We’re never too old to learn!  Or refresh our memories as the case may be.

In this Year of Faith, we Catholics have multiple opportunities to experience conversions – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” that was opened at our baptism, we are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew our relationship with Christ and his Church.

So, let’s talk Holy Days!  In addition to Sunday, Holy Days concerning the Latin Rite (aka Roman Rite) for the dioceses of the United States include the following solemnities: Mary, Mother of God (Jan 1); the Ascension; the Assumption of Mary (Aug 15); All Saints (Nov 1); the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8); and Christmas (Dec 25).

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is lifted. (Decree of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, December 13, 1991)
Concerning the Transference of the Ascension of the Lord – An indult or indulgence was granted by the Holy See to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2000, that the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is always transferred to and replaces the Seventh Sunday of Easter for all the dioceses in the United States.
Remaining Dates of Holy Days of Obligation in 2012
•    Saturday, December 8, 2012 – Immaculate Conception – a holy day of obligation, the US patronal feast
•    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 – Christmas – always a holy day
Upcoming Dates of Holy Days of Obligation in 2013
•    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 – Mary, Mother of God – a holy day of obligation
•    Sunday, May 12, 2013 – Ascension of the Lord – a holy day, transferred to Sunday
•    Thursday, August 15, 2013 – Assumption of Mary – a holy day of obligation
•    Friday, November 1, 2013 – All Saints – a holy day of obligation
•    Monday, December 9, 2013 – Immaculate Conception – transferred to Monday, not a holy day of obligation
•    Wednesday, December 25, 2013 – Christmas – always a holy day

  •  Liturgical color is dark blue to violet signifying Advent, which begins December 2nd with the First Sunday of Advent.
  • Then we switch to white for the celebration of Christmas, which begins on Christmas Eve at sun down.

SHOULD WE GO TO MASS ON THANKSGIVING?  While Thanksgiving is not technically a Catholic holy day of obligation, the church in the U.S. recognized the day with two readings before the gospel, unusual for a simple weekday Mass.  Luke’s passage of the Magnificat (1:46-49) is the gospel, in which Mary gives thanks for the infinite love of God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.  For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness…The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”  Songs reflecting thankfulness and bounty are often used throughout the Mass.  Giving thanks is a focal point for faithful Catholics – Eucharist means “thanksgiving,” and our belief that everything in life comes from God drives us to live in a spirit of constant thanksgiving.  Catholic 101, At Home with our Faith, November 2012

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The feast celebrating the belief that Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary, was conceived without sin is a holy day of obligation.  In this Year of Faith we’re asked to check out Church documents.   Did you know that Pope Pius IX issued an apostolic constitution, known as the Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854 on this topic?  Consider reading it!  Masses will be held at St. Martin of Tours beginning 8:10 am and 12:10 pm on Saturday, December 8th.   Please be mindful that mass on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm is for Sunday Vigil only.

NURSERY is closed until further notice due to lack of involvement.  If you’re interested in this ministry, please call the Catechetical Ministry Office at 289-9608

CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD will continue to be offered through out the Christmas season.

New Finding God e-newsletters are posted online and ready to view!  Just visit www.loyolapress.com/enewsletter to access every month to read a variety of information on our faith.  Early in November was posted an e-newsletter on Advent.  Prior issues are available as well.  Finding God is the catechism text we use for CCM.  Not enrolled in CCM?  No worries!  You are still welcome to use the site.

Get ready for the 3rd annual offering of Family Faith Connections Bible ABC’s!  Learn Bible literacy in a friendly atmosphere with our very own Joy Aspenall.  Thursday dates include January 3, 10, 17, 31, February 14 and 28.  Class is held from 4:05 until 5:10 in the school elementary wing during CCM time!  Class size is limited.  Please register with Liz directly at 289-9608 or catechetics4stmartin@yahoo.com.

Always read the Sunday Church Bulletin for the latest happenings in Catechetical Ministry.