Pastor's Blog - February 3, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

News and Notes

Blessing of Throats... This weekend (February 2-3) we will celebrate the annual ritual of blessing of throats at all the Masses in both parishes.  Here is what the Book of Blessings says in the Introduction to the Order for the Blessing of Throats on the Feast of Saint Blasé (which falls on February 3):    

“Suffering and illness have always been among the greatest problems that trouble the human spirit. Christians feel and experience pain as do all other people; yet their faith helps them to grasp more deeply the mystery of suffering and to bear pain with greater courage…Part of the plan laid out by God’s providence is that we should fight strenuously against all sickness and carefully seek the blessings of good health, so that we may fulfill our role in human society and in the Church.  The blessing of the sick by ministers of the Church is a very ancient custom rooted in imitation of Christ himself.”

This ritual takes its origin from the example of a fourth century Armenian bishop named Blasé, who is said to have been a physician before becoming bishop.  Blasé was known to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly choked to death on a fishbone lodged in his throat.  The blessing in honor of St. Blase is given by touching the throat of each person with two candles which have been joined together in the form of a cross.  During this cold and flu season, the blessing of throats is an especially welcome ritual invoking the Lord’s healing grace.

Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick... Next weekend (February 9-10) we will anticipate the annual World Day of the Sick (which falls on February 11) by offering the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to those who are seriously or chronically ill, facing surgery in the near future, or weakened by the effects of aging.  If you would like to be anointed, come to the 4PM Saturday Mass in either parish, or the Sunday Masses at 7AM (OLA), 10AM (SMG) or 11AM (OLA) and a priest will be happy to anoint you with the Oil of the Sick.  Feel free to approach the priest at the other Masses that weekend if you wish to receive this sacrament of healing.  If you are unable to come to Church, and need a priest to visit you or a member of your family for the Sacrament of the Sick, you can always call the Collaborative Office to make an appointment. 

May the blessings that flow from the Lord’s healing be yours in the week ahead!