As a Catholic community in the United States, we observe the month of October as Respect Life Month. One of the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is respect for the dignity of human life. This is a strong affirmation of the fact that life is a gift from God and it must be respected at all stages of life: womb to tomb, as we say.
This year we mark the 25th anniversary of the landmark encyclical of Pope St. John Paul II calledEvangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). In this document, the Holy Father emphasized that we need to develop“a culture of life,” to counter the culture of death that permeates our society. Human life is denigrated and often lacks protection under the laws of society. A brief summary of this encyclical is included in the link below.
The Holy Father stressed that promoting a culture of life encompasses a wide range of issues and cannot be limited to one or two. Abortion continues to be a major threat to the dignity of human life. That is why we seek legal protection of defenseless human life in the womb. We also need to provide assistance to pregnant women who sometimes struggle emotionally, financially, medically, or in many other ways. The US bishops have launched a campaign called “Walking with Moms in Need,” but it has been difficult to do much in the midst of a pandemic. I think this is an area where we can do more as a parish.
Many other issues call us to work for respect for life: advocating for health care for the poor, reaching out to the homeless, opposing violence and war, working for racial justice, dealing with a life-threatening pandemic, caring and protecting migrants, promoting legislation that protects the elderly and the dignity of natural death, ensuring the rights of the incarcerated and eliminating capital punishment, and a host of other issues that can be considered a part of a consistent ethic of a culture of life.
Throughout the month of October, I will provide some short articles and quotations that will give us all something to think about. Each of us needs to decide how we can stand up as Christians who seek to promote a culture of life.
Next week we celebrate two feast days that commemorate the importance of angels in the lives of Christians. On September 29, we have the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels. Notice their names all end in -el. That is a shorthand for saying that they do the work of God.
Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.
Michael appears in Daniel’s vision as “the great prince” who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God’s armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.
Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel’s visions, announcing Michael’s role in God’s plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah in the gospel of Luke.
Raphael’s activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he appears to guide Tobit’s son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah’s marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit’s blindness, and the restoration of the family fortune.
The memorials of Gabriel and Raphael were added to the Roman liturgical calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the liturgical calendar joined their individual feasts to Michael’s.
On October 2 the Church observes the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not only for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer, and to present their souls to God at death.
The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”
Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. Saint Benedict gave it impetus and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day. A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.
See the attached article entitled “What Catholics Believe about Angels.”
In celebrating the archangels on September 29, the Church reminds us of three special messengers who were sent to accomplish very specific tasks.
The Book of Tobit tells the story of Raphael, who was sent by God to accompany Tobias in his quest to find medicine to cure the blindness of his father, Tobit. Raphael’s task is to lead, guide and protect his young companion in his quest. Along the way Tobias experiences many adventures, finds love and marriage and, in the end, secures the medicine his father needs. Thus he achieves many goals, receives numerous blessings and completes his mission. This is made possible because of the archangel’s guidance. Raphael has served his purpose well; he has carried out the mission God gave him to accompany, guide and protect Tobias from harm and fight the battles of God.
Michael was sent to fight God’s battles. The short letter of St. Jude describes Michael in an argument with Satan over the body of Moses. While Michael does not make any pronouncement against the devil, he does say, “May the Lord rebuke you” (Jude 1:9), indicating the false nature of Satan’s argument. In the apocalyptic Book of Daniel, Michael’s role is much more proactive. He is described as “the great prince, guardian of your people” (12:1). In his vision, Daniel describes the classic confrontation between good and evil at the end of time. Michael is the great champion of the people; he stands ready to greet those who rise from the dead and experience God’s great victory over evil. The New Testament continues to reveal Michael’s role as a champion for God.
The most prominent and best-known of the archangels is Gabriel, the one who delivers special messages to those favored by God. We first hear of Gabriel through St. Luke’s depiction of the Annunciation:
“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail favored one! The Lord is with you’” (1:26-28). Gabriel continued: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end” (1:30-33).
We next encounter Gabriel in Matthew’s Gospel when he delivers the message to Joseph that he, Mary and Jesus must flee from the wrath of Herod. “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him” (2:13). Later, after the crisis has passed, once again Gabriel comes to Joseph instructing him to return to Israel (see 2:19-20).
The messages that Gabriel delivers were obviously highly significant and, thus, the Lord entrusted them to a special carrier.
