My beloved Brothers in the Lord,
As we enter the Month of November, the Church calls us to once more embrace fully the reality that: We Are an Easter People! And in fact, it was at that first Easter Vigil in 433 AD, where St Patrick lit the Easter Fire, that would begin the wholesale conversion of Ireland to Christianity. Through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been ransomed from sin and death and have been offered Eternal Life. This whole month of November is filled with Scripture that reminds us of our mortality in this world. We need to understand that this life that we share here on Earth will one day pass away. Our earthly existence is tainted by mortality because of humanity’s sins. When Adam and Eve committed the first sins (and we all have added to this list) death entered God’s creation.
Sin leads to death, first to death of the Spirit then death of the body. But in the Fullness of Time, the Father sent His only Begotten Son on a rescue mission. The Logos, the Word of God, took upon Himself our wounded flesh and blood in the incarnation, taking to Himself the proclivity of man to sin. Our Lord faced every temptation that we face and chose to live in the light of Our Father’s love, giving ol’ satan a kick in the arse and sending him on his way. After Jesus fulfilled the earthly mission the Father gave Him, proclaiming the Gospel by manifesting the Kingdom through healing and forgiveness, He then embraced His Cross, the punishment for our sins. By His Resurrection, we are all offered the remedy of Grace that frees us from sin and death and promises us Eternal Life.
We are called to embrace our crosses in this life and turn to God to receive the necessary Grace for carrying our crosses. Through Christ Jesus, we are able to face our mortality, and the mortality of this world around us, embracing in faith, the Kingdom to come. Each November, we are reminded of this mortality as we celebrate All Saints Day, the feast of the Victorious of God in Heaven: those women and men who embraced God’s Grace through this life’s journey and were lifted up in Christ’s Resurrection. These Holy Siblings of ours now pray for us who are still on our journey. On November 2nd, we also remember all our departed during All Souls Day. We do not know whether they are in Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell, but we lift them up in prayer.
Through our prayers, those in Purgatory might quickly receive the purification of their souls they need to be able to enter God’s Kingdom. Our prayers for their souls, act as an added cleansing action with the Father’s love, helping to sanctify them for the Kingdom. And when we pray for our deceased loved ones, we share again the joy of their living souls in our hearts until the day we all might live together in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Through our prayers we are alive in Christ Jesus, death has no hold on us, for we are freed by the mercy of God.
Rath Dé Ort – Fr Timothy…
Greetings my brother Hibernians, one and all!
My name is Father Timothy Harris, T.O.R., and I am the newest state chaplain for our Pennsylvania State Board. I was invited to join Fr. Chris Walsh our State Chaplain – East and Fr. Nicholas Vaskov our State Chaplain – West, by our worthy State President, Denny Maher, to serve as your State Chaplain – Central. So, I think we have the whole commonwealth of PA well covered. I will be submitting to you, through our State Webpage, a monthly Chaplain’s Corner to encourage you on your faith journey.
As a Franciscan Friar, I have moved a lot and have had the privilege of serving our Order in many different ways in many different locations. I even had the privilege of being (perhaps the only one in history) a division president as a priest. In my last assignment before coming up to Cambria County, I served at a parish in Sarasota Florida. We began a new division in Manatee County Florida, the St Finnian of Clonard Division, and I was the founding president. Yet, in each of the times when I served as a chaplain, I always looked to provide a monthly homily to be posted on the social media and web resources of the division, state or even national. I feel it is essential to have an active presence on the internet if we want to reach current and future Hibernians. This became so apparent to me during the lockdowns from covid. This is actually a good way to use the internet to reach out to each other and share our faith and culture as proud Hibernians. So, I hope you will check back to our state website to spend a little time in the Chaplain’s Corner and come to a deeper relationship with our Lord.
For October 2023, it is good for us to know that this month is dedicated to Our Holy Mother Mary, under a very special title: Our Lady of the Rosary. On October 7th, we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Parishes throughout the world dedicate extra resources to the praying of the Rosary as a true weapon of Grace against the influence of satan in our world. It is a fantastic devotion where families can gather together in prayer, remembering the famous saying of Fr. Patrick Peyton, “the family that prays together, stays together!” This proud Irish born priest led our nation into a deeper relationship with God through Mary. What a wonderful thing it would be if we had a revival of this devotion and a revival in our Nation as, One Nation, under God. And what a great way to strengthen our Hibernian fraternities if we recognized that our divisions are a family of faith, and that praying the Rosary as a division, together, could unlock grace upon grace for each member and for an increase in membership. May our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of the Rosary, embrace each of you in her blessed mantel and through her intercession, fill all of you and your divisions with an abundance of Grace for an awesome fraternity.
Rath Dé Ort – Fr Timothy…