The escalation of violence in the war in the Holy Land weighs heavily on our minds and hearts, and those of all people of good will. There is fear that other countries will be drawn into this conflict and that it could result in a world war. Pope Francis said last Sunday after praying the Angelus, "War, any war that there is in the world -- I also think of the tormented Ukraine -- is a defeat…" "War is always a defeat; it is a destruction of human fraternity." He pleaded, “Brothers, Stop! Stop!" Later in the day, the pope spoke with President Biden in a 20-minute phone call to discuss "situations of conflict in the world" and "the need to prevent escalation in the region and to work toward a durable peace in the Middle East." Pope Francis called for prayer, fasting and penance – imploring God for peace in the world.READ MORE
On October 4, Pope Francis published a follow-up to his Encyclical, Laudato Si, entitled Laudate Deum. After eight years since the initial publication of Laudato Si, Pope Francis once again makes a prophetic call to conversion in light of the looming challenges of the climate crisis that have only worsened. Laudate Deum addresses people of goodwill, admonishing the human family that has neglected its relationships with creation, one another, and above all, God – calling all people to repentance and reparation.READ MORE
As the Church celebrates Respect Life Month in October, I draw your attention to some recent news about the sad death of a pregnant woman’s unborn baby who was struck by a stray bullet while the mother was riding on a public bus in Holyoke about two weeks ago. The mother, eight months pregnant, was rushed to the hospital. She survived, but despite efforts to save the unborn baby, the baby died.READ MORE
The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops began at the Vatican this past Wednesday, October 4 and will continue through Sunday, October 29. This is the first of two sessions, which will be spaced apart by one year; the second session is scheduled to take place in October 2024. The decision to have two sessions stems from Pope Francis’ desire that the theme of a Synodal Church might be the subject of prolonged discernment not only by the members of the Synodal Assembly, but by the whole Church because of its breadth and importance. This choice is in keeping with an ongoing “synodal journey,” as the Pope described it, understanding that the Synod is not an event, but a process in which the whole People of God is called to walk together toward what the Holy Spirit helps it to discern as being the Lord's will for his Church.
Therefore, this Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will also take on a study of the processes involved in this consultation, configuring itself as "a journey within the journey" to foster more mature reflection for the greater good of the Church.READ MORE
It’s been brought to my attention recently that some programs and workshops being offered to the general public in our community are delving into potentially spiritually dangerous areas that Catholics and all people of goodwill should avoid. They often sound interesting and harmless, sometimes billed as “fun and lighthearted.” However, whenever they involve harnessing “energy,” contacting spirits, consulting mediums/psychics, reading Tarot cards or tea leafs, caution is advised. In light of such activities taking place around us, I offer the following references from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for your information below. As we pray to our heavenly Father in the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from evil,” we need to do our part to avoid the many insidious ways the spirit of evil can enter our world these days – some very subtle and others, not so subtle. In 1 Peter 5:8, we read, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”READ MORE