From our Pastors,
It is Independence Day weekend. What an unusual one it will be. Hopefully we will all be practicing safe distancing and taking proper precautions. We will hold our first Sunday Masses since early March (see below for details). Three months without sharing the Eucharist as a community is unprecedented. And for many of the vulnerable it is still not a good idea to return to public gatherings or chance public transport. We support your prudential judgement. This Independence Day it is painfully obvious we are all not entirely free.
Freedom is a word that keeps coming to mind as we not only endure the restrictions of the pandemic but as we feel in deeper ways the fact that not everyone in our country has equal opportunity nor equal treatment. We are all members of one country and as such all share some responsibility for the society that has come so painfully in to view again since the tragic and senseless killing of George Floyd.
How do we ensure a land where all are free? How does such change occur? By decree? By partisan argument? By enforcement? If we immerse ourselves in the Gospel, change comes by engagement.
If you attend mass this Sunday (in person or virtually) listen – listen with an open and unprejudiced heart – to the God revealed in Jesus. He is not self-absorbed but always attentive to the needs of others. He does not draw attention to himself. He is present to the one he is with. He is gentle and unassuming and considerate. He brings healing and life and reconciliation. He does not place heavy burdens on others but helps them quietly and persistently to carry the burdens of life. He lovingly accompanies the heavily-burdened on a shared journey from threatened birth to tragic and unjust early death.
What can we - as followers of this example - do about the systematic racial injustices in our society? It may seem as if we can do little. And, honestly, that may be the case. But that little is perhaps the most important first step. We ask you please to take that first step with us.
Next Tuesday at 6 PM we will start the first of three zoom sessions on racial justice (
see details below
). It is only a first step in what we hope will be a long-term and community-wide commitment to accompany our sisters and brothers of color: to listen, to see, to feel and learn; to confront and own our failures and responsibilities, indeed our sin, as individuals, as Church, and as society; and to commit, as a community, to that persistent conversion that leads to concrete change and ongoing accountability.
We are deeply grateful for those willing to share their story in order that we all might grow in freedom. Thank you.
May we commit ourselves to journey together towards freedom for all this Independence Day.
Fr. Mark Lane, c.o. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o.