Tajci @ SJA on Dec 6th
Tajci is coming to St. Joan of Arc on December 6th at 7 pm. Get your tickets online now, as we do expect to sell out. Order tickets here>
Told through Tajči’s stunning and engaging music, “A Christmas Concert Experience” is a story of our longing to believe, of awaiting the moment in which the “Word becomes flesh and dwells amongst us”. If you can only attend one event during the Holiday Season, this is the one that you, your children and your parents will all enjoy.
SJA Table Talk is a website with fun content to help you prepare for Mass as a family and to encourage faith-based conversations at the dinner table. The goal is to get our families into a rhythm of 2 quality meals per week and 10 minutes of preparation for Mass.
THIS WEEKS TABLE TALK (week of October 26th)
Conversation Starters for Family Time
- November 5th - Bill Murray's sister, Nancy Murray, O.P. performs a one-woman play about Catherine of Siena. Join us at St. Joan of Arc Church on Nov 5th at 6:30 pm (Good Will Offering)
- December 6th - Tajci Christmas Concert -- Order tickets here>
- Enjoy some recipes in honor of All Saints and All Souls Days - including 'Eggs in Purgatory' - an Italian take on Eggs Benedict, 'Soul Cakes' - the original Halloween Treat (and tradition) and others.
- Living the Gospel: The 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Oct 26th)
- Preparing for Sunday: The 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Nov 2nd)
SAVE THE DATE | ONE WOMAN PLAY
Saint Catherine of Siena
When: November 5th, 6:30 p.m.
Brother Bill Murray may be the more famous actor, but his real-life sister Nancy Murray, O.P., gets rave reviews for her portrayal of a saint who spoke boldly to popes and princes. Sr. Nancy performs a one-person play. The production has 14 characters; Murray plays all of them, wrapped in a white tunic, her Italian accent slipping into that famouse Murray deadpan.
Sister Nancy was naturally attracted by the fiesty Italian saint. "Catherine was saddy. She was funny. She was courageous. She was fiesty but lovable, direct but gentle. She knew the power of God's love."
Through the play, Sr. Nancy hopes to depict more of Catherine's outspoken personality and to draw parallels between the wars, disease outbreaks, scandals and politics of the 14th century and the realities of the 21st.
Saturday, Nov 1st - All Saints Day
All Saints Day isn’t so much about St. Francis or St. Therese—they have their own days, it’s about those countless, nameless other saints who faithfully served God and are now interceding for us up in heaven. It’s also a day to remember the Communion of Saints. Let’s remind our children that with the help of their prayers, we can be in that number, too—even if we aren’t famous or well known.
Watch Father Barron comment on All Saints Day
Something to Do:
- Pray the Litany of the Saints > It is long—but use that as a reminder of really how many saints there are in heaven— and this doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Sunday, Nov 2nd -- All Soul's Day
On this day we remember and pray for the souls in Purgatory.Although we should pray for them everyday, we have this day to remind us and perhaps to pray a little more for them.The church offers special indulgences on this day for these prayers and even for a visit to a cemetery.For this reason, many customs and beliefs have sprung up around this day—including the “folk” belief of souls visiting earth on this day. It is a custom to visit cemeteries of relatives and fix up the graves, plant flowers and even have a picnic there. In Mexico we see big celebrations called the Day of the Dead with special foods and customs.These families make special altars in their homes with items from deceased relatives; foods shaped liked bones and skulls; and other reminders of the dead.
Something to Do:
- Visit the graves of your family. Spruce them up. Plant flowers. Sprinkle with Holy Water.If this is not possible, visit another cemetery as representing your family’s cemetery and pray for your family members there.
- Put out pictures of the deceased members of your family and friends at home.Acquaint your children with these peopleby sharing stories that you experienced or were told to you. And pray for them!
Church History of All Hallows Eve
One of the Nicest Surprises of living around the year with the Church is to find that Halloween is part of it. Read the article that describes the Irish roots, Trick & Treats 'Old Style', and 'Prayers and fun together'. READ MORE>
Excerpt: It was in Ireland and Scotland and England that All Hallows' Eve became a combination of prayer and merriment. Following the break with the Holy See, Queen Elizabeth forbade all observances connected with All Souls' Day. In spite of her laws, however, customs survived; even Shakespeare in his Two Gentlemen of Verona has Speed tell Valentine that he knows he is in love because he has learned to speak "puling like a beggar at Hallowmas." This line must have escaped the Queen.
Read the Word on Fire post "It's Time for Catholics to Embrace Halloween"
As we near All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween, we fired some questions at the walking encyclopedia that is Father Steve Grunow, and he responded with everything you ever wanted to know about Halloween and its deeply Catholic roots.
Try carving some Saintly images in honor of All Saints Day.
The tradition of carving Jack-o-Lanterns came from the Irish, and they were originally carved turnips. Here is the legend that surrounds the Jack-o-Lantern is as follows:
There once was an old drunken trickster named Jack, a man known so much for his miserly ways that he was known as "Stingy Jack," He loved making mischief on everyone -- even his own family, even the Devil himself! One day, he tricked Satan into climbing up an apple tree -- but then carved Crosses on the trunk so the Devil couldn't get back down. He bargained with the Evil One, saying he would remove the Crosses only if the Devil would promise not to take his soul to Hell; to this, the Devil agreed.
After Jack died, after many years filled with vice, he went up to the Pearly Gates -- but was told by St. Peter that he was too miserable a creature to see the Face of Almighty God. But when he went to the Gates of Hell, he was reminded that he couldn't enter there, either! So, he was doomed to spend his eternity roaming the earth. The only good thing that happened to him was that the Devil threw him an ember from the burning pits to light his way, an ember he carried inside a hollowed-out, carved turnip.
