A Curve Ball Today

According to the Liturgical Calendar this weekend we should celebrate the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time but today we have a curve ball coming our way. At the request of Pope Francis, Holy Redeemer will join parishes throughout the world celebrating the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. That means the readings are not in the missalette and I’m wearing red vestments instead of green.

This change in plans comes about as the Church begins planning for the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will be during 2022-23. Holding periodic Synods of Bishops was one of the outcomes of the 2nd Vatican Council. Besides the fifteen ordinary synods held since the council, there have been several extraordinary synods held to consider issues effecting the Church in particular geographical areas of the globe.

The theme of the 16th Ordinary Synod is, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. In other words, the synod will be reflecting on what it means to be a Church that uses the synod process to address its issues. Synods have a long history in the Church. They were often held in the early Church when questions of doctrine arose or there were issues of how to adapt the Church to new circumstances especially in mission land. They are principally listening sessions where a general consensus is reached and guidelines for implementing broad principles are developed.

Over the next few weeks, I intend to us this space to elaborate one the issues the synod will be considering. Beginning today make the work of the synod a prayer intention. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide the preparations for the synod, its deliberations in 2023, and the implementation of its outcomes in the years to come.

Thank You for a Successful Annual Collection

Holy Redeemer conducted our 2021 Annual Collection in August and September. Thanks to the support of 233 parish households contributions totaled $81,317.50. That is just short of a $15,000 or 22% increase over last year’s total. The Annual Collection’s proceeds supplement our regular weekly budget collections and stabilize parish income over the winter months after our summer residents have left. The parish is grateful for the financial support of both full-time and part-time parishioners to this year’s efforts.

Priests Support Ministry

The Diocese of Fall River Office of Clergy Support is establishing a lay support ministry for priests of the diocese. The Vianney Group of Priestly Support, named for St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, will offer support for priests of the diocese. Participants will join together in fasting and prayer every third Thursday of the month. This Thursday, October 21, will be the next date. Participants are invited to join Matt Robinson, Director of Clergy Support, to recite a virtual Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 p.m. That day they are also invited to fast limiting themselves to one main meal and two smaller ones. Participants can also sacrifice by fasting from some other activity they enjoy. More information is available at the website www.fallriverclergysupport.com.

November Book of the Dead

November is the month Catholics make efforts to pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful dead. This week parishioners received a letter from Fr. Sullivan inviting them to forward the names of their beloved dead for inclusion in our November Book of the Dead. Throughout the month, we will reverence the book with incense at the beginning of weekend Masses.

We encourage a donation of $1 per name to be included in the All Souls envelope. Proceeds from the envelopes will go to the Chatham Children’s Fund. Please forward your list of names to the Parish Office as soon as possible.

We will celebrate our annual Memorial Mass for Holy Redeemer parishioners who died in the last year on All Souls Day, Tuesday, November 2, at 7:00 PM. If a member of your family or a friend has died this year, send their name to the Parish Office, and we will include them on our list. We will also remember the deaths of all Covid victims at that Mass. Please plan to come to our All Souls Mass to pray for the dead.

Available For All in Need

The Holy Redeemer Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides financial assistance with bills for food, housing, utility, insurance, repairs to homes and autos, etc., to our Chatham neighbors in need regardless of race, creed, or background. Their assistance in strict confidentiality. Our SVDP especially desires to aid any Holy Redeemer parishioners with financial needs. Contact the society using their Help Line (508)-267-7983 or, if you prefer, call Fr. Sullivan (508)-945-0677. Financial support for the society’s works can be forwarded to the Parish Office or placed in the Poor Box at the entrance to the church.

Scientific Evidence of God

The secular world often tries to contend there is a conflict between faith and science. They overlook the reality that many great scientists have been and are people of faith. The Catholic Schools Alliance of the Diocese of Fall River is sponsoring a talk by Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, on There is Scientific Evidence of God’s Existence. The lecture will be at the Bishop Connolly High School Auditorium, 373 Elsbree Street, Fall River, MA, on Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 7-8:30 PM. There is no admission charge. The topic is interesting to students in grades 6-12, college students, parents, grandparents, and educators.

Fr. Spitzer is a renowned Jesuit philosopher of ontology and science. He has made numerous television appearances on programs such as Larry King Live, The Today Show, The History Channel’s “God and the Universe, PBS “Closer to the Truth,” and his own EWTN series “Father Spitzer’s Universe.” To reserve a seat, RSVP to info@catholicsa.org or call (508) 687-7301.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Is a significant wedding anniversary in your future? The Diocese of Fall River is planning it’s annual Mass of Thanksgiving for couples observing significant wedding anniversaries (including first year) during 2022. The celebration will take place on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. If you would like an invitation, please contact the Parish Office. Names must be submitted before Wednesday, November 17, 2021.