Antonio Vivaldi is a well-known classical composer. Born in 1678, he lived most of his life in the 18th century. Did you know that he was also a Catholic priest? Because of his red hair, he was known as the “red priest.” He wrote at least three settings of the hymn Gloriain excelsis Deo. Enjoy this one.
Thank You for Your Generosity
Our parish is blessed by so many kind and generous people. Even in the midst of the ever-changing circumstances of parish life during a pandemic, many of our parishioners have continued to send or bring their contributions to the parish. Many have begun using Online Giving. I am so grateful that so many people have continued to contribute. It has been very helpful to the financial situation of the parish. While our income is down significantly, the generosity shown by so many has enabled us to maintain the parish complex, keep current with our bills, and pay our dedicated staff. Thank you all, very much!
Even as Masses are being celebrated outside on the school grounds, there will be specially marked baskets on the tables near the entrance to the field into which you can place your offerings. Of course, you can continue to mail us your contribution or drop it off at the office (8:30 am – 12:30 pm). Online giving remains a good option as well. Thank you for supporting your parish.
"Catholic Trivia”... not because they are trivial but because these might be things that not everyone knows. Test your knowledge by reading the five questions, remember your answers (or jot them down), then click the link below to find the answers.
The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are called synoptic gospels. What does the word “synoptic” mean?
From what town did St. Paul (Saul) come?
What were the professions of Peter, James and John?
What was the profession of Matthew?
In which gospels is Mary, the mother of Jesus, mentioned by name?
If you have other members of your family or your friends who would like to be on our email list, just let me know or write to Mary McLain at email@example.comWe will be pleased to add them.
We have opened a YouTube channel where we have daily and Sunday Masses as well as Fr. Ron's new Bible Study posted for the parish called St Patrick Church Carlsbad that you can subscribe to.
It is possible to turn from sin and preserve one’s life.
A prayer to God for mercy.
Philippians 2:1-11 (shorter form Philippians 2:1-5)
Be like Christ who humbled himself and was exalted by God.
Jesus poses a question to the chief priests and elders on the meaning of obedience.
Background on the Gospel Reading
The context for today’s Gospel is the mounting tension between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus has entered Jerusalem and overturned the money changers’ tables in the Temple. Jesus has caught the attention of the religious authorities; the chief priests and elders question Jesus about the source of his authority. Jesus refuses to name for these religious leaders the source of his authority. Instead, he questions the priests and elders through the parable we hear in today’s Gospel. The answer given by the religious leaders is correct, but it convicts them for their failure to heed the call of John the Baptist and for their inability to recognize the Kingdom of God.
The situation Jesus poses is rather straightforward. Given the same task by their father, one son asserts his disobedience in words, but then obeys in his actions; the second son obeys with his words, but disobeys in his actions. The question that Jesus poses is pointed and direct: Which son did what the father wanted? All would agree that “actions speak louder than words” and that even if his words were disobedient, the son who did the work as ordered did the father’s will.
Jesus’ conclusion is also direct. The chief priests and elders, the ones who speak most often about God, did not act accordingly. They did not respond to the message of repentance announced by John the Baptist with a change of heart. Instead, John’s message was heeded by those one would not expect to repent—tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. Because of their actions, these sinners will enter the Kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders.
Jesus could ask us the same question. Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? God desires a full conversion of heart, that our actions (and our words as well) will give evidence of our love for God.
Our council of the Knights of Columbus is sponsoring a food drive to benefit the San Diego Food Bank. See the attached flyer to see which items are most needed and which items are not acceptable. It will be conducted on the four Sundays of October (not on the Saturdays). Bring your donations to the parish hall during or after any of the Masses on those Sundays. Drive up to the door near Adams Street and pop open the back of your vehicle. Remain in your car and the Knights will take you bagged or boxed donation from the trunk.
Colecta de alimentos parroquial para el San Diego Food Bank
Nuestro consejo de Knights of Columbus está patrocinando una colecta de alimentos en beneficio del San Diego Food Bank. Consulte el folleto adjunto para ver qué elementos son más necesarios y cuáles no son aceptables. Se llevará a cabo los cuatro domingos de octubre (no los sábados). Traiga sus donaciones al centro parroquial durante o después de cualquiera de las misas de esos domingos. Conduce hasta la puerta cerca de Adams Street y abre la parte trasera de tu vehículo. Quédese en su carro y los Caballeros le llevarán la donación empaquetada o en caja del maletero.
