there was the custom of using beads to count the praying of the 150 psalms. In the 10th and 11th century the string of beads commonly used by Catholics was used to count Our Fathers, and the strings of prayer beads became known by the name Paternosters. By the 12th century they were more widely used to count the 150, or 50, Hail Marys. The practice of meditating on the mysteries of the life of Christ while praying the Aves became popular in the 15th century, and the devotion began to be called the Rosarium, meaning a “garland of roses.” By the 16th century the division of the Rosary into the 5 decades of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the life of Christ became set. Pope John Paul II proposed for popular use a fourth set of mysteries, the “Luminous mysteries.” Meditating on these 15 or 20 mysteries makes the Rosary a truly Christo-centric prayer.

            October’s particular association with the Rosary goes back at least to the year 1571, when Pope Pius V encouraged all Christians to pray the Rosary for the protection of Europe as it was being invaded by the Muslim Turks. On October 7, 1571, the Catholic fleet miraculously defeated a greatly superior Muslim fleet off the coast of Lepanto, Italy. Pope Pius subsequently declared October 7 the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, but two years later Pope Gregory XIII changed the name to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, as it remains today. In 1883 Pope Leo XIII dedicated the whole month of October to the Queen of the Holy Rosary.

The Rosary remains a devotion near and dear to the hearts of all Catholics—or at least it should. For centuries successive popes have commended it to all Catholics as a sure source of spiritual enrichment. Let me add my own personal admonishment to theirs to pray the rosary every day, or at least once a week. For those who ask me, “how can I deepen my prayer life,” my first response is “pray the Rosary.” Also, remember that a plenary indulgence is gained by those who pray the Rosary (of five decades) in a church, public oratory, a family group, a religious community or a pious association (presuming the usual conditions).

All Saints/All Souls. Next Sunday, November 1, is All Saints Day, which is normally a Holy Day of Obligation, but not this year because of the temporary general dispensation the Bishop has given. Even so, I encourage you all to try to attend Mass on this double special day in the life of the Church (All Saints and Sunday).

The next day, Monday, November 2, is All Souls Day, which is never a day of obligation, but I encourage you to try to attend Mass that day, and keep the whole day as one of prayer for the dead, especially those dear to you—it is a great act of love to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. We will have an additional 7pm Mass for your convenience. (And check your emails—I’m trying to find a priest to offer a noon Mass.)

            Of course, all this is proceeded by Saturday, October 31, which is Halloween. As you know, I am not a fan of this day, since it not only tends to distract us from and trivialize the meaning of the important days that follow, but it is also used as a feast day by those that serve the devil (including Satanists, witches, etc.). Still, I understand the innocent fun, especially for kids, of dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating. And this year the kids have a special need for fun with all the anxiety brought by Covid and the Shutdown. So, if it’s important to your kids, have some fun, but keep it balanced, and be careful not to let it, in any way, lead you or yours away from Christ, the Saints, or the Holy Souls.

Parish Finances. Please find the Finance Report of the year ended June 30, 2020, inserted in this bulletin.

Operating Income (mainly from offertory and long-term maintenance collections, and other donations) was             $2,030,379, down $227,516 (or 10%) from the prior year, while Operating Expenses were $1,941,633, up $71,996 (or 3.9%) from the prior year, leaving us a Net Operating Income of $88,746, down $299,512 from the prior year.

The decline in Operating Income is almost entirely due to the sharp decline in our offertory collection during the COVID Shutdown.

            The increase in Operating Expenses is primarily due to 1) accelerating maintenance planned future expenditures into this year to take advantage of discounts and down time ($24,000), 2) purchase of a new indoor creche ($22,0000 paid for by special donations), 3) increased scholarships ($14,000), and 4) increased emergency assistance ($26,000).

We also had Extraordinary Income of $176,577 and Extraordinary Expenditures of $216,064, both related to the Mural Project and Altar Rail/Pulpit Project. This left us with a Net Surplus (the bottom line) of $49,259.

            On the Balance Sheet side of things, we had Cash of $265,001 in checking and $1,466,830 in savings. Of the cash in savings, $345,176 is restricted, i.e., funds dedicated to paying for Long-Term Maintenance and Capital Projects.

We also had $158,200 in Loans Payable, which represents a “PPP” Loan from the federal government to help pay for payroll expenses. It is anticipated that this full amount will be forgiven during the coming year.

            Please feel free to contact me or Kirsti Tyson in the parish office with any questions about the report.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles