PASTOR’S CORNER August 10, 2011
According to Catholic belief the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. The Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” This doctrine was dogmatically and infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. This belief is known as the Dormition of the Theotokos by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many countries it is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation. It is somewhat interesting to note that there is no definite teaching about whether Our Blessed Mother was alive when she was assumed into heaven. It has always been the teaching that you could believe either way although the predominate thought is that she was deceased but before corruption set in she was assumed.
In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.” According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ’s promise.
This weekend we continue to celebrate our Parish Triduum (72 hours of prayer) to honor our God through the intercession of Mary. Please make an extra effort to join us Monday evening at 7:00 pm for our Mass, Procession and Blessing of our parish buildings.
I think all of us have been moved by the sight of the many thousands of refugees and the horrible journeys many have taken to try to find safety. Each year the parishes in the Diocese take up the Mission Appeal collection to help one of the many organizations that are seeking to help those in such terrible straits. Next weekend it is our turn to dig deep and help those in need. Please be generous in our Mission Appeal. Like the 57 cents of last week, every penny can grow and bless if done in the power of the name of Jesus.