August 3, 2015
Now that the month of August is upon us and the beginning of another school year occurs toward the end of this month for our Catholic schools, I want to thank you for your great fidelity to Almighty God and His Church. As I have traveled around our great Diocese during the months of June and July celebrating Holy Mass in several parishes, I have noticed that Sunday Mass attendance is very good and you continue to support and be active in your parishes. This is most pleasing to God and the good example, which you set for your children and neighbors will bear much good fruit.
Of course, with the coming of the month of August, the Church celebrates, on Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. While this is not a holy day of obligation, I encourage you, if at all possible, to go to Mass that day and prepare for Mass by meditating on the readings from Sacred Scripture chosen for this Mass. There are three other important feasts in August which I encourage you to observe at Holy Mass. August 15 is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven (this year since it falls on a Saturday the obligation to attend Mass does not apply); Aug. 22 is the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and Aug. 29 is the Feast of the Death of Saint John the Baptist. Again, if possible, please celebrate these beautiful feasts with Holy Mass.
As I mentioned, the month of August signals the start of another year of great faith and accomplishments for our children enrolled in our Catholic elementary schools across the Diocese as well as for our young people enrolled in our junior and senior high schools. To all of you parents who are and continue to be such wonderful supporters of our Catholic schools, I wish to say thank you. The trust you place in us to educate your children, in the ways of our Catholic faith and in all of those other necessary subjects, is not only appreciated, but every teacher, administrator and staff person in our schools sees this as a sacred trust to be fulfilled with the greatest care and faith. To you parents who may be considering enrolling your child or children in one of our Catholic schools, I urge you to take that step, and do so; you will not regret it.
Every August toward the end of the month, all of the bishops from Minnesota, North and South Dakota gather for two days of some regional business, to pray together and to enjoy a bit of relaxation. Last August, we met in Medora which was most enjoyable; this August we will gather in Rapid City. Please pray for us, as we will discuss the ramifications of the recent Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage. While I am on this subject, I have included, in this issue of the
Dakota Catholic Action, a letter to our priests. I am asking them to read it at all weekend Masses; it is reprinted here for those who may be away on vacation when it is read from the pulpit.
May the rest of your summer bring you many blessings. All of you remain in my prayers and, each Sunday and Holy Day, I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for you. Please pray for our priests, deacons and seminarians.