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|Official Web Site||SomersAllSaints.org|
|Hours||7:30 AM - 3:30 PM|
|Parish Secretary||Nancy Charbonneau|
|Music Director||Judy Bray|
|Altar Servers||Jacque Courville|
The Reverend Roland C. Cloutier Welcomes You to All Saints Catholic Church
All Saints Parish in Somersville, Connecticut is committed as a faith-filled community to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of those we encounter in all ministries of our faith. Through prayer, sacramental life and works of charity, in love and obedience to God, the Lord of all life. All Saints stands ready to proclaim the Good News in word, sacrament, and service to all.
If you know of anyone who is hospitalized or homebound and would like to receive the Eucharist, please contact the rectory office.
SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
How many of us think of our faith as a “pearl of great price”? How many of us really recognize the precious treasure we already possess? As baptized Christians, we have been welcomed into God’s family! But sadly, however, it is easy to take this for granted. Right now, for us, “the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field.” But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It just means we have to dig a little bit to find it. So where is our treasure buried? What is obscuring the full flourishing of our faith? Is it buried by the demand of work or school or hidden beneath the weight of sickness or sorrow? Have we covered it over with false “treasures” that give us fleeting joy? Whatever it is for each one of us, we should resolve to recover the treasure that lies beneath our feet. Let us search for the good news of salvation and happiness in Jesus Christ. That is our greatest treasure. It need not be hidden or buried amidst our other concerns in life. Let us find this treasure and share it.
The children of our Faith Formation Program have put some questions to me about our Faith and our Practices. Following are some of the questions and my answers.
What causes a person to go to hell?
Hell is defined as the total absence of God. A person goes to hell because of the free choices they make in their lives. But we must be aware that it is not easy to go to hell. We don’t get there by mistake. To go to hell a person has to be in the state of ‘mortal sin.’ But mortal sin is not easy to commit. To commit a ‘mortal sin’ one has to be 100% aware of what he/she is doing, that the ‘thing’ they are doing is objectively evil, and they have to give ‘full’ consent to it.
There are several things we consider to be very serious and objectively wrong, take murder, for example. Yet most of the murders that we hear about are committed during heated arguments. The French call these “crimes of passion.” It’s not unlike some of the things you might say to a loved one when you are mad at them. You might say a lot of mean things to your parents because they don’t let you stay out till midnight with your friends. After all, don’t they know you’re now all grown up and responsible! But you don’t really ‘hate’ your parents, you just do at the moment because you can’t get your way. So what you’re saying is not 100% thought out. It is just your anger speaking.
So to go to hell you really have to become totally adverse to Jesus, His Way of life, and not care at all about your mortal soul because you have probably convinced yourself there is no such thing. I do believe hell exists, Jesus warns us about not winding up there, but I don’t believe there are many people there. The God I believe in is just too merciful to let that happen.
What allows for an annulment of marriage?
The Church has many laws regarding marriage for its followers and many of them come from the Bible and others come from natural law. When God created man and woman he told them to go forth, fill the earth with their children and subdue creation. Thus the first family came into being. When a man and a woman marry they enter into a Church ‘covenant and into a civil contract. For the State of Connecticut, marriage is a contract that begins with the vows the couple recite. A contract is a two party legal entity: the party of the first part agrees to do so and so if the party of the second part does so and so. The State can put an end to the marriage contract by a declaration of divorce which means that the marriage existed from this date to this date but it is not over.
For the Church marriage is a ‘covenant’ just like the covenant that God made with the people of Israel centuries ago and that Jesus made with us on the Cross two thousand years ago. Basically a covenant is a ‘one sided’ contract. God said to the Israelites: “I take you to be my people.” Period. God did not add ‘if you do this or that.’ No, it was just I take you for my people. Jesus did the same thing as St. Paul says: “Jesus died on the cross for us while we were still sinners.”
Therefore, marriage in the Church is a covenant. “I take you to be my wife/husband… just as you are. Period.” An annulment for the Church, therefore, goes back to the very day of the marriage and the Church must conclude that on the day of the marriage the laws of the Church were not fulfilled and, therefore, this is not a ‘sacramental’ marriage.
In the Church you are allowed only one “sacramental” marriage at a time. Of course, if a spouse dies one can remarry in the Church. But if you get a civil divorce you can only remarry in the Church if you can prove that on the day of your marriage some law of the Church was not fulfilled. An example of this is the desire for children. When you enter into marriage you have, according to the Church, an inalienable right to have children. If one of the parties knows they cannot have children or they have made up their mind that they will not have children, this cannot be hidden from the other party. This deception would make the marriage void in the eyes of the Church meaning the ‘sacramental’ marriage never took place. Thus an annulment is granted stating that we now know that on the day of the marriage all the laws of the Church were not fulfilled.
There are several other laws that pertain to marriage and affect the validity of a ‘sacramental ‘ marriage. The Church now considers some psychological reasons as grounds for an annulment. The goal is always to have one lifelong marriage that leads to healthy children and years of married bliss. But things don’t always go the way we had hoped. An annulment is an attempt by the Church to make things right again.
~ Fr. Roland ~
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