World Mission Sunday, our annual worldwide Eucharistic celebration for the Missions and missionaries of the world, will be celebrated on October 20, during the Extraordinary Missionary Month. This collection on the next-to-last Sunday in October is a unique, global effort for the entire Church to provide for the building up of over one thousand local churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe. Through the work of these churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive practical help and experience God’s love and mercy, His hope and peace.

Pope Francis has set October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month to foster greater awareness of “missio ad gentes” and to animate the missionary transformation of Church life and pastoral activity. He has asked each country to highlight a great missionary who shared their life for the love of the Gospel. In the U.S.A., we have chosen Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, who was martyred in Brazil in 2005 because of her defense of Indigenous people and the Environment. To learn more about her exemplary missionary life, please go to missio.org/resources.

Please keep the Pope’s missions in your prayers and be generous in next week’s collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Healed – and saved – through faith and gratitude

The Gospel for this Sunday recounts one of Jesus’ best-known miracles, the cleansing of 10 lepers. Christ and His disciples were heading toward Jerusalem for the last time when He met these suffering outcasts. They begged Him to take pity on them. He told them to show themselves to the priests who could declare that they were no longer unclean. On the way, they were healed and one – a Samaritan – was so filled with gratitude that he rushed back to praise God and thank Jesus. But our Lord had a question. “‘Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?’

Then He said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has saved you’” (Luke 17:17-19). It’s easy to think of excuses why the other nine kept going. After all, they were told to report to the priests. Maybe they were so excited to be well they wanted to see their families and resume their old lives. They were probably appreciative in a general way. But the truth is, they were thinking of themselves and not the one who gave them this immense blessing.

The only former leper who returned knew Jesus was responsible for the gift of healing that had changed his life. He simply could not contain himself until he had returned to see Christ once more. In the process he was transformed by the very thanksgiving that filled him. Not only was the man’s body well, so was his soul. His gratitude and faith were bonded, as ours should be.

God gives us everything. We proclaim our belief in Him and, indeed, often pray for His blessings and help for loved ones and ourselves. This is as it should be. However, most of us spend far more time asking than in thanking and praising. If we truly believe in God’s mercy and appreciate all He does for us, why don’t we say so? First, to Him, of course, but we can also let others know. If someone has given us a great gift, we usually can’t stop talking about it. Communicating our faith in Christ with others is one sure way of giving thanks. And letting those around us see that God’s love is real in us can make it more real for them as well.

I would like to take this as an opportunity to express my sincere thanks to you all dear Holy Spirit family for your love and support. Last weekend we not only “survived” our “LIFE CHAIN”, but as a community we thrived. Thank you to all who volunteered to come out and stand on Atlantic Blvd to let the people know that we care for life.

Thank you to all who participated and volunteered to bring about a fantastic celebration of “Rosary Procession” celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Rosary. So many people with different and distinct roles came together that we could have such a beautiful and spiritual experience. Special thanks to Ray Stiles for coordinating the liturgy, Alice DeLeon and Sandy Coleman for the delicious lunch, Boys Scouts for being instrumental in setting up for the reception, serving food and drinks, and cleaning up afterward, and Phil Militante for great sound system for the procession. Keep up the great work for God.

As we continue this Extraordinary Missionary Month, let us give thanks for our faith, as we pray for those sharing the Good News of the Gospel with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Have a blessed week!