Dear Parish Family,Fr. Chas

Have you had any family or friends who are not Catholic (or not practicing the Catholic faith in which they grew up) ask you a question or two about Pope Francis or Catholicism in general?  Take up the charge given to you by Christ as a member of his Body to reach out to that person.  Invite them to join you and me to the laid back “Catholicism on Tap” this Thursday, November 19.  The informal evening will be in our parish’s community center and provides an opportunity for you or them to ask those questions about our Catholic faith you’ve always wondered about.  

You provide the questions; we provide the beer.  Out of the kindness of his heart, parishioner Tim Powers donated his tasty craft brews for the October “Catholicism on Tap,” and he will be doing so again this time around!  He will be featuring his Belgian Dubbel (which Trappist monks are among the best in the world at making!), a classic American Pilsner, a German Alt, an IPA, and a Stout.  Thank you, Tim!  For those who don’t like hearty beers, we do have your run-of-the-mill variety, as well as soda and coffee.

What are the Five Precepts of the Church?
At last Sunday’s and this Sunday’s homilies, you’ve heard me mention the five precepts of the Church.  Because we are God’s family, we have “house rules,” just like all families do, in order to promote family unity, deepen our relationships, and do our part in strengthening and supporting the family.  The ways to fulfill these ends are many and varied.  Each of us is called differently, but there are some bare bone minimums that apply to every
member of the family, and they are called the five precepts of the Church:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy day of obligation, resting from those works and activities which could impede such sanctification of these days.”

“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”

3.“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.”  

4.“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.”

5.“You shall help to provide for the material needs of the Church.”

These five precepts can be found in the Catechism #2042-43.  

There is of course so much more to our Catholic life than observing these five precepts, but we sometimes find ourselves too busy to enjoy them.  These five precepts provide a safety net during those hectic times.  We would never miss an important family event to which we are expected to go, and so purposely depriving ourselves from God’s grace in these minimum ways is serious and thus should be confessed in the sacrament of reconciliation should we ever fail to meet them.  

The five precepts obviously are for our benefit, salvation, and happiness, not God’s.  Even in a healthy marriage where the two people love each other, the busyness of life can sometimes have the two people take each other for granted.  Having set house rules of weekly family dinners, regular date nights, and annual celebrations help keep the marriages and families healthy.  It is the same with God’s family, the family we will have for all

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas