Dear Friends in Christ,
1. Recovery from my shoulder surgery is going very well, and so I will return to duty on 1 November. This means that our normal liturgical schedule resumes in November, and I will be available again for appointments. It will be several more weeks before I am able to distribute Holy Communion at Mass, so I will rely on our deacons and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to assist as needed until I have the full use of my right arm again. I will also be unable to shake hands after Mass until further notice, so a smile and kind word will have to do for now! Thank you for your prayers and many expressions of support.
2. In preparation for the election on 8 November, I urge each parishioner to consult a voters’ guide prepared by the Church to assist you in making an informed decision before you cast your ballot. Here in the Diocese of Charleston, the South Carolina Catholic Conference provides guidance on public policy issues and has prepared a summary of the candidates’ positions that you may find useful. To learn more, please visit www.sccatholicconference.org. And no matter what decision you make in this election, please remember the plea I made in last week’s bulletin column to remain peaceful in mind and heart and to seek always the common good. As political strife increases, our need for the peace that the world cannot give will only grow more compelling, so let us resolve not to surrender to contempt or hatred for those with whom we disagree and to remember that we are first, last, and always disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Tuesday 1 November is the Solemnity of All Saints, a holy day of obligation, and we will have Mass that day at 7 am, 12 noon, and 7 pm. Then Wednesday 2 November is All Souls Day, and we will have Mass at 7 am and 12 noon. Throughout November we will pray at each Mass for the repose of those whose names are written on your All Souls envelope, and on a stand by the sacristy door in the Lady Chapel you will find a Book of Remembrance in which to record the names of your beloved dead. Please take time during November to write the names of the departed who are dear to you and to read the names written by others, pausing to pray for them all to be gathered into the bright vision of God’s eternal glory.
4. On the afternoon of Sunday 20 November – the Solemnity of Christ the King – our Choirmaster Arlen Clarke, his ensemble Concordiae, and the Schola Cantorum of St Mary’s will perform a program of sacred music by Giovanni Pergolesi and Antonio Vivaldi. There is no cost for admission, but a free will offering will be taken to support the work of these outstanding musicians. The concert will begin at 4 pm, and all are invited.
5. Finally, today – Sunday 30 October – the South Carolina Bach Society (under the artistic direction of our Organist David Rhyne) will perform at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Augusta Road. The concert begins at 4 pm, and tickets are available at the door.