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From the Pastor 05/20/18

A Most Blessed Solemnity of Pentecost this weekend. We pray to the Holy Spirit that we may always discern what is best for our parish community. On Monday we return to Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgical calendar.

Recently I received some very enlightening letters from parishioners that I thought were food for thought.

Dear Father André-Joseph,
As always, thank you so much for your weekly letters. We read with interest the Gallup poll and the several reasons for the decline of religious practice since 1955.

We would like to humbly propose another fundamental reason for the decline.

There is one significant difference in how we live today from how society lived in the 1950’s (and before). We now live in the continuing fallout of the sexual revolution essentially begun in 1960 with the introduction of the birth control pill. Today, contraception is as ubiquitous and respectable as toothpaste. Even here in Cincinnati with so many Catholics and so many Catholic doctors, is there even one OB/GYN physician who follows Catholic Church teaching on this? Sadly, there is not even one.

Think about it. With contraception the norm, so is fornication, infidelity, abortion, etc. Of course you know all of this. Let me tell you, it is so frustrating to visit my college kids at their dormitory and even in the dining hall at the public university here, I see huge contraception advertisements posted everywhere. It’s terrible.

Since an unchaste person can not sincerely live a life of faith, is it any surprise there has been a sharp decline of religious practice?

God bless,

Also, this summer our archdiocese together with the Couple to Couple League will be hosting a convention in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae, on July 6-7, at the Sharonville Convention Center. See the flyer in this bulletin.

Dear Fr. André-Joseph,

I saw your most recent plea for more Eucharistic Adorers in the bulletin and that we have more open slots than ever before. Every time I see this it makes me so sad. When I think about how our Lord is LONGING for His beloved children to come see Him, it makes me want to cry. We have time for sports, TV, shopping, friends ... everything except for our very best Friend.

I say this knowing how incredibly busy we all are with legitimate and very important things that must be done. I also say this knowing that part of some parishioners’ hesitation is a fear that something will come up and they will not be able to make it to their scheduled hour. I know this, because this was my fear when you first announced that we would be opening a Perpetual Adoration Chapel and asked us to consider signing up. My first thought was that I was so glad we would have this chapel and that I would drop in as my schedule allowed to visit Our Lord, but that I could not be a scheduled Adorer due to my health issues. You see, I have a couple of chronic medical conditions (one of which is life-threatening and the other of which causes a lot of symptoms). I thought I could never sign up because I would not be dependable. But the Lord wanted me. I decided to trust Him and give it a try.

As it turned out I was the very first Adorer scheduled on the day we opened the chapel, and since that time I have only had to miss my hour probably twice for health reasons. That’s amazing. That’s Jesus. I want other parishioners to know that they don’t have to be afraid ― that Jesus will help them with their busy schedules (and that it’s possible to get a substitute when occasional conflicts arise).

I also want parishioners to know that if we don’t have SCHEDULED Adorers, then we can’t keep the chapel doors open. It became apparent to me that there may be confusion about this when a fellow parishioner commented to me about a year ago that she was growing weary of all the requests for scheduled Adorers, that she drops in the chapel when she’s able, that she doesn’t feel a need to sign up for a particular hour. It later hit me that she didn’t understand how a Perpetual Adoration Chapel works. Our Lord cannot be left alone in the Monstrance.

Anyone could walk in the chapel and steal Him or desecrate Him. There must always be someone in the chapel to GUARD Our Lord (that’s why we are not only called Eucharistic Adorers, but also Eucharistic Guardians). What an honor! Jesus has humbled Himself not just in coming to us under the species of Bread, but also by needing us to GUARD Him ― He who guards us day and night. I remind myself of this often when I am on my way to Adoration. Yes, usually other people are in the chapel at the same time, but I tell myself, if I wasn’t there ― as the scheduled guardian ― no one else would be able to be there either ― the chapel would be closed down.

By being a scheduled guardian, not only do I have the great privilege of spending time with and guarding Our Lord, I am making it possible for others to come to visit Him as well. What an amazing thing to be instrumental in allowing others to come to Jesus where He can work untold miracles in countless lives.

For parishioners who are thinking your pleas for more Adorers don’t include them, I beg them to realize that it does ... and to just give it a try. Let Jesus surprise you!

A blessed Week to All,

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