Next Sunday, August 15th the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary will take precedence over the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. Of course it is great to celebrate the bodily Assumption of Mary. Concretely, the dogma proclaimed by Pope Pius XII says, “…the immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.”
I have mixed emotions because the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time during Year B of the lectionary is the climax of Jesus’ Bread of Life Discourse (John 6:51-58). It is probably spiritually beneficial for each of us to read this Gospel and contemplate the power of Jesus’ words.
Nevertheless, next Sunday is the Assumption, which means that we will have our third annual Marian Procession through the streets of Botkins. This procession is styled after the nightly processions occurring in Lourdes, France. Every evening in Lourdes pilgrims from all over the world carry lit candles while praying the rosary and singing “Immaculate Mary” in dozens of languages. It is powerful to behold.
Our Marian Procession is a beautiful event in itself. It is incredibly edifying to watch the statue of Mary move through the streets and see the faith of generations. The Marian Procession is a favorite of young families (I love the number of strollers walking in procession). Also there is an opportunity for our less mobile parishioners to ride on a trailer (meet at the north entrance to the Church).
The evening will begin with Sung Evening Prayer at 8:00pm at Immaculate Conception. The procession will begin around 8:30pm. If everything goes as planned, we’ll be processing with candles as the sun is setting in the distance. It is a beautiful evening and one of my favorite nights each year.
There are a couple other things to put on your radar. Next week we will have our inaugural monthly coffee and doughnuts at all four Sunday morning Masses. This will be a great opportunity for us to gather after praising God at Mass. Our fellowship will flow from Christ’s saving work in our midst. If you are interested in helping with coffee and doughnuts, please contact Beth Klopfenstein. All of us have a part to make our parishes great.
Also we are gearing up for two Days of Grace in August. They are the back-to-school specials. Could there be a better way to complete the summer and begin a new school year than encountering the mercy of Jesus Christ? The Days of Grace will be August 18th at Immaculate Conception and August 24th at St. Joseph. Confession and Adoration will be available from 6:00am to 10:00pm. Our merciful Father is looking forward to seeing you there.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson