Just a Word
A note from the Pastor,
October 29th, 2023
All Saints, All Souls, and Hallowe'en!
Ask any kid what holiday is coming Tuesday, and they will scream, “It’s Halloween!” However, they would be hard pressed to identify the holidays which happen in rapid-fire succession on the two days following: All Saints Day (11/1) and All Souls Day (11/2). And yet, the very name Hallowe’en reveals its dependence on the other two – for it is a corruption of All Hallows Eve – the night before All Hallows Evening or All Saints Day. Hallowe’en has its roots in the pagan holiday of Samhain, celebrated on October 31st, which was the night the door to the underworld opened and dead spirits would walk the earth. People would placate these spirits with honors and offerings, or disguise themselves as spirits to ensure their safety. Over the centuries, those ancient pagan rituals became the childhood customs of dressing in costumes and “trick or treating.”
But Samhain was the reason the Church established the other two festivals: All Saints Day, when the Church remembers those who have died and who are in heaven, the Saints; and All Souls Day, when the Church prays for those believed to be on their way to heaven, or the souls in purgatory. For even though we might be separated from one another by death, as members of the Body of Christ, we are not divided. The saints pray for us, and we pray for the dead.
It’s why we celebrate funeral Masses for the deceased. It’s why we have Masses said for our deceased loved ones all year long (those are the intentions we mention at the start of Mass, with the words, “The intention for today’s Mass is…”), and it's why we offer the opportunity of prayer for all the deceased during the month of November by placing envelopes with the names of our deceased loved ones on the altar.
We honor our beloved dead here at St. Monica, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Stephen of Hungary with an altar of remembrance at the St. Joseph Altar. We welcome you to bring framed pictures of your deceased loved ones and place them on the table provided. This altar will remain for the entirety of November as a symbol of our connection with all the members of the Body of Christ, both living and deceased.
Daylight Savings Time Ends – The NYC Marathon Happens
Don’t forget, next Sunday is November 5th: daylight savings time ends, and we gain that hour we lost in the spring. Also, it is Marathon Sunday! As the marathon runs up East 79th Street and cuts our parish in two for hours, please make your plans to attend Mass accordingly!
Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Our parish’s community Thanksgiving dinner will be offered on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, in the Cafeteria of St. Stephen of Hungary School at 409 E 82nd Street. Doors open at 1:00pm.
The idea for this meal was conceived of over fifteen years ago by Fr. Angelo Gambatese, OFM, Pastor of St. Stephen of Hungary Church, to be of service to the Yorkville community, especially for those who might not have people to celebrate with or a place to go.
Tickets must be purchased in person from the Parish Center Office! Tickets cost $5 and will go on sale Monday, October 30th. They are limited and sell out quickly, so if you intend to attend, buy your ticket this week!
- Father Baker