Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!

08-26-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some great news: Beginning September 1, we are pleased to welcome Fr. Raymond Flores as our new parochial vicar. Father Raymond is a native of Brooklyn, NY, as are more than a few of our parishioners! He is 32 years old and was ordained in 2013. Father Raymond brings with him the joy and enthusiasm of our relatively newly ordained priests, and we are grateful the Bishop has assigned him to St. Mary’s. Next week’s bulletin will include an introduction from Father himself.

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The Waning Summer Sun

08-19-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We give a warm welcome to Fr. Jorge Fernandez, who will graciously help us in the interim until our new parochial vicar arrives in September. Father Jorge (pronounced “Hor-hay”) is a religious order priest of the Xaverian Missionaries of Yarumal and has served recently in Kenya for fourteen years. Father Jorge and his congregation have done a marvelous work of continuing to bring the Good News to the peoples of the world. Welcome, Father Jorge!

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Farewell from Father Michel

08-12-2018AllFr. Michel Bineen Mukad

Dear St. Mary’s,

Near the end of March of this year, Aiken was named by the Southern Living magazine as the best small town in the South. At that time, Mayor Rick Osbon echoed the famous expression by J. David Jameson, the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce President and CEO: “If you're lucky enough to live in Aiken, you're lucky enough.”

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Consuming Jesus, the Bread of Life

08-05-2018Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Be sure to come out and show your appreciation to Fr. Michel for his wonderful priestly ministry in our parish. Father Michel’s farewell reception will be next Sunday, August 12, in St. Angela Hall from 2:00 to 3:30pm. On August 13, Fr. Michel begins at St. Louis in Dillon, SC, and Infant Jesus Mission in Marion, SC. How blessed we have been to have Fr. Michel for a little over a year! (Please note that Father Michel has requested that if people wish to give any monetary gifts, they be directed to St. Mary’s for the St. Juan Diego statue planned for the north garden.)

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Summer News

07-29-2018Pastor's Letter Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I announced at Mass last Sunday, with sadness we will soon say goodbye to Father Michel as he undertakes the next chapter in his priestly ministry as Administrator of St. Louis Catholic Church in Dillon, SC, and Infant Jesus Mission in Marion, SC (not far from Florence, SC). Always we know in the back of our minds that our parochial vicars are here for a time and then “graduate” to leading parishes of their own. Mark your calendars: Father Michel's last Sunday as parochial vicar of St. Mary’s will be August 12. We will have a special farewell reception for him that day in St. Angela Hall from 2:00-3:30pm. And please pray for Fr. Michel and his bright future. The process of naming a new parochial vicar is in the works, and we hope to be able to announce that soon.

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Living God's Plan - Not Mine

07-22-2018Pastor's Letter Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last Sunday was our summer seminarian Rafa’s last with us, and he has departed to capture some vacation time before soon heading back to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. Although you may have caught only a glimpse of him at Sunday and, perhaps, daily Masses, Rafa was extremely active, most especially with our youth programs. Please continue to pray for Rafa as he prepares to enter 2nd Theology; and remember to pray for all of our seminarians. We are grateful to God for their willing sacrifice.

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A Pilgrim People

07-15-2018Pastor's LetterDeacon Bob and Donna Pierce

Dear St. Mary’s Family,

We want to thank Fr. Wilson for allowing us to share his column. From May 26 to June 7, we had the privilege of walking the Camino Primitivo, the original pilgrimage route to the body of St. James the Apostle in Compostela, Spain. This route is shorter (only 210 miles) than the route Fr. Wilson took a couple years ago, but was more remote and mountainous. It was quite a pilgrimage, beginning at the cathedral in Oviedo that contains the head cloth (cf. Jn 20:8) at Jesus’ burial, which is different than the shroud that covered his body. Our first rest day came eight days later in Lugo, where the cathedral has maintained perpetual adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist for over 1000 years. We experienced the pageantry of a Eucharistic procession in Lugo on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The pilgrimage ended in Compostela, at the relics of St. James, the brother of St. John the Evangelist.

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The True Happiness of Our Vocation

07-08-2018Pastor's LetterRafael Ghattas, Seminarian

Father Wilson asked me to write something for St Mary's bulletin. I apologize in advance, it is my first time doing so. To begin, allow me to share with you one of my favorite verses in the bible, which is John 21:15.

"Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'"

This encounter between Peter and Jesus comes at the last chapter of the gospel of John, and I am pretty sure John did not put it there by coincidence. John meant to end his gospel with this intimate dialogue between the two old friends, Jesus and Peter.

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God Bless America

07-01-2018Pastor's LetterFr. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, please note that Mass on Wednesday, July 4th is moved to 9:00am in Old St. Mary’s. Also, join us for a special Holy Hour and Rosary for our nation before Mass, beginning at 8:00am.

Below is a wonderful prayer for our nation based on one by Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop in the United States, composed in 1791 for the inauguration of George Washington as President and recited in all parishes. May you all have a safe and happy holiday.

–Father Wilson

We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed Your glory to all nations, to preserve the works of your mercy; that your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Your name.

We pray You, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, Robert, all other bishops and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Your people into the ways of salvation.

We pray You O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the president of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Your people over whom he presides. Let the light of Your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, and may perpetuate to us the blessings liberty.

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He must increase…

06-24-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“He must increase; I must decrease.” – St. John 3:30

Before continuing with our Ordinary – or numbered – Time, we pause to celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Generally, the Church only celebrates the birth into heaven of Saints, i.e., their day of death. But in fact, there are three earthly birthdays – or nativities – that we celebrate: Jesus at Christmas (of course), the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept. 8), and today (June 24), St. John the Baptist.

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A Safe Environment for Everyone

06-17-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been fifteen years since the implementation of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" in the United States. Our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Miscellany, reported the results of the most recent audit conducted between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, by the independent auditor StoneBridge Business Partners. I thought it an opportune time to comment on our efforts here in the Diocese of Charleston and St. Mary's parish in particular to ensure the safest environment possible for our young people and vulnerable adults.

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Making Time For God

06-10-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past Wednesday was our final school Mass for the academic year and also the final school Mass for our retiring principal, Mrs. Marguerite "Peggy" Wertz. We have been extremely blessed to have the leadership of Mrs. Wertz these many years. Saint Mary's School has flourished under her capable guidance. I am personally grateful to Mrs. Wertz not only for her expert hand in forming our children in faith and knowledge, but also for staying a whole year past the time she planned to retire in order for us to find the best successor. So, let's all give a collective, "Thank you, Mrs. Wertz!"

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Feast of Corpus Christi

06-03-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Welcome to our summer seminarian, Rafael Ghattas! Rafa is entering 2nd year theology at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, Texas. Rafa's home parish is St. Andrew's in Myrtle Beach. Be sure to give him a warm St. Mary's welcome when you see him!

"This is my Body… This is my Blood of the covenant" (Mark 14:22, 24). "My Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink." (John 6:54-55).

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