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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Each Person Has Dignity

01-27-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to reflect a little on my recent experience with members of our youth and the thousands gathered this year on January 18 for the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C. This was my ninth time at the March, having gone all six years during my time in seminary and three since. This time was the most people I’ve ever seen there, the vast majority being youth and young adults. How beautiful!

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Cutting Off the Chain of Hate

01-20-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Through all the nearly eighteen years of my priesthood, I have been truly blessed to be associated with a Catholic school for all but three of those years. And what a blessing it has been! For the kickoff of Catholic Schools Week next weekend, you will see several of our St. Mary’s School students leading some of our Masses. We will also have an open house on Sun, Jan 27 from 9:30am–Noon. Donuts, juice, and coffee will await you! Even if your own children are all grown up, come by and check out your parish school, which forms the minds, hearts, and spirits of the next generation. It is our greatest apostolate. Support your St. Mary’s School!

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Renewing Our Baptismal Call

01-13-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Monday evening, January 14 at 7:00pm in St. Angela Hall, St. Mary’s will host the entire Aiken Deanery for a visit from our Bishop. During this town hall-style meeting, Bishop Guglielmone will talk about the current crisis in the Church. He also plans to answer your related questions. Of course, wecontinue to pray for the healing of all victims of abuse. With God’s help, the Church can truly become the place of healing and love we are meant to be.

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Seeking the Light of Truth

01-06-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, a farewell. After several years of devoted service, Deacon Pat Mongan and his wife Ellen are moving to their new home in Florida. We have been greatly enriched by their presence here at St. Mary’s. Hopefully, they will have one last Sunday with us so that we can say a proper farewell. May Godrichly bless them and their family. Thank you, Deacon Pat and Ellen!

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Thank You!

12-30-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

A big thank you to all those who helped make our Christmas celebrations spectacular. Thank you to the wonderful voices and leadership of all of St. Mary’s choirs. It takes much effort to bring us such beautiful music. We are grateful for all the volunteers who set up for Masses, proclaim the word of God, help the priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion, usher, and those who clean and prepare behind the scenes so well that we never know the amount of work it takes. What looks effortless is far from it! And, of course, a very special thank you to our “elves,” who decorated our churches and gave us the beautiful atmosphere for worship. To all – thank you! You help make St. Mary’s great!

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The Christmas Challenge

12-23-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” – St. John 1:14 The solemn celebration of the Incarnation of our God begins. Incarnation literally means “taking on flesh.” We celebrate the amazing fact that God the Son, the eternal, Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, through the power of the Holy Spirit, took on human flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and was born for us at Christmas to be our Savior. And yet, in times past as today, the Savior is not always well received:

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Rejoice in the Lord Always!

12-16-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The third Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of joy. The official entrance text for the Mass comes from St. Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, “Gaudete !... Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near” (4:4-5). The vestments that the priest and deacon along with the third candle of the Advent wreath are colored rose, the color of hope and anticipation since it is the color of the sky just before the dawn.

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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 celebrationtoday (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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