These children sing of the beauty of the name of Jesus Christ. In biblical language, the name symbolizes the whole person. How beautiful is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A Course on Vatican II
Fr. Ron Bagley will be teaching a course on the Second Vatican Council as a part of the Diocesan Institute. The entire course will be taught online (via Zoom). It will begin on Thursday, October 8, 6:30-9:00 pm and continues every week for 6 weeks (ending November 12).
Why was Vatican II such a watershed event in the history of the Church? What preceded it that prepared for this historic meeting? So many people say, “Vatican II did this… or did that.” What did Vatican II really do and say? How has its impact continued to impact the Church?
The Office for Family Life & Spirituality continues to host its online Celebrating Your Love Days (the “Pre-Cana”) in English and in Spanish on a monthly basis. To register and to view upcoming dates, visit sdcatholic.org/cyl.
Engaged Encounter is also hosting virtual EE Weekends, including on October 17 and November 7. Couples can continue to register at engagedencountersd.org.
This Little Light of Mine
This song is on old favorite that has been around for generations. Since it’s a kid’s song, gather the kids to watch it and sing along. If there are no kids around, sing along with whoever is with you or by yourself.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study
Our Wednesday morning Bible Study will resume on October 7. It will explore the Acts of the Apostles, an important but little understood New Testament book. A new feature of this Bible Study is that it is open to both men and women. It will meet online.
Click on the link for additional information on how to register and whom you may contact for further information.
Espero que todos se encuentren bien. Para los que no tengo el gusto de conocer, mi nombre es Jocelyn, y sirvo en el ministerio de jóvenes en nuestra parroquia. Quiero tomar este momento para crear un espacio de reflexión y gratitud para todos los padres de familia en nuestra comunidad. Como ustedes saben, su trabajo es de suma importancia al reino de Dios, ya que ustedes son los primeros en compartir el Evangelio en sus hogares. Entendemos que hoy más que nunca están pasando por un desafío muy grande a medio de esta crisis de salud global.
Es entendible que las rutinas anteriormente observadas en casa están un poco dobladas. Y eso es normal. Es importante poder tener paciencia y amabilidad con uno mismo y poder trabajar en ser conscientes de nuestra propia salud mental. Tomarse el tiempo de cuidarse a usted mismo le ayudará a ser un mejor padre para sus hijos. Para la gran mayoría de los estudiantes en nuestra comunidad este inicio al año escolar ha sido muy diferente a los demás, ya que las clases son en línea en vez de un salón de clase. Ustedes padres, ahora han tenido que agregar una profesión más a sus deberes, como maestros de sus hijos. Los alentamos a tener muchos momentos de paciencia y de alegría intencional en sus casas. Tomen el tiempo de compartir anécdotas con sus hijos de su niñez o adolescencia suya, salgan a caminar juntos, tomen un helado en familia, escuchen un poco de la música de sus hijos (sin juzgar!) e intencionalmente crean un espacio para estar presente en los gustos de sus hijos, y de igual manera respetar su espacio para que ellos se conviertan en individuos independientes. Es importante para la preparación mental y emocional de sus hijos que ustedes padres estén presentes en sus gustos de sus hijos y que ellos los vean a ustedes atender su salud mental y emocional también. Por favor tengan en mente nuestro apoyo, y estamos orando por ustedes siempre.
Stand for life and pray for the end of abortion during the 40 Days for Life Campaign (Sept 23 to Nov 1). Join the pro-life community in prayer, fasting, and vigil hours. Prayer vigils will be outside five different abortion facilities in San Diego county. Check the schedule of each location and sign up for vigil hours at 40daysforlife.com If you choose to participate, wear masks and observe social distancing.
40 Días por la Vida
Defienda la vida y reze por el fin del aborto durante los 40 Días for la Vida (sep 23 - nov 1). Únase a la comunidad pro-vida en oración, ayuno y vigilia. La vigila se llevara a cabo a fuera de cinco clínicas en las que se practica el aborto. Consulte el horario de cada lugar e inscribase a las horas de vigilia en 40daysforlife.com. Si decide participar, observe el distanciamiento social y use una cubierta facial.
Our parish offices are open, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm.
During this time of inactivity, we will use our parish email system to communicate with parishioners to offer spiritual reflections and make announcements.
In case of an emergency, you can always reach us by phone. We will be checking regularly for messages and respond as soon as possible. If need be, the answering service can get in touch with one of our priests quickly.
If you know someone who does not receive our emails, please forward this to them, or have them reply to this message.
To email a priest at St. Patrick Church click the link below: