Hello young friends,
The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 15 is a very special day at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. This year is going to look different than it has in past years, but I would still encourage you and your family to join me and all pilgrims at the shrine, as we pray and walk the grounds in celebration of our Blessed Mother’s assumption into heaven.
The feast of the Assumption, celebrated each year on Aug. 15, remembers the death of Mary and how her body and soul were taken into heaven. The assumption happened after she died, but before her body started to break down and decay. Because this is the celebration of our Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all the feasts of Mary and a holy day of obligation.
Holy days of obligation are feast days on which Catholics are required to attend Mass. In the United States, six holy days of obligation are observed: Mary, Mother of God (Jan. 1), Ascension (40 days after Easter, which is a Thursday or the Sunday following that Thursday), Assumption (Aug. 15), All Saints Day (Nov. 1), Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) and Christmas (Dec. 25). Sundays are also holy days of obligation, because the third commandment says to keep holy the Sabbath.
As members of Christ’s family, I invite you to join the faithful on Aug. 15 to commemorate the Assumption of Mary. I also invite you to live the commandments and always keep holy the Sabbath. As we continue to come back to both daily and Sunday Mass slowly, everyone’s safety is of the greatest importance. I invite you back to Mass as you feel comfortable, but please, please come back. Your parish community misses you and wants to reconnect and celebrate with you.
God bless you all and your families and it is my prayer that you continue to be well as we work through this time of coronavirus.