Be sure to leave some seeds from your pumpkin carvings to be roasted! See Video Recipe for Roasted Pumkin Seeds>
RECIPES | All Saints and All Souls Days
RECIPE | Eggs in Purgatory (Uova al purgatorio)
See Recipe - Lots of Pictures > This “eggs in purgatory” recipe is a classic Italian recipe with a wry name (inevitably leading everyone at brunch to wonder why it’s not “eggs in hell” (uova al infierno?!) because of the fiery red sauce), and easy to cook for a crowd. In the straight-up version you essentially poach the eggs in the tomato sauce; my adapted version calls for a thicker ragu and fistfuls of chopped parsley instead of a garnish of basil.
RECIPE | Soul Cakes -- the original Halloween Treat
During the Middle Ages in England, on the night before All Saints Day, or Hallowmas, peasants and children called "soulers" would go about town singing and praying for the souls of the dead. They would stop at homes and beg for a "soul cake" and promise in return to pray for the household's deceased family members to be released from purgatory. If homeowners did not give out cakes it was believed their home would be cursed. And this my friends is thought to be the origination of trick or treating.
RECIPE | Roasted Pumkin Seeds - video recipe
There’s a trick to toasting the seeds to golden brown deliciousness, and this video shows you how it’s done. It’s simple, easy, and takes only three ingredients. Yes, when life hands you pumpkins, go on and roast the seeds. That’s what Rosemary does, and you can, too. You can even tweak the recipe to suit your taste. Watch the video, then get the recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It's one of the easiest and most popular snack recipes on Allrecipes. See more Halloween videos >>
RECIPES | All Hallows Eve Catholic Traditions
Callcannon > A delectable Irish potato dish made with fluffy mashed potatoes, scallions and cabbage with a pool of melted butter in the centre. Eaten traditionally on the ancient Celtic festival Samhain was celebrated on November 1.
Irish Potato Pancakes > This dish, also referred to as Boxty Pancakes, can be served on Fat Tuesday and Halloween/All Saints Day.
Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead) > This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals.
Halloween Punch > A simple non-alcohol punch to serve at All Hallow's Eve parties.
GET TO KNOW THE GOSPEL - PREPARING FOR MASS
The Lord teaches that compassion ought to be shown to the alien and to the poor.
The Lord is our strength.
1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Paul tells the Thessalonians that their conversion to the Lord has been an example to all believers.
The Pharisees continue to test Jesus with a question about the greatest commandment.
Background on the Gospel Reading
This week's Gospel follows close behind the Gospel read last Sunday. It is the last of three questions put to Jesus by Jewish religious leaders who are trying to trick him into saying something that might get him arrested. This reminds us that the context for today's reading is the mounting tension between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
The Herodians and the Pharisees asked the first question, which was about taxes. The Sadducees asked the second question, which was about the Resurrection (see Matthew 22:22-33). The third question, considered in today's Gospel, is asked by a Pharisee who asks Jesus about the greatest of the commandments.
The question requires Jesus to interpret the Law of Moses. The Mosaic Law consists of the Ten Commandments and many additional rules, numbering over six hundred. Adherence to the Mosaic Law, for a devout Jew, is an expression of faithfulness to God's covenant with Israel. The ranking of the Commandments was regularly debated among the teachers of the Law.
Jesus answers the Pharisees' question with a two-fold summary. Jesus says that all of the commandments can be summarized in two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. Both of these were central elements of the religious tradition Jesus learned from his Jewish community. Indeed these continue to be central aspects of contemporary Jewish religious understanding. Jesus' response to his questioners proposed an integral connection between these two aspects of the Jewish Law. Love of God finds its expression in our love for our neighbor.
PAINTING: “You shall love the Lord, your God, … You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1668-69, detail
* LIVING THE GOSPEL THIS WEEK - 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Nov 2nd)
The readings for the Liturgy of the Word on the Feast of All Souls can be selected from among the above or chosen from among those given for the Masses for the Dead. This reflection is based on John 11:17-27: Jesus consoles Martha at the death of her brother, Lazarus, and declares that he is the Resurrection and the life.
Background on the Gospel Reading
On the Feast of All Souls, we pray for the souls of all those who have died. There are many choices of readings for this day, all focusing on our belief in the resurrection of the dead and Jesus' promise of eternal life. The Gospel story of the raising of Lazarus offers us many important insights about this aspect of our faith.
Jesus was good friends with Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. Lazarus had fallen ill, and Martha and Mary had sent word to Jesus. Jesus delays his journey to them, however, and when he arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus is dead and has been buried for four days.
The scene described at Bethany is a sad one; Lazarus and his family have many friends who have come to mourn his death. Martha goes out to meet Jesus when he arrives. She cries with him, saying that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Yet she remains confident that God will do whatever Jesus asks. Jesus consoles her with the promise that Lazarus would rise from the dead. Martha affirms her belief that there will be resurrection of the dead in the last days. Jesus promises her even more; he says that he himself is the Resurrection and the life for all those who believe in him. Martha professes her faith in this, acknowledging that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God.
This is the profession of faith we continue to make, and it is the promise on which we base our hope for eternal life for ourselves and for all those who have died. In his death and Resurrection, Jesus has conquered death for all those who believe in him.
We believe that we continue to share a relationship with those who have died. When we pray for the souls of the faithful departed, we are praying for those whose souls are journeying through purgatory, being prepared for eternal life in heaven. We believe that our prayers for them will help to speed their journey to eternal life with God in heaven.
PAINTING: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life." (Gospel) Gustave Dore, Illustration of Divine Comedy, Canto XXXI, 1851
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