From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and we are invited to give thanks in a special way for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us. Unfortunately, there are those in our society who are making Thanksgiving Day more commercial in nature. Each year more and more malls and stores are opening on this day. They are opening at earlier hours. These hours conflict with the times when many people would normally enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner. Some people are being enticed by advertisements to go shopping on Thanksgiving to take advantage of bargains, primarily for Christmas gifts. Many store employees have to work on this day, causing them to be away from their families. Cardinal Dolan of New York has criticized the phenomenon of Thanksgiving Day shopping. Acknowledging that certain stores will open on Thanksgiving, he noted that some of us give priority to “…doing things over just being with people whom we love, cherish, and appreciate.” Cardinal Dolan made a point to say that he would pray that God preserves “a culture where personal friendship, genuine conversation, and family unity can be a high priority.” He fears that these values may be disappearing. We are invited to take to heart these sentiments and reaffirm our commitment to make Thanksgiving a day spent with family and friends. The shopping frenzy can wait for some other day.
The following Thanksgiving prayer, taken from a Catholic resource, reflects the spirit which should be embraced on this special day:
Thank you God for all the wonderful blessings,
For our daily meals, for clean drinking water,
For sunlight and for the cool breeze.
I’m thankful for my family, my spouse, and my health.
I’m thankful for my friends, to love and to be loved and for freedom.
I’m thankful to be employed.
I’m thankful to be alive and praise you for all these wonders.
I’m thankful that you have been so gracious to give your only son to us.
Who gave his life and bore the Unbearable for us sinners.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I take this opportunity in thanks for countless other Things you provide to us on a daily basis.
As we reflect on this prayer, it is suggested by our Church leaders that beginning Monday, the days before Thanksgiving be set aside for deeds of charity, for penance, and for prayers for economic justice. We can also pray that Thanksgiving will be a time for family and friends to get together to thank God for blessings received.
On behalf of the clergy and staff at Saint Brigid we hope that you will enjoy your Thanksgiving Day.