Being Thankful

11-19-2023From the Pastor's DeskFr. Brian McNamara

Dear Parishioners:

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, November 23. I would like everyone to make an effort to come to Mass on Thanksgiving Day. Mass will be at 10:00 am. While it is not a holy day, Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful opportunity as a parish family to come and thank God for all His tender mercies. While President George Washington proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving, it took some time before Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

In September 1863, Sarah Joseph, a newspaper editor, wrote to President Abraham Lincoln imploring him to set aside a national day of Thanksgiving. Up to that time, various states celebrated a day of Thanksgiving at various dates. Ms. Hale had made this request of other Presidents prior to President Lincoln, but President Lincoln responded immediately.

President George Washington proclaimed: It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will and to be grateful for all His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor.

President Lincoln proclaimed: I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens… to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens.

I am very aware that for some of us, we may not feel very thankful this year. It may have been a very difficult year and for many of us, we can’t wait until 2024 arrives. However, President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in the middle of the Civil War! The Civil War killed so many people and maimed even more. In the midst of a very dark, deadly time in America, President Lincoln saw a reason for the nation to give thanks to God. In our own individual lives, we can have dark times as well. However, we need to be reminded that the light of God’s grace is always present. Let us thank God for his small, tender mercies that He showers upon us each day.

Remember: Together, we can do something beautiful for God.