This week brought us through what I like to think of as the “autumnal triduum” of the church. Those three days — Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls — remind us that we are both mortal and yet redeemed, and meant for eternity. They tap us into the quiescence of the calendar season, when trees and gardens go dormant and the wee creatures forage before their hibernations, but also into the quietest part of the liturgical season, too. Our readings for the next few weeks will feel a little darker, just like the days, and then we will slip into the hope and expectation of Advent — a season of prophecy and promise that is joyful yet somehow hushed. Advent always makes me feel like a child again, learning to patiently wait for the good I believe is coming.
In terms of seasons this may be a “quieter” time, but for families these weeks see an uptick in busyness — they’re full of school happenings and first-meetings and schedule adjustments, and it’s easy to miss important news stories while you’re meeting every need. Times are fraught, though, so here is a selection of what OSV News covered during the week, to help get you caught up while you sneak a bit of Halloween candy over the weekend. Enjoy it. Advent actually is a penitential season, after all!
10 top takeaways from the synthesis report and why they matter
The Synod on Synodality’s first session at the Vatican has concluded, with its results wrapped up in a 41-page “half-time report” for the entire church to digest, reflect on and give feedback about ahead of the synod’s final session in Rome next October. The report, a synthesis of the Oct. 4-29 meeting, is fundamentally an instrument for discernment, and it is designed to elicit further reflection and response from the whole church.
Analysis: Rupnik affair challenges church to turn synod synthesis into concrete proposals in 2024
The Rupnik affair poses a real test to not only the synod’s members, but the whole church, which has 11 months before the synod assembly reconvenes, to reflect on the synod’s synthesis report released Oct. 28 and discern what “co-responsible” decision-making should look like for governance of a “missionary synodal church.”
After mass shooting, Maine parish becomes hub of healing
An Oct. 29 prayer vigil — organized by Lewiston officials and hosted by the parish — drew some 4,000 residents to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, one of the five churches that comprise the parish. The evening gathering commemorated the 18 victims killed in an Oct. 25 shooting rampage that spanned two locations in Lewiston.
As world prays for peace in Holy Land, Israeli-Hamas war intensifies by air, on ground
“Unless this problem is solved at its root, there will never be the stability we all hope for. The tragedy of these days must lead us all, religious, political, civil society, international community, to a more serious commitment in this regard than what has been done so far,” Cardinal Pizzaballa said.
Experts: Pence’s GOP primary exit will push other lower-polling candidates to end bids
Robert Schmuhl, professor emeritus of American studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, who critically observes the modern American presidency, told OSV News that Pence “quickly learned that the GOP base has no interest in anyone other than former President Donald Trump.”
World Series sparks jaunty wager between Arizona, Texas Catholic Charities directors
The Catholic Charities directors made a bet with each other: The losing director must wear the winning team’s jersey all week to all functions.
UAW deal with ‘Big Three’ automakers secures major win for family-wage jobs
“This is the way the economy should work,” said Daniel Graff, director of the Higgins Labor Program at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, “when workers get to say what they need, and employers respond with what they can do, and you come to an agreement.”
Ouija boards ‘dangerous, dangerous’ tools of evil that deny God’s love, say Catholic experts
“Ouija boards and things like that are probably the primary way that people open up the entry point for the demonic into their lives,” Father Vincent Lampert, exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, told OSV News.
Like Thérèse, ‘be radical in love’ in the face of violence, says bishop of Lisieux
Two weeks after the release of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “C’est la confiance” (“It’s confidence”), published by Oct. 15 for the 150th anniversary of the birth of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and in times of great turbulence for the world, especially in the Middle East and Ukraine, Bishop Jacques Habert of Bayeux-Lisieux emphasized that “Thérèse spoke of trust in God’s merciful love.”
The man of God is a man for others, says bishop in new pastoral letter
Drawing on Scripture as well as the insights of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, Maronite Bishop Gregory J. Mansour emphasized men’s need to seek holiness in prayer, chastity and service to others, regardless of their state in life.