I. Welcome Fr. Titus Ahabyona! Having worked in our diocesan marriage tribunal for six years, and during that time living at Saint Stephen Cathedral and Saint Pius X parishes for three years each, Fr. Titus was ordained in 1997. Last summer, Father was assigned as rector of our Lady of the Snows Cathedral for his Diocese of Fort Portal, Uganda, with 45%, or 15 million Catholics, in a country of 33 million people. There are over one million Catholics in his diocese; we have 65,000! Welcome back to Fr. Titus, who will be with us for five weeks!
II. Michael Conley Health Update: On his second day of a two week vacation, June 23, Michael ended up in Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence, Kentucky, because of congestive heart failure. I spoke with Michael this morning, June 29, the day our bulletin went to print; he is still in the hospital, but stable. Because of his sleep apnea, he is on a BiPAP machine, which forces oxygen into his system. With his special diet, Michael was happy and quick to say he has lost some weight, including 50 pounds of liquid! I share this with you with his permission. I assured Michael that we would continue to pray with and for him.
III. The Encyclical Laudato Si, mi’ Signore, translated “Praise Be to You, my Lord.” These words, quoting St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful Canticle of Creation, remind us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and God’s creation was released on June 18, not just to bishops, or to Catholics, or even to “all people of goodwill,” but to “every person living on this planet.” The insert in this week’s bulletin will put this Church teaching into perspective, I believe. Of course, we need to read it before we can comment on it; let’s not allow the media to interpret this encyclical for us, when we can read it ourselves. I encourage you to read Laudato Si. I intend to!
V. New Parish Life Coordinator at Blessed Sacrament Chapel: After serving 12 years at Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Veronica Wilhite resigned in January of this year; her resignation was effective June 30, 2015. A search committee of six people have recommended to me a School Sister of Notre Dame, Sr. Jeanette Fennewald, SSND, who has accepted the position of Parish Life Coordinator; she will begin this ministry on August 20. On behalf of the people at BSC, I extend a heartfelt gratitude to Veronica for having served generously and faithfully! The parish honored Veronica last Sunday with a cornucopia of food, flowers, gifts, and words of appreciation!
In Joy and Hope,