State Chaplain's Message
V. Rev. Mark Steffl, STL, JCL Officialis Diocese of New Ulm

The month of November has some very nice Feast Days for us to celebrate and appreciate. The month begins with the Feast of All Saints, a day that the Church recognizes all those who have attained the Beatific Vision – the glory of Heaven. (I studied in Italy and always liked the Italian name for this feast day – “Tutti Santi”). It is a day that reminds us of what we are called to and gives us a destination for which we set the compass of our lives. November 2, though not a “holy day of obligation” like November 1st, is a day that the Church prays for the “Poor Souls” and offers prayers for their speedy purification as they await eternal life with the Lord in Heaven. Many parishes have the custom of especially praying for those who have died during the course of the previous year. Such a practice can be a nice “revisit” of the recent death of a loved one.

At the end of the month, we as a nation come together for Thanksgiving Day. Although, not strictly speaking a feast day of the Church, the idea behind it certainly touches the heart and center of who we are as members of the Church and followers of the Lord Jesus. Taking some time to recognize our need to show gratitude – both to the Lord and to those around us – is essential, not only now but always.

Above all, we thank the Lord for the gift of our faith, which unites us in a common purpose, around His altar and in our vocations, parishes and families. Thanks in a particular way to all the CDA members and leadership this last year – especially for those unrecognized activities, tasks, attention that perhaps has not been recognized with a “thanks” but which certainly have not escaped the notice of the Lord!


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