He only shuts up when he is writing!
From the Pastor: One Week Left To Prepare
There is only one week left to prepare for what may be the first Pontifical Solemn High Mass at a parish in this diocese in the past 50 years or so. I don’t know if, even when the TLM was not the “extraordinary” but rather the “only” Mass, it would have been too common for a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church, to visit and celebrate such a Mass. Because St. Petersburg never had its own Cardinal, it would have had to be a visitor coming in for such a Mass to occur. If we have any Church history buffs out there, I would love to know when the last one was!
Because we (clergy and altar boys) need the extra time to prepare and practice for the big Mass, we will have to cancel several regularly scheduled events to make time for the practices. So men, sorry to say it, but the Holy League will be canceled this coming Thursday. Practice will begin at 6:00 pm, and it will be pretty difficult to have both a Holy Hour and Mass practice in the same sanctuary at the same time. And for those of you who normally come to the Saturday morning Adult Catechism Class, it, too, will be canceled. The Saturday morning practice is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, which means that Adoration and Confessions must be completed by then. So don’t dilly dally in getting to the church that morning if you want to pray in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament and/or go to confession. I usually allow confessions to go until the last person is finished but this time, even if there are hundreds of people in line, it will end by 9:45 at the very latest. [Note: “...end by 9:45 at the very latest” does not mean “get in line at 9:44:57” or even “enter the confessional at 9:40 and expect to stay there for a 10-minute confession.”] There are probably more things that are or will be canceled but I cannot think of any of them at this time. No Masses will be canceled, so don’t worry about that. Thank you for understanding and being willing to postpone your burning desire to be at these parish functions so that we can prepare for a truly extraordinary parish function.
But enough about that. We have to now start preparing for everything that is coming up next! Remember that the Tuesday following the Pontifical Mass, November 1, is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. We will have our normal morning Masses at 6:30 and 8:00, plus an extra Mass at 7:00 pm. The following day, Wednesday, November 2, is All Souls Day. Once again, our morning Masses will be at the normal times and, even though it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, we will have another extra Mass at 7:00 pm due to great public demand. [I will write more about All Souls at the end of this article.] Two days later is First Friday, and, because I doubt that my mother will be able to get too many sign-ups during the Cardinal’s big day, we will need you all to really step up to the plate and let her know that you will cover your prayer hours. With this schedule, you will be spending almost as much time at church that week as I do!
Daylight Savings Time ends the following weekend, Election Day follows on Tuesday, and Veterans Day finishes the “work week” on Friday. Those are not Church celebrations of any sort but they each need to be noted and entered into one’s schedule of life events. But then the very next weekend (November 12-13) all of the secular things can be set aside once again because that begins our first Parish Mission since the Covid meltdown. More information on the schedule for Fr. Shannon Collins’ talks on The Most Precious Blood of Jesus will be coming out soon enough but for now, just be sure to mark your calendar so that you don’t miss out! The next week brings us the big feast of Thanksgiving and then the following week begins Advent. You all know what Advent is preparing us for, so this is where I will end this “looking ahead” part.
But I promised above that I would write some more about All Souls Day. If you wish to have me and the other priests pray for your departed loved ones, be sure to write their names down (legibly, of course) and turn in those lists to the office, or leave them at the sacristy, or put them in the collection basket. There does not need to be a donation attached to the list but if you wish to leave a donation it will be divided among all of the priests who celebrate Mass here during the month of November, as all of us will be praying for all of those for whom you requested prayers all month long, not just on November 2. We keep the list on the altar to remind us to pray for them and I hope it reminds you to pray for them as well.
More and more Catholics are dying now without their children even having a Requiem Mass said for them and I doubt that those children remember to pray for them even on All Souls Day. The protestants and non-Christians never give a second thought (at least, not in a good way) to Purgatory, and now Catholics are following suit, so who will pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed? Only the truly faithful Catholics. You. Make long lists!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka