Keep Ascension Thursday and the Assumption as Holy Days!
Please, bishops, keep the Ascension and Assumption as Holy Days!
The South African bishops have decided as of this year to transfer the feasts of the Ascension of Our Lord and the Assumption of Our Lady to the nearest Sunday. This leaves only Christmas as a Holy Day in our country and this repesents a sad loss to our Catholic identity, and unity with the church down the ages, and yet another surrender to secularism. The significance of these will inevitably be diluted if absorbed into Sunday. Though the change was made for "pastoral reasons" there was little if any consultation of practising Catholics, for whose benefit the bishops presumably made the change, who have always packed the churches for weekday feasts when Holy Day. Those who genuinely could not get to Mass are exempt anyway. Our bishops might have alloweed priestless parishes or other communities where weekday Mass was impossible, to celebrate the feasts on Sunday, without changing the general rule. Retention of the feasts without Holy Day of Obligation status in fact would also dilute the feast and in fact make observance hard for many working people to attend an "optional" Mass and thus less likely to make the same effort to attend as previously. We are entitled to make our spiritual needs known to the bishops. We therefore respectfully, yet firmly, petition our bishops to retain these feasts on their proper days, as Holy Days of Obligation while dealing with the pastoral challenges in specific communities without changing the general rule. Please sign and comment.