Father Nathan St Gabriel | October 13, 2019
A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are close to my heart.
“This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission…
— Pope Francis
In the year 1927, St. Therese of Lisieux was declared the Patroness of the missions. Having never left the cloister, she was given this title alongside her co-patron the great St. Francis Xavier who traveled to many lands and converted Asia.
Vatican II defined missionary activity in these terms: “The special end of missionary activity is the evangelization and implantation of the Church among peoples or groups in which it has not yet taken root.” St. Francis Xavier and St. Therese of Lisieux are the patron saints of missions.
We may think that how would a person who never left the cloister come to be named with the title Patroness of the Missions? Can a person be a missionary for souls without ever leaving home? The answer is “Yes”
There are two ways we could actively participate in the mission of the Church.
- Through supporting them with our valuable prayers
- Our financial contributions or assistance.
As a child, I still remember and cherish those moments where we would be selling candies, cookies, auctions and garage sales what not….We were encouraged to do it, throughout the whole month of October for World Mission Sunday. The whole parish would be busy doing something. Invariable all the church organizations would be doing something to support World Mission Sunday.
I still remember one of our pastors would state this every week in October “We are Christians just because missionaries who brought Christ to us, now it’s our turn to support missionary work; hence, please may I request that each and every one of you do something for the missions” I have witnessed a healthy competition between the parish groups and organizations and between parishes and diocese to support the mission of the Church.
In America, knowing the importance of missions and the need for missions, the Church has included as the seventh precepts of the Church to support the mission of the Church. Let me give you the precepts of the Church below:
The Seven Precepts of the Church
I To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and resting from servile works.
II To observe the days of abstinence and fasting.
III To confess our sins to a priest, at least once a year
IV To receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist at least once a year during Easter Season.
V To contribute to the support of the Church.
VI To obey the laws of the Church concerning Matrimony
VII. To participate in the Church’s mission of Evangelization of Souls (Missionary Spirit of the Church)
This week we have World Mission Sunday, let us take pride and honor to support the church through our prayers and through our financial assistance as well.
This life is bestowed on us in baptism, which grants us the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death…
Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church.
The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism: as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20). ”
– Pope Francis
God bless you all. Please be assured of my prayers for you.
With lots of love and ever at your service,
Fr. Sahayanthan Nathan
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