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"As disciples of Jesus Christ,we, the people of Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church,
dedicate ourselves to living the Great Commandments to
"Love God with all our hearts, souls and minds..and to love our neighbor
We will do this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
committing ourselves to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church
by evangelization and education of all, beginning in our parish family
and then reaching out in loving service to our world."
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations,
Through Christ Our Lord, Amen."
From The Pastor's Desk
From time to time I have mentioned, both from the pulpit or in the bulletin, that there is a great resource nearby that we should support and take advantage of. It’s Catholic radio, and of course, you don’t have to be “nearby” to enjoy it. You can be on the other side of the world and listening on your cell phone. But WDEO and Ave Maria Radio have made great strides over the years under the direction of talented people like Al Kresta and Dcn. Tom Loewe. They have been involved in an ongoing effort to improve their technology so as to make their programming ever more accessible to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to listen to their shows but occasionally, via the grapevine, I hear of something that was broadcast which I missed but would like to hear. Well, they have archives that you can go to and listen to the missed show. Very convenient. That happened last week. Fr. Lobert heard a particular edition of Kresta in the Afternoon which was titled “A pinch of incense to Caesar is still a pinch too much.” It aired on August 10th, and I thought I’d say a little bit about it. First off, the title alludes to a practice that was required of all Roman citizens back in the early days of Christianity. Rome, interestingly enough, was a tolerant empire. It was multi-cultural, and accepted the fact that there were many religions. They did, however, require that everyone declare their loyalty to Caesar as the supreme deity by something as simple as taking a small pinch of incense and dropping it on the burning coals in front of the emperor’s statue. And what if you refused? Well, you know what they did to Christians back then who followed their conscience. So, the point of this particular show was to suggest that those times have returned to us with the recent Supreme Court decision.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the implications of that decision in the various newcasts and commentaries, but it’s something that may eventually affect us right here at Holy Spirit. It was our hope with our newly remodeled Activity Center to maybe make a little money on it by making it available for rental to outside groups. We’ve done this in the past. It’s been a common practice for Catholic Churches worldwide. But that has presented problems. Take for instance, Bingo. It’s always been a great money maker for the Church, and in some cases a means of service to the community in that a portion of the profits may have been distributed to the needy of the community. That was indeed the case up in Flint when I was a pastor there. As Bingo died out, Texas Hold em’ became the fundraiser of choice. In both cases there was a sense that the Church was involved in things that were questionable; that the end did not justify the means. Many felt that we were violating our Catholic-Christian conscience by renting to particular groups.
So the current concern would be that if we advertise our newly remodeled hall for rent, we would be forced, by law, to rent to anyone who asked. But what if the local branch of the Church of Satan wanted to rent our hall? We now would be forced to violate our conscience and allow them to worship the devil in our facility. That’s crazy.
I anticipate that we will be getting some direction from our Bishops regarding the matter but as for us, for now, I’m thinking that we will be forced to limit our hall usage to parish sponsored events. I, for one, have no plans to pinch incense to our misguided U.S. Supreme Court. Who do they think they are? God?
So, another reminder that it costs a lotta money to keep Ave Maria Radio afloat. They could use your contributions. They evangelize in ways the rest of us can’t. They need and deserve our support.
And, yet another reminder that we here at Holy Spirit also struggle to keep current. We have the same financial issues that the radio station has so we depend on your generosity to pay for things like our Activity Center remodeling. Currently, we have run out of money. The place looks great but we can’t afford the electronic improvements that we’d like to install. Again, if you haven’t contributed to the Capital Campaign, we still could use your help.
We’d like to have a Grand Re-Opening of the AC sometime soon. Last week Parish Council discussed what we might do to celebrate this great accomplishment.
You may know that our beloved Fr. Richard has had a rough time of it this summer. He would have enjoyed a period of rest, relaxation, and recuperation on Cape Cod where he vacations at the family home, but his step-father Bob recently died and his mom, Jacqueline, has been in decline. So he was here with us taking care of business. In my opinion, Fr. Richard is the quintessential “Good Son” and I have included a video of Father and his mama in the Fr. John’s Links section of our parish website. They sing to each other in French. Father, I might add, speaks very highly of his health-care assistants who are from our Parish.
I’d like to start recommending various books and videos from our newly re-furbished Lending Library. This week’s book pick is The Song at the Scaffold by Gertrude Von Le Fort. It’s the novelized true story of the 16 Carmelite nuns who were executed in the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution.
The video pick-of-the-week is a VHS from the Paulist's Insight TV series of the 1970’s. God Incognito is the title of the tape, but it features one episode called Jesus BC, which I preached about recently. Remember, God directing creation as if conducting a symphony?
Please make plans for attending our Parish Picnic in September. Our grounds are more beautiful than ever with the resealing of our lots, the elimination of those school modules and some landscaping and grading. And we will be announcing the recipient of this year’s Stella Maris Award.
We're mentioned in Roadside America as a worthwhile stop with our "Dining with Jesus" Statue. Please stop by, have a snack at the table, or just think for a moment about John's Gospel, " “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”