Pastor's Letter - August 19, 2018

The Gospel today (and next Sunday) continues the account of Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand and His subsequent discourse on the “Bread of Life.” We have had the opportunity to reflect upon a variety of aspects of the Holy Eucharist during this time. Today I would like to recall the necessity of a spiritual and internal preparation for the proper reception of Holy Communion. Several years ago the Bishops of the United States drafted a brief statement about this (which is printed in the St. Michael Hymnal and the Lumen Christi Missal). They stated: “As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible. A frequent reception of the sacrament of penance is encouraged for all.” It has been (rightly) said that confession is good for the soul! Confessions are scheduled each Tuesday at 4:15pm, Saturday at 3:30pm, and every First Friday and First Saturday at 7:00am. Of course, the other parishes in the city and area have set times for Confessions, too. Have you gone to Confession lately?

I have spoken frequently about our need as Christians to always seek a better understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, for as St. Augustine said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” As one step to our better understanding of the Scriptures I will be offering a series of eight presentations called “Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible”. Each class includes a 30 minute video presentation by Jeff Cavins, followed by a Q&A and comments led by me. They are scheduled for Thursdays at 6:30pm, from September 6 through October 25. More info and registration materials will be in this bulletin and next week’s.

May God bless you!
Fr. Schaller