22nd Sunday of the Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Program of Catholic Studies is our way of organizing all adult education here at St. Mary’s, and the classes in the PCS last year were very well received. Starting in ten days we’ll be offering several new courses, but we’re also changing the schedule a bit. Last year we offered classes on Tuesday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday evening, but this year we’re moving the Thursday evening section to Wednesday – meaning that we’ll have two different classes each Wednesday evening. That will allow us to offer something extra on Thursdays, and starting in October that something extra will be a series of classes on the 21 Ecumenical Councils of the Church.

We’re focusing on the Ecumenical Councils because this December 8th is the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, the most important event in the Catholic Church in our lifetime. To observe this anniversary Pope Francis has called for a Jubilee Year of Mercy that will run from the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2015 to the Solemnity of Christ the King 2016, and we’ll be learning more about local observances for the Jubilee in due course.

Here at St. Mary’s we will conclude our fall series on the Councils with a special lecture on Saturday 5 December 2015 by R.R. Reno, the Editor of First Things – a journal of religion and public life founded by Father Richard John Neuhaus. Dr. Reno, who earned his doctoral degree in theology from Yale University and taught at Creighton University for twenty years, was a lifelong Episcopalian until he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2004, and then in 2010 he left his post at Creighton to become the editor of First Things. In his December lecture, Dr. Reno will examine how the Second Vatican Council has succeeded and failed in shaping the Church in our time and what challenges still lie ahead in the ongoing effort to understand and implement the teaching of the Council. Please plan now to join us on the morning of Saturday 5 December 2015, and if you don’t yet subscribe to First Things, check it out online for some the best writing available on about the intersection of religion and public life.

I encourage everyone at St. Mary’s to participate in some way in the Program of Catholic Studies, even if you can only drop in on a class from time to time. You can learn more by visiting the parish website and looking for the tab for the Program of Catholic Studies. Classes meet on Tuesday morning  from 8.30 am to 10.00 am beginning September 8th in McGrady Hall and on Wednesday evening from 6.30 to 8.00 pm beginning September 9th in both McGrady and Sacred Heart Halls. I hope you’ll join us for the Program of Catholic Studies.

Father Newman