A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas,

This first Labor Day was observed in 1882. The holiday was meant to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers and to give them a day off on the last day of summer. But today's Labor Day unofficially signals the beginning of the new “school” year  of work and study and the end of the lazy days of summer, as well as, to honor all workers! It also is for all Catholics a day to remind ourselves that our workplace gives us an opportunity to practice what we believe in our faith commitment to the Lord. And for all those who are retired, the Labor Day holiday may seem to you like any other day, but it is a day for you to thank God for the employment you had—which ultimately allowed you to retire. So, why not, all of us, come to Mass at 9:30am on Labor Day, Monday, to thank God! The following prayer says it all:

Loving Father,

On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living. We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name. We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere. May those of us who are now retire d always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deed s of charity. May our working and resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son and  Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Are there more people, causes and events which are seeking our financial support and generosity? It sure seems like it! And yet, there are many, many hurting people throughout the world who need our help. But we must remember that all we have is truly a gift from God and Sewardship reminds us that we must share our blessings. Secondly, we must remember that we do not have to respond—nor can we—to every need. We all have our favorite charities. And thirdly, we can only do so much with what we financially have.

With that being said, another cause which needs our immediate attention is being presented to us—a Special Collection for Victims of Violence in the Middle East. (Please read Cardinal George’s letter on page 8) We are thinking of these families, praying for them and doing what we can to help. So, next weekend, there is a special Second Collection—no envelopes are available. To receive credit, create your own envelope with your name and address or write a check. Money given to the collection will be for humanitarian needs disbursed by Catholic Relief Services. As always, our St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Family is a magnanimous and bounteous giver of God’s love. Thank you for being you!!

Your Pastor,

Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela


Pastor Fr. Tom