I. Saluting Those Who Help Those in Need: September 27th is the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. We would like to honor those members of the Cathedral St. Vincent de Paul Society, who speak with the needy on the phone, and assist with rent, utilities, medicine and so much more. We also have a “behind the scenes” team of people who enter information into the Charity Tracker database, which is connected to other parishes and churches who serve the needy in our area.
In the name of the entire parish, I wish to express gratitude for our parishioners who minister in this important outreach. Their respect and compassion for the needy represent us well! They recognize that Christ’s presence is often camouflaged in those who come to us in need.
Since we have had a few members to retire recently, we could use more parishioners to assist in this ministry. Is Christ calling you to be His hands, feet, but mostly His eyes, ears, voice, and heart to the needy? Contact Larry Lyon, president of the Cathedral Chapter, or our parish office, to volunteer or for more information.
Thank you to Larry Lyon, Jesse Mattingly, Treasurer, Linda Beam, Linda Beckman, Harry and Peggy Bellew, Bob Berry, Donna Duffy, Joyce Gruenewald, John Hein, Martha House, Karen Jarboe, Kathleen and Hope Johnson, Bill and Cecilia McCarty, Patrick Morton, Deacon Richard Murphy, Denise Payne, Mary Riney, Eva Stone, Pam Weafer, Margaret Windle, and Bill and Shannon Wright. Thanks also to the many parishioners who have donated food and money to this important outreach. “Do not preach about God to a hungry man; feed him, and you are teaching him about God” (St. Vincent de Paul).
After hearing the confession of a poor but humble man, Vincent de Paul had a conversion experience which changed his life, and the direction of his ministry. He committed the rest of his life as a priest to ministering to the poor, to those on the fringe of society. What a difference he has made!
II. Jerome Was a Proud Man enslaved to vanity. The sin of pride is like having “ingrown eyeballs” that do not look outward, but only inward. Confusing who is the Creator and who is the creature often happens to a proud person. When Jerome was 34 years of age, he had a conversion experience. Sick with a fever, he had a very realistic dream in which he found himself before the judgement seat of God, who asked Jerome, “Who are you?” Jerome responded, “I am a Christian.” God said, “You are a liar. You are not a Christian, but a Ciceronian.” This dream gave him insight into himself, changed his life, and he “put on” the virtue of humility.
Jerome also had a friend by the name of Paula. Tongues wagged, and scandalous gossip circulated about this relationship. Gossip is a sin against charity, jumping to conclusions, passing off as truth that which is untrue. This hurt his reputation and he suffered greatly from this gossip.
Finally, Jerome had a tremendous love for sacred Scripture. He spent much of his life translating the Scripture into Latin so that more people could read, reflect and pray the Word of God. His appreciation for the Scripture led him to proclaim, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
I invite you to Mass at 7:00am or 12:05pm on Wednesday, September 30, the Feast of Saint Jerome.
Life Is Sacred
From conception to natural death, and everywhere in between, life is sacred and is meant to be respected. Whether it lasts for a brief moment or a hundred years, each of our lives is a good and wonderful gift. At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s unconditional love and extravagant mercy. Our relationships on earth are meant to help us and others grow in more perfect charity. The Consistent Ethic of Life demands societal protection of the nurturing of life from conception to natural death, and all dimensions of life in between. It forms a bridge between anti-abortion concerns and other social justice concerns as Respect for Life embraces the quality of life in all its stages. We are meant to depend on one another, serve each other in humility, and walk together in times of struggle and suffering. “Only God is the Master of Life!” (The Gospel of Life, #55, JPII). “Just as the Father is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.”
While abortion is a central issue of the consistent ethic, it cannot be an unqualified single issue. What happens to a newborn baby after day one must also be our concern. Abortion is linked with quality-of-life issues—hunger, poverty, unemployment, living conditions, immigration, tax policies, welfare, and nutrition and feeding programs. It is linked with other interconnected issues—health care of the terminally ill, warfare, infertility, care for the earth, suicide, and capital punishment.
Catholic social teaching is rooted in a single pivotal truth—the dignity of the human person. It affirms that the “human person is both sacred and social” (Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, #12).
Please read, reflect, and pray on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. For more information, www.usccb.org/prolife, www.hopeafterabortion. org, and www.faithfulcitizenship.org.
The USCCB has also launched a campaign inviting Catholics to model civility and love for neighbor throughout this election year. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate will ask Catholics to pledge civility, clarity, and compassion in their families, communities, and parishes, and call on others to do so as well. Civilizeit.org.
Finally, beware of any Catholic bishop, priest, member of a religious order, or Catholic institution, including any magazine, who endorses or campaigns for any party or candidate during this election season. No one candidate or one party fully encompasses the totality of Church teaching on all the issues.