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Weekly Bulletin November 5, 2023
by Terrie Evans
On this Sunday in Ordinary Time, we celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week from November 5-11. This annual celebration of the Church in the United States promotes vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life through prayer, invitation, and education. This week for National Vocations Week was established in 1976 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who then designated the 28th Sunday of the year to highlight the need for vocations. In 2014 the U.S.C.C.B. moved this important call for all those considering entering religious life to the 1st week in November. On this Sunday and during the next week, we are asked to offer our prayers and support for all those who are Considering one of these particular vocations for the priesthood, religious life, and diaconate. Prayer for Vocations: “God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as Priests, Deacons, and Consecrated Persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our San Antonio Church community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. AMEN.”
Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th so as we continue to pray for a good turnout and the right outcome for those crucial issues, do not forget to vote. A Prayer from Pope John Paul II: “Please God, you may continue, closely united with one another, to be a force of renewal and hope in our society. May the Lord help you to work ceaselessly to enable all, believers, and non-believers alike, to understand that protection of human life from conception is an essential condition for building a future worthy of the human being. AMEN.”
On November 9th, the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the oldest and highest ranking of the 4 main Basilicas in Rome. In 313, Emperor Constantine granted full liberty to Christians, constructing many churches and in ancient Rome, this was the church where all Baptisms took place. The magnificent Basilica is built over the ancient Lateran Palace, the ancient palace of the prominent Plautii Laterani “Roman Family” and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. It is located on St. John’s Square in Lateran on the Caelian Hill in Rome, Italy and is adjacent to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran and from the 4th Century was the principal residence of the Popes during the next 1,000 years until the Apostolic residence was moved to the nearby Vatican. It was considered as the “Mother and Head” of all the churches in the world and is dedicated under the title of the Most Holy Savior, Sanctissimi Redemptoris, and the ecclesiastical seat of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome. It was destroyed several times and always rebuilt with the final re-construction taking place under Pope Benedict XIII. In 1724, the church was rededicated and at that time, the feast of the Dedication was extended to the Universal Church. It was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is known as St. John Lateran. In World War II the Lateran and surrounding buildings provided a safe shelter for many Jews and other refugees fleeing from the Nazis and Italian Fascists with the grounds being used to house Italian soldiers. In July 1993, a bomb exploded in front of the Rome Vicariate at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran destroying the façade and was seen as a warning to Pope John Paul II for his statements on the Mafia. The repairs were completed in 1996. The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica: To dedicate or consecrate a place to God is a ritual that is found in every religion. To reserve a place to God is an act of recognizing His Glory and Home.
On Friday, November 10th we honor all Veterans as we remember all those Military Veterans who served in all branches all the United States Armed Forces. It was established on November 11, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson when he spoke to our nation on the 1st Armistice Day and the heroism of those who fought during World War I. In 1926, the United States Congress sent President Calvin Coolidge a request to issue an annual proclamation for appropriate ceremonies to be observed every year on November 11th. It was finally approved by a Congressional Act in 1938 making it a legal holiday known as Armistice Day. By 1945, a Veteran from World War II asked to expand the day not to just honor those who died in World War I. Veteran Raymond Weeks would lead a delegation to General Dwight Eisenhower who would go on to support the idea for a National Veterans Day. The 1st National Veterans Day was led by Weeks in his home state of Alabama in 1947. Raymond Weeks became known as the “Father of Veterans Day” and received the Presidential Citizenship Medal from then President Reagan in 1982. Parades and other events and celebrations are held throughout our country and on each Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every, two minutes of silence will be observed at 2:11 PM Eastern Standard Time in many cities and at the Hamilton County Public Library in Cincinnati, the project “Honoring Our Veterans” will be on display from 2:00-3:00 PM on November 11, 2023. The Veterans History Project is an ongoing effort to capture and share the stories of Veterans of Hamilton County. Also, on November 10th we honor St. Leo the Great Pope and Doctor of the Church, a Tuscan who succeeded Pope Sixtus in 440. He was the first Pope to have been called “The Great” who was known for persuading Attila the Hun (Scourge of God) to withdraw from his invasion of Italy in 452. St. Leo was devoted to St. Peter and when he called the Council of Chalcedon to condemn the heresies who were attacking the Church and condemned, the Council stated, “Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo”. He left many writings of historical value about the person of Jesus Christ (Christology) and his role as, mediator and savior (Soteriology). Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Papacy of Leo as one of the most important in the history of the Church. He was the 1st Pope to be buried within the portico of Old St. Peters Basilica. Prayer to St. Leo the Great: “O God, You established Your Church on the solid rock of St. Peter and You will never allow the powers of hell to dominate her. Grant that she may preserve in Your truth and enjoy continual peace through the intercession of Pope St. Leo.”
On November 11th we celebrate the feast day of St. Martin of Tours (316-397) born in Hungary, the son of a Roman Officer and was raised in Italy who was serving in the army at age 15. He was Baptized at age 18 and by 23 just being discharged from service, became a Disciple of St. Hilary of Poiters, France, He was ordained a Priest and while in France, preached throughout the countryside with his disciples. In 371, he became the Bishop of Tours who went on to order the destruction of pagan temples, altars, and sculptures. Martin of Tours was seen as a brave fighter, devoted to the poor, who served his military duty and respected all secular authority. He is depicted as a man on horseback sharing his cloak with a beggar and invoked as the patron saint of France. In 1870 after the Franco-Prussian war, he became popular with many pilgrims and clergy journeying to the tomb of St. Martin at Tours where his shrine has become a famous stop over for those traveling on the road from Santiago de Compostela in Spain. St Martin of Tours is the patron saint of soldiers and of the United States Army Quartermaster Corps with a medal named in his honor. A Prayer to St. Martin: “O God, Your Bishop St. Martin glorified You by both his life and his death. Renew in us Your grace, so that neither death nor life can separate us from Your love. AMEN.”