My letter this weekend is sort of a good news/bad news letter. It’s always best to get the bad news out of the way first. It probably won’t come as a surprise that with the COVID-19 situation we will not be able to have the parish picnic this year; hopefully we will be able to have it next year.
It is my understanding that the picnic has always been held in conjunction with the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15. Although we won’t be able to celebrate this joyous day with a picnic, I am thinking about making a big event out of it liturgically.
The Church has a long tradition of celebrating its highest holy days (Easter and Christmas) with an octave; the Masses on the seven days following both Easter and Christmas are celebrated with a higher level of solemnity than other weekdays. There is also an octave that follows the Assumption of Mary. The Assumption is celebrated on August 15; then, on August 22 (the eighth day), we celebrate the Queenship of Mary.
My thought is to celebrate Marian themed Masses on most of the weekdays between the Assumption and the Queenship. I think this would be a wonderful way of celebrating and honoring the patroness of our parish, always keeping in mind that in honoring Mary, we are giving even greater honor to her Son. It is my hope that by celebrating Mary in such a way this year, she will help us to grow ever closer to Jesus.