Saturday, June 18, 2016
In each and every case, we grieve the loss
of a human life!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Since my last column was composed, we have witnessed a truly horrific and brutal event: the shootings in Orlando, Florida. Locally, there lately have been several terrible accidents resulting in fatalities. The details of these incidents may strike us as radically different. Clearly, an “accident” stands in stark contrast to a deliberate and premeditated crime. Yet, from a Christian perspective, there is a fundamental link: human life has been taken. This is the conviction that motivates the defense of life in every instance, including the lives of the unborn.
Among the commentaries flooding the media at this time, a few have pointed a finger at religion as a “cause” of tragedies such as the Orlando shootings. While we must acknowledge that deeds may be claimed to be carried out “in the name of God” and that the rhetoric of religion may be invoked to justify hateful speech, I hope we understand that the Catholic perspective compels us to extend love and compassion without discrimination. Even as the Church calls us to understand that life is about much more than feelings, yet as humans the expression of mercy involves deep feelings as well as clear thinking— recall the quotation of Fulton Sheen from last week’s column.
Last weekend, we formally acknowledged the gift of service of the many volunteers active here at St. Mary Parish. We distributed a memento of the occasion—duly marking the centennial of the church building— in the form of a bookmark and a cross of “seeded paper” (which can actually be planted in soil). If you were out of town or did not have the opportunity to receive one of these mementos, there are some remaining by the elevator entrance of church. Please help yourself to these. Let us continue to sew the seeds of service in the name of Jesus Christ!
Continuing with the theme of service, there is a photograph of the Catholic Heart Mission group of teens, taken as they began their week of extending corporal works of mercy to the community of Mishawaka, Indiana. I can attest that their smiles are not forced; they truly radiate the joy that comes in bearing the name and love of Christ Jesus.
While much of the service carried out at St. Mary is given gratis, I am also very grateful to those who, while more formally employed, yet still extend themselves in love and service way beyond the minimum. One such person is Mary Moses. For many years, Mary has traveled to St. Mary from Loudonville, serving as accompanist to the choir as well as organist at Masses overall. Due to recent needs within her family, Mary is stepping away from the organ bench. Nevertheless, she will not be removed from our thoughts and prayers. Thank you so very much, Mary. You are a true servant!
Please remember the children and leaders who will be participating this week in the Faithwalkers VBS here in Wooster and the VBS at St. Agnes. These programs are an excellent reminder that Faith and catechesis do not take a summer hiatus!
PEACE TO YOU,