Having Joy When Feeling Sad

12-09-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, I apologize if there was any confusion about the normal 11:00am Mass this weekend. There are no changes to the Mass schedule, and there was no bilingual Mass planned. The St. Mary’s Hispanic community has invited anyone interested to join in the festivities for Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration today (9 December), which includes a procession beginning at 11am near St. Angela Hall. Then, Mass (in Spanish) follows at 12:30pm. Following Mass is our fantastic fiesta in St. Angela Hall to which all are invited.

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Having the Best Advent Ever

12-02-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy New Liturgical Year! The new liturgical year offers us a unique opportunity to make resolutions. But instead of resolving to lose weight, go to bed early, or learn a new language, we can make new (or revisit old) spiritual resolutions to deepen the most central relationship we as disciples have – our relationship with Jesus Christ. I encourage all of us to practice waiting (a primary theme of this season) and celebrate Advent now, not Christmas. Catholics value a good “build-up” to a season, and it makes the season of Christmas more meaningful if we have prepared properly. Some ideas…

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The Pastor's Corner

11-25-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today, our liturgical year comes to its close with the celebration of the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. But don’t let today be the only day that the Lord Jesus is King of your life. The fruits of the Holy Spirit, which shine forth in the life of each disciple who has made Jesus Lord of his or her life, can and should be practiced every day – “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Which of these might we be making excuses not to practice? Are we cultivating their opposites in our words and actions? When someone sees both our public façade and our private life, can they tell Jesus is our King?

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The Pastor's Corner

11-18-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you to all who did our short survey about the possibility of a columbarium at St. Mary’s. Due to early deadlines I am writing this column early. Therefore the information that was collected is still being processed as I am writing. However, I did want to address a couple of concerns:

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November is Black Catholic History Month

11-11-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For us as Catholics in the United States, the month of November is our celebration of National Black Catholic History Month. As disciples of Jesus Christ, it is always incredibly important for us to support actively all our brothers and sisters in the faith. We recall that especially here in the South, some lived during the times of Jim Crow laws. Healing takes not only time but also our presence, action, and love.

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Overcome Evil With Good

11-04-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The recent shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue are the latest in disturbing events of hatred. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters, praying for the injured and the dead, and asking God to heal the wounds created by acts of violence. Friends, in these days where evil seems to be so prevalent, where hatred that leads to murder seems to appear in headlines on our smartphones daily, remember these words of St. Paul, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

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Saints and Souls

10-28-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

People in love feel a natural, devoted obligation to support each other, to be faithful, to just “be there” for each other, and an obligation to celebrate those important moments in life together. This is not a burden for people in love but a joyful obligation. The love we feel for another has its origin in the One who, by His very nature, is love, for “God is love” (see 1 John 4:8, 16). Therefore, just as for a loved one in our lives, we likewise have a loving obligation to actively show our love for God. This is the “obligation” in a Holy Day of Obligation – an act of love towards the One who is love.

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Aiding Those in Need

10-21-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Natural disasters can make us feel helpless. From the immense destruction of the recent hurricanes Michael and Florence to the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesian to catastrophic floods in India and France, we are often left wondering how we can help. The vast majority of us cannot travel to these places and are not equipped to help “on the ground.” However, we can help (1) through our prayers (which are more powerful than we imagine) and (2) donations to trusted organizations that are able to help.

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Pledge to Protect

10-14-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Of course, we have all been in disbelief at the revelations of the crimes that were done by those who were supposed to be shepherds charged with leading the sheep closer to Christ. Please continue to pray with me for all those around the world wounded by these atrocities, whose lives certainly will never be the same.

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Chosen by God to Live

10-07-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

While in seminary, a group of us would travel on a Saturday to join others in quietly praying and standing witness in front of a certain clinic in Pittsburgh. Some others would be there to taunt us while praying. It was easy to become discouraged. It seemed people only went inside. Suddenly, an African American woman with a small boy and another child in a stroller saw us and stopped. With tears she began to tell us, “Please keep doing what you are doing! I was here three years ago, and I almost went inside. But I saw you praying and decided not to go through with it!” Then, taking the small boy in her arms, she said through her tears, “And here is my boy! I named him Angel! Please keep doing this! It makes a difference!”

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