October 23, 2014 | Issue 5 

Chaplains' Newsletter
Extraordinary Synod of the Family 

You may be well aware that the Church has just finished the Extraordinary Synod of the Family.  Pope Francis asked all those gathered to speak freely and openly about the many concerns that participants witnessed in their diocese.  Hundreds of people, representing every continent were present.  It is difficult for us to discern what took place.  What is clear is that the debates were lively and spirited. We are fortunate to have shared in this, if even from afar.  An air of openness in Rome, invites us to openness and transparency wherever and with whomever we find ourselves.


While a closing document has been released, it represents "the minutes of the meetings" rather than any official teaching.  The real work will now begin as the bishops bring this information back to their countries to further their conversations.  


In 2015, participants will reconvene in Rome during which time they will seek to share wisdom and bring solutions to problems faced by families in the 21st century.  Please pray for those involved in this work.  The situations which they are asking to address are complex and complicated and the needs that we have in North America are radically different than the needs of our brothers in sisters in developing nations where the Church is often persecuted and where families are often separated by violence and war.


Despite the great buzz that we have seen in the media, the Church continues on, seeking to bring the mercy and love of God to the four corners of the earth, while preparing us for our final union with God.  The liturgical commemorations in the next few weeks provide ample opportunity for educators to consider their own family situations and those that have had a profound impact on their living of the Good News.


Feast of All Saints and Feast of All Souls


For well over a thousand years, the Church has celebrated the Feast of All Souls (November 2) and Solemnity of All Saints (November 1).  In brief, both feast remind us of the power of prayer and that the Church on heaven and on earth are united by the love of God.  The Feast of All Souls provides an opportunity for us to pray for those men and women who have died and await the full manifestation of God's glory. The Feast of All Saints provides us an opportunity to celebrate and honour all the men and women who have lived the gospel and, while they do not have their own feast day, we believe they now live in the presence of God.  I count my grandparents and some very holy parishioners among the many who I will remember this day. 


This link will provide a very helpful and brief link on the history of the celebrations of All Saints and All Souls:


The History of All Saints and All Souls Days
The History of All Saints and All Souls Days 

This piece would be appropriate for secondary students:

Fr. Robert Barron on All Saints Day
Fr. Robert Barron on All Saints Day

Finally, you might want to choose to introduce your students to the Litany of the Saints.  This litany traces its origins back to the earliest days of the Church's life.  If scholars are correct, the litany was a way of "singing the memory" of Christians who had died for the faith, as a community walked on pilgrimage.  Eventually, this list was expanded to include other holy women and holy men.


Might you consider talking to your students about what they consider to be marks of holiness?


Might you consider asking your students who in their life has embodied some of these characteristics and to make their own litany?  It is good and just to pray for the dead and to ask them to pray for us.


Of the many litanies that are appropriate for this day, this one is my particular favourite:


Litany of the Saints John Becker
Litany of the Saints John Becker

Though these days fall on a weekend, your discussion of these days with your students and colleagues may be the only gospel they hear.  


Preach it with love!


Yours in His Service,


Father Michael Bechard

Director of Campus Ministry / King's University College 

Director of Liturgy / Diocese of London 


Upcoming Events
Fed & Taught: Ministry at the table of the word and sacrament 
Each workshop will address current practice in the Diocese of London for Lectors and Auxiliary Ministers of Holy Communion. Click here for workshop dates and locations.

Sow Much Love high school workshop

Oct. 30th-31st
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Wemple Building, 266 Epworth Ave, London
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Veritas Series: Singing Communities
Nov. 6th, 7:30 p.m.
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A free lecture by Joey Weisenberg. Click here for details.

King's Welcome Day 
Nov. 8th, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
Open house for future students, families and friends. Click here to register and for more information.

Annual Christ the King Lecture: Hunting the Divine Fox: God in the Church's Liturgical & Devotional Life 

Nov. 20th, 7:30 p.m.
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A free lecture by Father Jan Michael Joncas, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Click here for details.

Solemnity of Christ the King Mass
Nov. 23rd, 10:30 a.m.
The Chapel, Windermere on the Mount, 1486 Richmond Street, London
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Office of Campus Ministry | Christ the King University Parish  
King's University College
266 Epworth Avenue
London, Ontario, N6A 2M3
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