Who can believe it is November??? I, for one, cannot wrap my head around that. It seems that we were just throwing hamburgers on the grill and enjoying those delicious August tomatoes, and here we are, pumpkins from Hallowe’en already decomposing on the porch steps, Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas songs on the radio…yikes! Stop the calendar, I want to go back!
Sigh…can’t turn back time (although didn’t we do that last weekend?)…but we can look back and see what we have experienced in the past couple of weeks. On October 29, in the middle of a dark, rainy Sunday afternoon, glimmers of Hope and Healing emanated from the first diocesan Mass for the survivors of sexual abuse as minors, held in our parish at 2 pm. Bishop Caggiano presided and delivered a passionate homily directed at the survivors and all in attendance, addressing the horror of abuse and the responsibility for that abuse, in a most forthright manner. Survivors also spoke of pain suffered and of the new life that can emerge when compassion and dialogue are offered. The choir was outstanding…so many in attendance commented on the beautiful, heartfelt singing. The greeters were warm and helpful. The reception that followed was lovely; the décor, thanks to Kelly Sohigian and George Szondy; the atmosphere, thanks to the volunteers who welcomed and served the guests. It was indeed a hopeful and healing afternoon in an otherwise gloomy day.
I know you are wondering about the Hallowe’en turnout. In case you missed the announcement at Mass last weekend, we broke the record!!! 270 children, 15 adults, and 1 dog (dressed appropriately enough as a pumpkin! (Way to go, Riley!!!)
Enough of gazing backward…looking ahead there is much to anticipate…November brings our annual Parish Mass of Thanksgiving, on Tuesday evening, November 21, at 7:30 pm, when the parish will gather to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and offer non perishable food items for the pantry at the Merton Center. Thanksgiving Weekend (yes, this year there is an entire weekend!) is followed closely by the beginning of the Season of Light, Advent, when we will once again have our Advent Breakfast (December 10), our annual Advent Evening of Reflection with Gregory Norbet (December 10) and a new offering this year from parishioner and devoted Thomas Merton follower Jeff Kiernan, who will “kick off” our Advent (December 1) with an evening of silence, music (Frank Macari) and prayer.
All in all, we have so much to be grateful for in our little parish, as we journey together toward the end of another year…