Since the 16th century, our church has assigned entire months to special devotions. This month is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Mary.

The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive for us to devote ourselves to a similar love for her son, Jesus.

On Aug. 15, at the 7 p.m. Mass, we will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. This holy day marks the occasion of the Virgin Mary’s bodily ascent to heaven at the end of her life. In various countries throughout the world, the Assumption is marked with celebrations accompanied by festivals, colorful street processions, fireworks and pageantry.

While a “feast” isn’t actually required, there is a longstanding tradition of blessing the summer harvest. There are even special “Assumption” recipes incorporated into family dinners. The devoted light candles, attend Masses and say prayers for peace all over the world.

This weekend, we also celebrate the 17th Weekend in Ordinary Time. The altar cloth is green signifying the message of hope: the sprouting seed, arousing in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

Weekend Mass intentions: 7 p.m., Saturday, for Diane Soyka, requested by Robert Soyka; 10:30 a.m., Sunday, for Raymond Augustine, requested by Ann and Roger Marsiglio, 9:30 a.m., Monday, for Fred and Helen Sereno, requested by Jean Sereno.

Our church office will be closed Aug. 17-21. It will reopen Aug. 24.

Members of the parish finance committee will meet Monday, Aug. 17, in the rectory.

Esther Whalen would like to hear from her friends and neighbors. Her address: Guthrie Troy Hospital, 275 Guthrie Drive, Troy, PA 16947.

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