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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The Purpose of Life

02-24-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Preparation is work, but we usually do it because of the reward it brings. When someone is coming over to dinner, we make the house clean and welcoming in addition to preparing the food. This ensures we have a good, relaxing time with someone we love and admire. To get a job we want, preparation takes years of study and tests in order to obtain, perhaps, a degree that would make us more appealing to an employer. If we want to win at a sport, we prepare throughpractice, refining what it takes to do it better.

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Be Bold. Be Catholic.

02-17-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last Sat, Feb 9, was truly a blessing both to me personally and to our entire diocese as our bishop ordained seventeen new deacons, one of whom was my brother, George. I even had the privilege to vest my brother in the vestments of his office, the stole and dalmatic. This Sunday, February 17, I will be at my brother’s home parish of St. Paul in Spartanburg to celebrate Mass with George as the deacon. Thank you for allowing me to share my joy with you, my parish family.

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Get FORMED to get formed!

02-10-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many have already signed into the new parish resource, FORMED, and have told me how informative and enriching it has been for you. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s easy and free. Just go to www.stmarys-aiken.formed.org and follow the easy steps to register. You’ll have lots of content that is included at no cost to you under the On Demand and Community tabs. Under the On Demand tab, you’ll find subcategories of free content under the tabs, Study, Watch, Listen, and Read. You’ll also find abundant content for children and in Spanish. Then, if you like, you can purchase content by clicking on the Market tab. To return to the free content, just click the On Demand tab.

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The Temple of God

02-03-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“The anniversary of a church’s dedication is celebrated with the rank of a solemnity.” – Roman Pontifical, Rite of Dedication of a Church, 27. Each year, Mother Church asks us to recall the day our church buildings were consecrated and dedicated to divine worship. While many places may not observe this important feast, it remains significant, especially since most of you made this place possible through your prayers and sacrifices. It has been four years since we gathered to set apart this space, the work of human hands, for the worship of God. The twelve consecration candles surrounding the inside of the church will be lighted for our Masses, which are only lighted for the most important celebrations. These symbolize the twelve gates of the new and heavenly Jerusalem – the Church as the Mystical Body and spotless bride of Christ. The crosses below them are where the Bishop anointed the walls with the sacred chrism oil, as you and I are anointed at Confirmation.

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