Where did the year go?
We are officially in the fall of 2018 and let’s not talk about the countdown to Christmas. October has long been designated as Respect Life Month and this year’s theme is "Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent." In year’s past the USCCB would design social media posts to help followers participate in 9 Days for Life novena of prayers in October, but this year this powerful novena will happen in January. Another great resource to help you sharpen your #RespectLife focus is 40 Days For Life campaign.
I want to challenge you social media managers to also extend our prayers beyond just abortion and euthanasia. Suicide is reaching epidemic numbers for young people according to a recent study cited in the book “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood”.
"Although the rate increased for both sexes, three times as many 12 to 14-year-old girls killed themselves in 2015 than in 2007"
I wrote another blog about suicide awareness last month and it is chock full of resources that you can find content to share resources to help people start talking about this insidious trend. The secular world will also observe “Emotional Wellness Month”, and for many young people emotional safety is their number one concern.
Monthly Prayer Dedications
Every month our Holy Catholic church has a liturgical dedication and for October it is the “Rosary”. In light of the current revelation of more instances of cover-ups with regard to sex abuse might I suggest that you consider creating prayer groups to specifically pray for the intention of purification and renewal for our church. There is also an intention designated by the Holy Father each month and this month the intention, that was set a year ago is “The Mission of the Religious” which is so apropos in light of the call for change in our hierarchy.
Saints of October
This month the main liturgical feasts are St. Thérèse (October 1), Guardian Angels (October 2), St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), The feasts of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7) St. Faustina (October 5), St. Bruno (October 6), St. John XXIII (October 11), St. Callistus I (October 14), St. Teresa of Jesus (October 15) , St. Hedwig and St. Margaret Mary(October 16), St. Ignatius of Antioch (October 17), St. Luke (October 18), St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brébeuf and Companions (October 19), St. Paul of the Cross (October 20), St. John Paul II (October 22), and St. Anthony Mary Claret (October 24). Sts. Simon and Jude (October 28).
Your followers need a daily message from your pastor, priests or another spiritual leader that feeds their soul. At my parish we are fortunate enough to have a video taped message from our pastor that is shared everyday via our social media pages. Other messages can be shared from other social media pages like “Pray As You Go”, that is fueled by Jesuit ministries. It provides daily prayer, wherever you are. Scripture, music and reflection. Available online, in apple Podcasts or as an app for iOS and Android.
Behind the Scenes
As the month of October comes to an end we will roll into the Holy Day of Obligation All Saints Day and many dioceses host special masses to memorialize their members who have died on All Souls Day. What does your parish do to celebrate these two liturgical celebrations? Whatever you do, whether you decorate with banners, flowers, adoration or maybe add a new tradition of showing the movie “CoCo”. A wonderful way to help kids learn how important it is to pray for the dead members of our families. Share the behind the scenes preparations and create save the dates to remind them about this Holy Day of Obligation
Courtesy: Disney Pixar
Lastly, as the president of the USCCB Cardinal Di Nardo stated “the church in the United States has been lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse." The pain we are feeling is real and not temporary. This will be a process that will take years to complete, so be sure to follow the Bishop’s page for updates on what the body is doing to purify and renew our church. Start with sharing the most recent press release following the meeting with the Pope.
CNS Photo/Vatican Media Sept 13, 2018 Meeting on U.S. Sex Abuse
"May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them." - Pope Francis