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This is the weekend of the Installation Mass for a new pastor. For those attending the 5:30 Mass this weekend, we welcome our regional vicar, Monsignor Schooler for this rite, and we invite everyone for a reception in the parish hall after Mass. I don't expect that you'll notice much difference between your new official pastor and your old unofficial pastor of the past 12 weeks.

This Friday, November 1, is the Feast of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation. This is one of my favorite feasts, a chance to take a good look at all of those heroes in the faith who have lived before us. We have decided not to have a vigil Mass on Thursday evening because of all the trick-or-treating activity that evening. Our Masses on Friday will be held at 8:30 a.m., 12:05 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.

Next weekend, Msgr. Bill Schooler, our regional vicar, will join us at the 5:30 Saturday evening Mass for a ceremony installing a new pastor. (After three months, I'm not exactly a new pastor any more, but this is the earliest we could find a mutually workable date.) I will be asked to repeat my priestly vows and to lead the people of the parish in professing the faith. The parish staff and the Parish Pastoral Council will be recognized, and the vicar will speak for the bishop in presenting me to the parish. We'll have a simple reception afterward.

I was gone for two and a half days this week for a priest Continuing Education program. The topic was preaching. Now that I'm back, let's see if anyone notices an improvement.

Since I've come to this parish, I've had many friends from Fort Wayne stop by for a visit. I've given a lot of tours of our facilities. People from other parishes are very impressed with what they've seen. Our beautiful grounds, the interesting architecture of the church, the daily Mass chapel, the rectory, the gym and kitchen, the exercise room and the youth rooms, the art in our church, the parish bus, the food pantry, the high-tech sign on the street ... we need to recognize just how blessed we are with these wonderful facilities. We need to be thankful for the generous parishioners of previous generations.

I offer thanks to all who helped with the celebration of the feast day of St. Therese. The spaghetti and sauce were cooked and donated by the Kramers from Toscana Pizza. We owe our thanks to all of the volunteers who made this event happen.

On a related note, the installation ceremony for a new pastor will take place at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on October 26. Since we had a corn and sausage dinner in August and a spaghetti dinner in September, I had the idea that we didn't need another reception after the installation Mass. I was told, though, that this is a parish that likes parties. Who am I to argue? We will plan a simple reception again in October.

We celebrate this weekend the feast day of our patron, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as the Little Flower. Many of our saints are remembered for their heroic deeds — giving their lives as martyrs, sailing to foreign missions, or founding great institutions. St. Thérèse is not remembered for any such great deeds. Rather, she is remembered for her quiet and simple life of prayer. She died at a young age, leaving a diary which gave us insights into her little way of prayer. As we try to join in her simple prayer, we ask her for prayers from heaven. Please join us for a spaghetti dinner at 5 p.m. this Sunday evening, September 29, as we celebrate as a parish.

The new October Ministry schedules are available here or at the entrances of the church.

This is the weekend that we are asking for pledges for the Annual Bishop's Appeal. Our parish, of course, provides many different ministries and services in the name of Christ. When we make sacrifices for our parish we are doing so for a lot of different important ministries. However, there are many ministries and services which are simply too big to be offered at a parish level. The Bishop's Appeal helps us, as Catholics, to work together to help with the needs of the Church. I ask you to be as generous as you can.

The Annual Bishop's Appeal campaign is now beginning. Next weekend we will show the Appeal video before Mass begins and offer a chance to fill out pledge cards. You will enjoy the video this year... it features our own parish deacon and his prison ministry. Through the Bishop's Appeal we support many different ministries in the Church. I have already made my pledge, and I encourage everyone to bring this to prayer and be as generous as you can.

Pope Francis calls for prayer and fasting, schedules prayer vigil.

In the wake of the ongoing devastating violence in Syria, Pope Francis made an urgent and adamant plea for peace on Sept. 1. The pope called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Mideast Region and the entire world on Saturday, Sept. 7. People will gather in St. Peter's Square from 7 to 11 p.m. (1 to 5 p.m. EDT), and the pope invited local churches to do the same. The Vatican event will include the rosary, Eucharistic adoration, Scripture readings and a blessing and remarks from Pope Francis.

The day of prayer will take place on the vigil of the feast of the birthday of Mary, Queen of Peace. In a special way, Pope Francis urged the faithful to invoke her intercession.

Join Pope Francis in working for the "precious gift" of peace here at St. Therese, Little Flower on Saturday, September 7th from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. for Eucharistic Adoration.