I. Hatred, Racism, Poverty, Violence, Hostility, Fear, and a general disrespect for human life seems to be expressing itself more and more in our world. As our nation mourns the tragedies in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas, Atlanta, and other cities; Internationally our world mourns most recently the violence in France, Turkey, and England—we must fight the primitive urge for revenge and retaliation. Violence begets violence. An “eye for an eye” attitude leaves the whole world blind. Following Jesus’ command to “love even our enemy” is never easy. Our faith calls us to be different. At all times, but especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we must be signs of God’s love which promotes justice, which in turn promotes right relationships, which includes upholding the dignity of human life, every life.
O God, who gave one origin to all peoples and willed to gather from us
one family for yourself, fill all hearts, we pray, with the fire of your love
and kindle in us a desire for the just advancement of our neighbor, that,
through the good things which you richly bestow upon all, each human
person may be brought to maturity of spirit, every division may be removed,
and equity and justice may be established in human society. Through our
Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(adapted from Collect, Votive Mass for the Progress of Peoples, The Roman Missal)
II. Grandparents! On Tuesday, July 26th, we celebrate the feast of the grandparents of Jesus, Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary. According to the Gospel of James, Joachim and Anne are portrayed as an older and barren couple who long to bring life into the world. Through an angelic messenger they are told they will bear a child—not just any child, but one who will be revered for all time.
Grandparents, what kind of influence do you have on the faith development of your grandchildren?
III. 2016/17 School Supply Drive: six parishes, including Saint Stephen Cathedral, are joining forces to provide school supplies for needy families. This “Back to School Supply Fair” will be Monday, August 1st, at Blessed Mother Church Parish Hall, 10:00 am—7:00 pm. Open to all in need!
How can you help? Items needed include: backpacks (various sizes), three ring binders, markers, sketch pads, graph paper, two pocket colored folders, college ruled notebook paper, spiral notebooks, etc. Bring these items to our church through July 31st.
May I volunteer for that day? Yes! Offer free haircuts at the event? Yes! Can my place of business lend a hand, or financial support, or supply a service for the families? Yes! Thanks to Amanda Reffitt, 270/570-1508, for coordinating this for the Cathedral.
IV. Our Transitioning Parish! The change of Assistant Pastors (officially called Parochial Vicars!) every couple of years is nothing new for the Cathedral. Saint Stephen is a wonderful parish which can help mold, fashion, and train new priests for service in our Universal Church. As we send forth Fr. Suneesh Mathew Kulathanapadikel to be pastor at Precious Blood Parish, we welcome again Fr. Jamie Dennis who has been ordained 8 weeks. Just as Fr. Suneesh brought special gifts to our parish family, Fr. Jamie is bring his own different and unique special gifts to share with us. Fr. Jamie will be working with me, and the pastoral team—do not hesitate to call upon him for any pastoral needs you may have. Positive, constructive criticism is welcomed and is essential for your priests! Let’s work together to build up God’s kingdom here at the Cathedral!