Below is a copy of an email which was sent out to the parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish this morning.
The Novena Prayer we are using will be found below the quotation from Pope Emeritus Benedict:
My Dear Parishioners of St. Mary Church:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate!
I am writing to remind you that today, August 7th, the first Friday of the month, we begin, as a parish family, the Novena to Our Lady in preparation for the Feast of her Assumption into Heaven – nine days of prayer (August 7th through the 15th). The special intention of this novena is for the return of those who have abandoned the practice of the Faith. If you have forgotten about participating in these nine days of prayer, I earnestly invite you to be part of the novena – that we may be united in one heart and voice, asking the intercession of the Holy Mother of God to move the hearts of those who, for whatever reason, have left their Father’s house and are living without the powerful grace of the Sacraments, given by Our Divine Savior to His Church. The Novena Prayer was included in last weekend’s bulletin. If you have misplaced it, or didn’t receive a bulletin, I have it attached the Novena Prayer to this email in both Word and PDF formats. We will also pray the Novena Prayer after the weekend Masses and after the Masses throughout the week leading up to the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption on Saturday, August 15th, the last day of the novena.
Deo gratias et Mariae,
“By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful. Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.
“We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, and reassures us with her motherly hand. Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary’s guidance.”
— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, August 15, 2006