A New Catechisical Year is About to Begin!

08-18-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Parents, please know that we want to help you in teaching the Gospel to all our parish children, whether attending our parish school or another school. For those not in St. Mary’s School, please note that we offer Christian Formation (CCD) on Sunday’s for children K4-12.

Sunday Morning Christian Formation Classes will meet on Sundays at 9:45am – 10:45am, starting Sunday, September 8th. Classes will be held in St. Mary School buildings and in Smith Hall. Registration forms and the calendar are available on the parish website at http://www.stmarys-aiken.org/ccd or in the parish office.

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Let the Church Roll On . . .

08-11-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
August 10th marked eight years since I came to St. Mary’s as your pastor. When I arrived, I was immediately impressed by the warmth and devotion of the faithful here. The loving support that you have shown me personally over the past few weeks has only increased my admiration for the good people of this parish. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all who have expressed their prayers and support. I could not be more grateful. It’s time now to get back into the mission. Saint Mary’s is a large parish with many wonderful ministries and opportunities to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s dive back into the mission with renewed dedication and enthusiasm for what Christ has called us to do – to learn how to be a saint. So, let’s do it…

Don’t forget this Thursday, August 15, is a beloved Holy Day of Obligation, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Masses will be Aug. 14 (Vigil) at 5:30pm in the church and 7:00pm (Spanish) in Old St. Mary’s; the Aug. 15 at 7:00am in Old St. Mary’s; and 12:00pm & 5:30pm in the church.

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Rising to the Occasion

08-04-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

My very dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has been a challenging week for our parish, and I am grateful for the prayers you have offered for our entire Church community. Please continue to keep those prayers going.

If you were not able to attend Mass over the weekend, let me share with you some news. Father Raymond, our parochial vicar, was placed on administrative leave for engaging in behavior inappropriate for a priest. During this time, he is not allowed to perform priestly functions.

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Spiritual Food-A Reflection from Bishop Barron

07-28-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ – Please enjoy this excerpt from Bishop Robert Barron at wordonfire.org, which he wrote after spending several days in the hospital unable to move or eat very much. God bless! – Father Wilson

“Without food, the body quickly collapses; without spiritual food, the soul atrophies. It really is as simple as that. Though materialists of all stripes want to deny it, there is a dimension of the human person that goes beyond the merely physical, a dynamism that connects him or her with God. Classically, this link to the eternal is called the soul. …

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Sacred Time

07-21-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our summer marches on. People have been enjoying well-deserved vacations. We’ve enjoyed many visitors to Aiken and to St. Mary’s in particular. It’s hard to believe that in about a month, school will begin yet another new year. “Tempus fugit” my grandmother’s clock said – “Time flies.” It is good to take a pause and remind ourselves of the value and sacredness of time itself. This time is given to us as an invaluable gift. Let us learn to use it ever more wisely with the help of God’s grace from the gifts of His divine life within us – the Sacraments – to bring faith, hope, and love to our families, to our friends, to visitors and guests, and within ourselves. Time is precious and, except in movies alone, our experience of it marches one way only. Never wish time away – it never comes back. We must use each moment as a precious gift and value each soul as the priceless treasure he or she is.

Of course, one way to sanctify time is to join in the ancient practice of the Liturgy of the Hours. We are blessed at St. Mary’s to have this regularly on Mondays and Wednesdays, currently at 7:30 and 11:30am. (See the bulletin for the normal schedule, which resumes September 4.)

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Life is Worth Living

07-14-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
One thing people look for to determine if we are alive is if we have a heartbeat. That seems normal, except in our day and age. A priest friend of mine, Fr. Charles Byrd, recently wrote a thought-provoking reflection about companies such as Netflix and Disney threatening to stop production in his home state of Georgia, if they enact a law protecting a child’s life after his or her heartbeat is detected. Catholics stand for dignity of both mother and child. Here follows his excellent reflection.
– Father Wilson

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The Love of Friendship

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recently, I came across this great little article about a type of love we seem to be losing – Friendship. Enjoy this except by an unknown author. (Note: The David and Jonathan mentioned are from 1 Samuel 18.) – Father Wilson

“Once upon a time, there was friendship. Once upon a time, society accepted that the love of friends could be the single most important thing in a person’s life, and they did more than just accept, they celebrated the fact. Throughout history, discourses and sermons have been written in praise of friendship. When Alfred Tennyson’s friend Arthur Hugh Hallam died tragically young in 1833, he spent the next seventeen years writing the great poem “In Memoriam” as a memorial to his friend; and Hallam is a first name used among the Tennyson family to this day. …

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