November 20, 2016
Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
The Last Sunday After Pentecost
CHRIST THE KING
We come today to the Last Sunday of the Church’s Year of Grace, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. Next week when we come to Holy Mass we will see the solemn and somber color of violet reminding us that we have placed our feet once more along the path of holiness as we begin a New Year of Grace on the First Sunday in Advent. The poet T.S. Eliot wrote in his wonderful poem Ash Wednesday that the Church journeys as a ship along the violet and violet of the seas. He was referring to one Advent following another.
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King is of relatively recent origin; it was established only in 1923. At that time an unprecedented persecution of the Church had begun both in Spain and in Mexico. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939 over 4,000 priests were killed in Spain and more than 20,000 religious sisters and brothers. Many were killed in terrible ways. Some were clubbed into unconsciousness and fed to the wild animals of the zoos. Among the many martyred religious were a great number of members of the Marianist Order who serve St. Paul’s in such a dedicated and Christ-like way. And in Mexico churches were burned and many were tortured in unbelievable ways. This official persecution of the Church in Mexico lasted until 1992. Blessed Miguel Pro was executed before a firing squad for Christ the King on November 23, 1927. His dying words were Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!
At the time the Church established the Feast of Christ the King. This was to remind all the faithful that Our Lord is not only the Lord and God of individuals but also of nations and all society. As our father and patron St. Paul the Apostle reminds us, Oportet illum regnare. (He must reign). Christ is King of all the faithful but also of all the nations. Therefore all of society must be subject to his rule. When the Spanish and Mexican martyrs were being executed they cried out Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!
May we too ever have that phrase upon our lips. May Christ reign in our hearts and souls; may Christ reign over our families; may Christ reign over our nation and all the peoples of the world!
THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR: Today it is our joy to welcome once again the Little Sisters of the Poor. They are here to ask our assistance in their care for the elderly poor at their home Queen of Peace in Queens Village. The Little Sisters care for the elderly poor in a selfless and loving way. They treat the elderly with love, respect and dignity. They are truly the hands of Christ. And when that time comes, as it will indeed for each of us, when God calls their elderly residents unto Himself, they surround the death bed in vigil and usher the elderly into eternity. The Little Sisters were surrounding my mother when she went home to God on February 21, 2016, at 2.46AM. Please be generous as you always are. Sadly the Little Sisters of the Poor, who bear heroic witness to the sanctity of all human life from conception until natural death, have found themselves in the unlikely position of being brought to the Supreme Court of the United States by the present administration, because of their refusal to violate their Christian practice. And so they have also born witness to the great American freedom enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the freedom of religion. The Little Sisters have publicly stated that they will gladly suffer imprisonment for the sake of the Gospel. At a time when the aged are pushed aside and abused, it is beautiful to see the care they give to the elderly.
PARISH VOLUNTEERS AND FOUNDING PARISHIONERS: Today at the 9.30am Mass we honor all the parish volunteers and bless them. It is most fitting that we do so on this Feast but also on the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day. For without our volunteers we would have no parish. Today also we honor and bless all of our Founding Parishioners and the members of our senior’s club. These heroic men and women founded our parish and remember Mass being celebrated even before the Church was built. They are our founders in the faith and today we recognize and honor their service. We also pray for all our former pastors: Monsignor Potterton, Father Galloway, Monsignor Eugene Murphy, Monsignor Costa and Monsignor Clerkin. May God reward and bless each of them. We are most grateful to Mrs. Ursula Coughlin, the Chair of both the Hospitality Committee and Altar Guild, who has prepared the reception along with her loyal assistants for all of us in Monsignor Costa hall. The Squires, under the leadership of PGK Peter Boyle and Chief Squire Steven Northshield, will assist in the serving.
Finally may I extend sincere gratitude to all of you, the parishioners of St. Paul. Your sacrificial giving allows all of the wonderful things happening at St. Paul’s to occur. I never forget you in my prayers because I realize that every crust of bread that touches my lips is your gift.
THANKSGIVING DAY: May God bless all of you then on Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated on Thursday. Why not begin it in the right way by attending Holy Mass on Wednesday at 7.30pm in the Church? Let us give thanks to the Lord our God…It is right and just! There will also be Mass at 9.00am on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in the Church.
THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY: The Jubilee Year of Mercy which Pope Francis inaugurated on December 8, 2015, concludes today. The Holy Doors will close but, Our Lady, the Gate of Heaven, always remains ready to usher us into the portals of God’s grace. However, we pray that the graces of this Holy Year will take root in our soul. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…His mercy endures forever!
ST. AGNES MEDAL: Today at 3.00PM in St. Agnes Cathedral Bishop Murphy will bestow the St. Agnes Medal upon one of our parishioners, Mrs. Gina Cinelli. Mrs. Cinelli has served St. Paul’s for many years in various capacities. She leads our Ministry of Consolation, has been a Eucharistic Minister both in the Church and at Amber Court Nursing Home, member and president of the Marian Guild, teacher and grade level coordinator in our Faith Formation Program, member of the Altar Guild. Mrs. Cinelli’s dedication and loyalty to the parish and its priests has been outstanding. Congratulations to Gina and her family. I will be at the cathedral today to participate in the Awards Ceremony just as I was several weeks ago when Rose Emanuele, Eileen Camarinos, Mary Jean Hundt, Maria Sy Rangel, Eileen Northshield, Andrea Lynch, Doris Gribbon, and Paula Dawson were honored and received awards for their dedication to the Faith Formation Program.
GLENN MOHR CHORALE: Please make every effort to attend the Glenn Mohr Chorale Production of Blessed Hope (see the information elsewhere in the bulletin). The Glenn Mohr Chorale is deservedly world famous and many guests will also be coming to St. Paul’s. We will not have our annual Advent retreat this year so I encourage you to make this beautiful musical your spiritual preparation for Christmas.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION: Next Sunday, the First Sunday in Advent, our Eucharistic ministers will begin some slight new practices as requested by the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. They will sit in a reserved section in the pie section near St. Joseph’s Altar. They will enter the sanctuary after the Priest’s Communion to receive the ciboria from the priest. Thus the priest in a certain sense gives Holy Communion to all in the Church but through the assistance of the Extraordinary Ministers. They will vest in the white alb, reminiscent of the baptismal garment, and so associated with the dignity of distributing Holy Communion. Remember, we can never have enough reverence or love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We are grateful to the Knights of Columbus (Mr. James Galante, Grand Knight) for kindly and generously providing the liturgical vestments for the Eucharistic Ministers.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: December 12th is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Empress of the Americas. It is under that title, the River of Light, that Our Lady is the Protectress of all the peoples of the Americas, both North America and South America. Our Lady appeared to a humble Aztec St. Juan Diego on the Tepeyac Hill outside Mexico City four times between December 9, 1531 and December 12, 1531 – 485 years ago. There she said I have come to make known, to manifest, and to demonstrate my love, for all the peoples of these lands (North and South America). She asked that a Church be built on the Hill and finally she left us the miraculous image that is the most visited object on earth in the Basilica in Mexico City. There will be a Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite (Extraordinary Form) at 6.30PM. Visiting clergy will serve as deacon and subdeacon at the Mass and the music will be the traditional Gregorian chant. After the Mass will be the singing of the traditional mananitas in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Please make every effort to attend. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a replica of the one in Mexico City, will be on display in the Church.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda