I realize in the midst of all the news we have been receiving about the Church’s scandal, one might wonder where or how we can go on as a Church. But, I have witnessed the number of the faithful (laity and ordained) who are speaking up and wanting to preserve and restore our Church in the way Jesus Christ intended it to be. We were not created to become some antiquated or destructive institution to escape from, but as the promised gift for the Advocate/Holy Spirit to live and breathe in the Sacraments until Jesus Christ triumphantly returns. So let us embrace healthy and holy vocations in the way He intended. There are signs all around us, have you seen them? Last week, it was beautiful to see our families once again entrust their precious children for spiritual formation within our parish day school and so many more preparing to start back on Monday nights for PSR (7:00 p.m. on Sept. 10th). We have already had many ask when R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) begins so they can understand what it means to be Catholic (begins Sept. 11 @7:15 p.m.). Pre-Marriage preparations are helping to ready the hearts of couples to be united in Christ so they can lead each other to Heaven. In spite of it all (or because of the need of it all) our four seminarians have returned for study, prayer and formation to become holy and sacrificial priests. We also have one other adopted son of the parish, who just entered the seminary and asks for our prayers: “Hello St. Francis de Sales Parish, my name is James Monsour. I grew up in Barberton, and though I belong to St. Bernard Church, St. Francis has for many years bolstered my spiritual life with Confessions, weekday Masses, countless events and community life, and even working on the parish grounds all summer long. What a treasure to be able to go to daily Mass with you either in the morning or evening EVERY DAY! I am really moved by the way this community fills the pews regularly at both of those celebrations. If you have ever seen me around, I’m the tall skinny kid with glasses, and I need your prayers! I am entering novitiate with the Legionaries of Christ in the coming weeks and will be there, God sustaining, for two years discerning the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and the charism of the Legionaries. I’ve desired this since childhood, and have been a long time coming to my decision to join. Please pray for all our priests and those aspiring, that we can say with St. Ignatius: ‘Take, Lord, receive all my liberty!’”
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for our annual Parish Picnic next Sunday, September 9th Noon to 4:00 p.m. so we can support each other in faith, food and fun!
May we continue to pray for healing and holiness, especially for those who have been abused.
Verso l’alto, Fr. Bline