In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation are as follows:
January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
This feast, closely connected to the feast of Christmas, is the most important and oldest of the major feasts of Mary. Mary’s Divine Maternity became a universal feast in 1931. Liturgical reform initiated by Vatican II place it on January 1st in 1969. Prior to this, this feast celebrated on January 1st was the circumcision of Jesus. Although the obligation to attend when these three holy days fall on a Saturday or Monday is abolished, parishes are to continue to observe these Holy Days by scheduling one or more Masses at a convenient time so that people who wish to participate are able to do so.
This feast is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter Sunday and commemorates the elevation of Jesus into heaven by his own power in the presence of his disciples. It is narrated in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. In March 2000, the Catholic bishops of the Wisconsin province transferred the Feast of the Ascension to the seventh Sunday of Easter, one week before Pentecost Sunday. The Vatican, at the request of the bishops of the United States, granted permission for the date change, giving ecclesiastic provinces in the United States the authority to make the transfer. Observing the Ascension on the seventh Sunday of Easter allows for heightened celebration and an increased opportunity to educate people about the meaning of the feast.
This is the principal feast of Mary. It has a double purpose: first, the happy departure of Mary from this life and second, the assumption of her body into heaven. Little for certain is known about the day, year and manner of Mary’s death. The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Jesus’ Ascension.
This feast honors all the saints, known and unknown. It was first celebrated on May 13, 610, when Pope Boniface IV proclaimed the day Feast of All Holy Martyrs in Rome. The intent was to honor all martyrs who were not included in local records. In 835, Pope Gregory IV changed the date and name to November 1st and Feast of All Saints. A fall date allowed people to celebrate with food from the fall harvest.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is the belief that God preserved Mary from any inclination to sin, the inheritance of original sin passed on to all mankind from Adam and Eve. The feast of the Conception of Mary appeared in the Roman calendar in 1476. After the dogmatic definition by Pope Pius in 1854, it became the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
This feast celebrates the birth of Jesus.
Please consult the bulletin or call us directly for Mass times. The U.S. bishops decided, with Vatican approval given July 4th, 1992, that when the Solemnities of Mary, the Mother of God, the Assumption or All Saints’ Day fall on a Saturday or Monday, it is not an obligation to attend Mass for these feasts.