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?

READ MORE

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:

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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!”

READ MORE

Faith is Reasonable

09-30-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Do you have a beloved pet? Maybe a horse or even a llama, alpaca, or other favorite animals you care for? All animals of any species are welcome to our annual Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis, this Thursday, October 4 at 3:30pm on the rectory lawn (corner of Park Ave. and York St.). Every animal will receive a special pet medal, blessed for this occasion!

READ MORE

The Pastor's Corner

09-23-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although the effects of Hurricane Florence were little to nothing here in Aiken, the storm has brought loss of life and devastating flooding from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina north into eastern North Carolina. You may wish to donate towards recovery efforts. Two Catholic charities that are helping and that have online donation are the Knights of Columbus – www.kofc.org, and Catholic Relief Services – www.crs.org. The United States is not the only place where recent natural disasters have hit. From extreme flooding caused by monsoon rains in Kerala, India, to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and China, let us pray fervently for those who have been affected in any way by natural disasters worldwide. Also, may those who have died find eternal rest in God.

READ MORE

Making A Truly Safe Environment

09-16-2018Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Now that a couple of weeks have passed since the jarring revelations in the recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, I’d like to do two things: (1) let you know what our diocese (and every diocese to my knowledge) has put in place since 2001, and (2) to encourage you to write to those bishops and even the Pope, who are able to put in place whatever changes are necessary.

READ MORE

The Scandal – and Hope – of the Cross

09-09-2018Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Now more than ever, we need to get to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection. This is what started it all, and this is the entire reason you and I are here. Do you feel adequate in your knowledge of and friendship with Christ? If not, don’t worry because Alpha is here! Alpha presents the basic Gospel message and provides an opportunity to encounter Jesus. It is a series of sessions that typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question of faith and is designed to create conversation. It provides a safe, non-threatening environment to invite your friends to come, freely explore the major questions of life, and through this experience, be introduced to God’s love for them. Alpha starts this weekend in Oswald Hall (across from St. Angela Hall), 9:45–10:45am. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Jackson at 803-642-2676 or: mjackson@charlestondiocese.org.

READ MORE

Greetings From Fr. Raymond

09-02-2018Pastor's LetterFr. Raymond Flores

This weekend I’m giving my column over to our new parochial vicar, Fr. Raymond Flores. Please pray for Fr. Raymond as he begins his new assignment here at St. Mary’s. Welcome Father Raymond! - Fr. Wilson

READ MORE