June 10, 2018 Pastor’s Corner

I.  Pope Francis: A Man of His Word: an absorbing, inspiring movie (96 minutes) introduces the visible head of our universal Church as an engaging person of humility, courage, compassion, and humor, visiting migrant camps, prisons, hospitals and gatherings of the faithful. Pope Francis travels the world speaking to those in need and delivering a consistent message of hope.  The movie features  Pope Francis, Paul Ryan, John Kerry, Angela Merkel, Shimon Peres, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and Barack Obama to mention a few. 

         Regardless of whether one agrees with the Catholic Church, its beliefs and actions, this film is a beautiful and challenging call to take the Gospel seriously in our world today. It is not a pietistic film about Pope Francis but rather an insightful document of the challenges in our world today, and a presentation of the Pope’s message in response to it. This film shows why Pope Francis is loved and hated: he is merciful to the weak, hurting and vulnerable, and he has no problem speaking hard truths to power, much like Francis of Assisi, and Jesus. I recommend you see it. Allow it to speak to your heart. It inspired and challenged me! 

II.  Saint Barnabas the Encourager! A sidekick of Paul the apostle, Barnabas was one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. He and Paul undertook missionary journeys together (Acts 14:14) and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c. 50). Christian tradition holds that Barnabas was martyred at Salamis, Cypress, in 61 A.D. Literally, in the Greek, his name means “son of encouragement”.  We celebrate his witness on June 11. Do people see me as one who encourages, builds up, heartens or not? 

III.  Keeping Safe & Secure Campaign update: We are sincerely grateful for the generosity of the more than 200 families who have pledged or donated so far. Thank you for your support! Together we are making these important and necessary improvements not only for our families but for future generations of St. Stephen Cathedral parishioners and all who visit our beautiful cathedral.

       Work is scheduled to begin in early July to replace the front porch and steps, as well as implement improvements to church campus security. The front entrances of the church will be closed during construction, but the elevator and both side entrances will still be accessible.

       If you have not yet done so, please prayerfully consider making a pledge. All donations, regardless of the amount, are greatly appreciated and an essential part of our faith community’s effort. Regardless of your level of support, I ask for your prayers. Pledge packets and campaign prayer cards are available at church entrances.

IV.  Farewell & Thanks to Fr. Jamie Dennis as he motors up Highway 54 to St. Mary of the Woods in Whitesville! (Coincidentally, this was my first assignment in 1975; and it was a wonderful community where I learned lots from the People of God there who ministered with Fathers Charles Fischer and Phillip Riney). The Cathedral Team is accepting Fr. Jamie’s invitation to visit the Dennis Farm in Caneyville, on Monday, June 11. My understanding is that he’ll take us for a ride on his train and new pontoon boat! There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll return without incident. . .or accident! God’s blessing be with Fr. Jamie as he begins his ministry in Whitesville! Welcome to Fr. Sinoj Pynadath, HGN, who will arrive at St. Stephen Cathedral on Tuesday, June 12. Let’s roll out the Cathedral Red Carpet for our new Parochial Vicar, who was ordained a priest in India on January 6, 2008. More later! Welcome Fr. Sinoj  (sĭn – ŌZH, long oh sound with a soft “j.”)