Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community:  Praised be Jesus Christ!  Now and forever!

Few topics in recent years have ignited such public debate as the balance between religion and politics.  Does religious thought have any place in political discourse?  Do religious believers have the right to turn their values into political action? What does it truly mean to have a separation of church and state?

Dear friends, the very heart of these questions is here addressed by one of our leading voices on this topic: the Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Capuchin and the Archbishop of Denver, CO.  This most outstanding, dedicated, and loyal United States Archbishop has written a new book entitled: Render Unto Caesar – Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, 2008.  Archbishop Chaput argues that our public life must be considered within the context of its Judeo-Christian roots. 

American democracy does not ask its citizens to put aside their deeply held moral and religious beliefs for the sake of public policy.  In fact, it requires exactly the opposite. As our nation’s founders knew very well, people are fallible.  The majority of voters, as history has shown time and time again, can be uninformed, misinformed, biased, or simply wrong.  Thus, to survive, America’s democracy depends on motivated and engaged citizens. – people of character, including religious believers, fighting for their beliefs in the public square – respectfully but vigorously, and without apology.  Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from our nation’s health.  Or as the Archbishop suggests, “Good manners are not an excuse for political cowardice.” 

At a time when the “Catholic faith and values” vote has never been more important, Archbishop Chaput deftly explores the intersection of morality, reason, and politics.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about the state of American’s soul and how that concern might shape the November 2008 election.  You may obtain this excellent work from Ignatius Press by calling 1-800-651-1531 or www.ignatius.com.  Read it before YOU cast your vote!

Today is “World Mission Day 2008”, on the next-to-last Sunday in October, on which funds are collected to be distributed by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, here in the U.S. in New York City.  The Society has two informative web sites, filled with useful information about the Church’s Missionary efforts worldwide.  These web sites can be accessed at www.fides.org or www.propfaith.org. 

In our Diocese of Norwich, Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D., has called for the “2008 Mission Combined Collection” next weekend, October 25th and 26th, in all the parishes in our Diocese.  By mail, you have received this information.  Please read the materials sent and bring your envelope to Mass next weekend.  By baptism, all Catholics are called to participate in the mission of the Church.  The funds gathered are distributed in Pope Benedict XVI’s name by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.  God award your generosity!

This weekend, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux will be beatified at the Vatican in Rome.  St. Therese is the patroness of the World Missions along with St. Francis Xavier.  May their prayers today continue to strengthen and expand our Catholic missions around the world.

                                                                        Pleasant Autumn Sunday to all! 
                                                                                                       
Father Jim 
                                                                     SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com 
 

                                                                                    Catholic Vote 2008

 

 

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