Monday, September 7 is Labor Day. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first Labor Day was observed the first Monday of September, 1887. Markets and the economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way just to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must also be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property. On Labor Day, we want to remember in a special way all those who have died in the workplace. Please join us for our Labor Day Mass at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, the only Mass of the day.
Lucien Roy and Maureen Gallagher, our strategic planning guides, refer to the two weekends we will be spending together as “retreat weekends.” These gatherings have much more in common with a retreat than they do with just an ordinary meeting of parishioners. These “meetings” will be for communal prayer and reflection, for spirit-filled discussion and discernment about God’s desires for our life together. As such, I want to invite all our parishioners to spend time together as we enter this period of discernment. When we are finished, we will continue to support some of the programs, activities and ministries that we now offer; others may be discontinued and new ones will be embraced.
We want everyone to feel they can contribute and have enabled several ways for you to participate. We value your opinion and the more participation we have, the more resources we can draw from. The online survey is one opportunity to participate, but there isn’t anything like joining with your fellow parishioners in person for this process of discernment. The weekends are September 25 and 26 and November 13 and 14. No outside activities will be conducted during these times of discernment. More specific details will follow, so please watch this bulletin and website for details. Our new web address is: stdominicsavio.org.
“The ultimate test of a Christian community’s liturgical life is whether it changes lives. Does our liturgy call us to be one with the poor, to share our food with the hungry, to visit the sick, to console the dying? If so, then we are well on our way to being more like Christ.
Our worship, no matter its style, is truly a foretaste and a rehearsal of the eternal Jerusalem. In the end, if the Mass does not change us into becoming more like Jesus, then it is nothing but a ritual of fits and follies. Let’s celebrate the liturgy well so it may change our hearts and minds and send us into the world to make a difference.”
(Johan van Parys).
I tried in my own way to make the same point in my homily the weekend of August 28/30. Our worship, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, will have the power to transform our lives if we dispose ourselves to the mystery we celebrate. We must be intentional about our worship if it is going to have the power to save us. We must be mindful, aware and alive to what we are doing when we offer the Mass. If we are going through the motions or are unfocused while at Mass, God does not have the access He needs to transform and save us. Let us worship as if this was our first Mass, as if this was our last Mass and as if this was our only Mass.