He is Risen! Yes!

04-21-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

You meet someone and say, “Christ is risen!” They respond, “Truly, He is risen!” This ancient Christian greeting is still used in countries with a strong, Catholic/Orthodox culture. Our western culture, particularly our American ethos, formed by a strong current of Calvinism that was suspicious of such outward expressions of faith, long ago abandoned such greetings. (Although “Merry Christmas” has hung on for now!) You and I must find new ways to evangelize just as the earliest Apostles, disciples, and martyrs did when they all but ran out into the world for the very first time, taking with them the good news of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Walking in His Footsteps

04-14-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At last, you may have noticed the three plaques for the Our Gifts – His Glory program. Recall that OG-HG is the program (not the capital campaign) that allows parishioners to donate certain meaningful articles in and around our church in memory or in honor of a loved one, such as statues, pews, liturgical items, ornamental trees, etc. Plaques for the items within the church are displayed as you come in through the main doors, opposite the capital campaign plaques. The plaque for the items outside the church is located on the north wing (where the St. Vincent de Paul Society operates). We are immensely grateful to all who donated to help make our church even more beautiful. Thank you!

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A Resurgence of Holiness

04-07-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last Friday, March 29, “with a heavy heart and in the spirit of transparency and accountability,” Bishop Guglielmone published a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct or abuse involving a minor in the Diocese of Charleston since 1950. I encourage you to read the Bishop’s letter and the Q & A that accompany the list. You can access them on the diocesan website: sccatholic.org or charlestondiocese.org. None of the priests listed are in active ministry. Almost all of them are deceased.

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Joy in Lent

03-31-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Laetare, Jerusalem” – “Rejoice, Jerusalem… Be joyful, all who were in mourning!” (From Isaiah 66:10-11; Introit for the Fourth Sunday of Lent)

You deserve a break today! In fact, the Church insists on it. Here at the halfway point of our Lenten observance, Holy Mother Church gives us a last little break from our Lenten penances on the Sunday of Joy – Laetare Sunday. The priests and deacons don rose-colored vestments, the color of the sky just before the dawn. It is the color of hope and anticipation. After all, the reason we do penance is to prepare ourselves for the greatest, most awesome part of our faith: The man they put on a cross, who died and was buried, is alive. He was seen by literally hundreds of witnesses, who then darted about the world telling everyone they could, even if it meant their own deaths. Why? Because that death has reconciled us. It made an atonement you and I could not do on our own. “He bore the punishment that makes us whole; by His wounds we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

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Nine Months of Hope

03-24-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow, March 25, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. We pause our penances for all solemnities during Lent. And, yes, this means that it is only nine months until Christmas!

We celebrate the visitation of the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her courageous “Yes” to God’s plan, not only for her, but for the salvation of the human race. Mary’s “yes” ushered in the Incarnation of the Lord. At that moment, the eternal Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity took on flesh and became man in time. Every time you and I say “yes” to God’s plan for us, every time we introduce another person to faith in Jesus Christ, we continue the Incarnation.

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Be a Saint - There's Nothing Else

03-17-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When many people work together toward one goal, the goal is not only accomplished faster and better, but also those working toward the goal grow together in unity. In the holy season of Lent, the entire Mystical Body of Christ – you, me, and the whole Church throughout the world – has entered the spiritual desert with Jesus to fast and pray toward the goal of greater holiness. If done well, our Lenten practices will refine our focus, polish our spiritual life, and free us from persistent sinful habits.

A lady once told me (don’t worry – it was a very long time ago and not at this parish!) that she didn’t like the notion that “holiness” was our goal. She thought no one could understand it, and it didn’t seem very attainable. So she wanted to know what was a different goal she should try. I hated to break it to her, but there isn’t one.

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Into the Desert With Jesus

03-10-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” – St. Matthew 9:15 Into the desert with Jesus we go once again to fast and pray. Why bother? Well, Jesus did it (that should be enough reason), and He gives us instruction on how we should do it (see Matt. 6:16-18). Also, all the great Saints practiced it. “Fasting gives birth to prophets and strengthens the powerful. Fasting is a good safeguard for the soul, a steadfast companion for the body, a weapon for the valiant, and a gymnasium for athletes. Fasting repels temptations, anoints unto piety. In war it fights bravely, in peace it teaches stillness.” – St. Basil the Great
Jesus’ bride, the Church, gives us help. Here are the standards for Catholics in Lent:

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Becoming the Child of God You Are

03-03-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a gift and a blessing it was to have Sr. Magdalena and Sr. Mary Avila here for our parish mission! I hope you were able to join us for at least part of the mission. It was a superb preparation for the holy season of Lent. Also, please pray for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. They are a terrific example of a thriving religious community with around 140 sisters and a median age of 31. Their primary apostolate is teaching in schools. May God continue to bless them, and may their words to us in the parish mission bear great fruit!

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