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From the Pastor 01/21/18

THANK YOU! I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our families over the Christmas Season for your very generous financial support of the parish. We made our budget for the Christmas Collection. Thank you so much for helping us in our continued efforts to balance our parish budget.

This is just a gentle reminder to parents about supervising your children, especially during Coffee and Donuts and other parish socials. I realize that we all get to talking to each other and catching up and we forget to monitor the children. Please watch your children and minimize the running around that children naturally want to do, especially around our elderly parishioners. We have the constant issue of children behind the gym stage, and more recently in the newly constructed corridor that acts as a sound barrier between the St. Joseph Room and the Adoration Chapel. We will be installing new doors that lock to secure these areas behind the stage. Also, please remember that the newly constructed corridor between the St. Joseph Room and the Adoration Chapel is indeed a sound barrier. No one should have conversations in this small corridor as it disturbs the silence that is needed in the adoration chapel.

As we have just finished the beautiful Christmas Season I wish to especially thank our maintenance staff for their dedication to our parish. It takes so much time to decorate our church and then take it all down. Not to mention the constant maintenance inside our buildings and outside property that is required of our maintenance people. They indeed work very hard for all of us. Let us all be grateful and truly appreciative of all our maintenance people do to keep our campus clean and beautiful. Also, I hope you have seen the new cleaned-up look of the church bathroom off the vestibule. This work was done just before we celebrated Christmas.

This coming Monday, January 22, we will observe the Annual Day of Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Please remember in your prayers all who work so hard to defend life in our beloved country. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops invites parishes throughout the country to celebrate the Votive Mass: Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life. All three Masses on Monday will celebrate this Votive Mass.

Once again this Monday we will mark the 45th Anniversary of the seven to two faulty decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Roe vs. Wade, allowing for the terrible scourge of abortion to be legalized in our country. Because of this terrible decision millions upon millions of innocent children have been slaughtered in our land.

In 1973 I was just 10 years old when this decision was announced. I remember only too well when the news came through the radio and television. My mother, who dedicated her life to motherhood, was absolutely stunned. As she explained to her boys that day, she just could not believe that abortion was going to be legalized in the United States. In our parochial school the Dominican Sisters and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart who taught us did not mince their words. Abortion was a terrible sin that had come down upon our nation, and even those of us too young to understand the complete implication of the Supreme Court decision were not spared the reality that we had legalized the murder of children.

Starting in the early 1970’s when so much was questioned and the Church was experiencing so many changes, one thing remained constant: the Catholic Church’s stand against legalized abortion. 45 years have come and gone, and by the grace of Almighty God, his bride the Church has not ceased to proclaim the sanctity of life. If anything the Church’s voice has grown stronger every year. The Annual March for Life, which took place last Friday, January 19, now boasts that a large portion of the marchers are now young people who were not even born when this terrible decision came down upon our nation.

The Pro Life Movement is indeed a battle for the hearts and minds of our nation. We have made much progress but still more progress is needed. All Catholics and Christians must unite against abortion. We must continue to ask Almighty God to give us the strength to continue working for the conversion of our nation to the sanctity of life.

This coming Thursday, January 25 we will celebrate the Feast of The Conversion of St. Paul.

The Conversion on the Way to Damascus by Caravaggio

St. Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience — his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “... entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal — being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior.

One sentence determined his theology: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5b). Jesus was mysteriously identified with people — the loving group of people Saul had been running down like criminals. Jesus, he saw, was the mysterious fulfillment of all he had been blindly pursuing. From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29). “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a).

Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross.

A blessed week to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor