Feast of Christ the King

11-26-2017Pastor'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?

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November is National Black Catholic History Month

11-19-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

November is National Black Catholic History Month. "The contributions to the Church and to society by black Catholics such as Fr. Augustine Tolton, Sr. Elizabeth Drexel, founder of Xavier University in New Orleans, and countless others are remembered and celebrated this month. The three million black Catholics and all Catholics in the United States must rejoice in what has been accomplished and strive to add greatly to this work of faith.

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Veneration of Relic of Venerable Father Solanus Casey, OFM, Cap.

11-12-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Tuesday, November 14, we have a special treat for the 5:30pm Mass. After the Mass, we will have the opportunity to venerate a second-class relic of Venerable Father Solanus Casey, OFM, Cap., who will be beatified on November 18, after which he will be known as Blessed Solanus Casey. (Beatification is the step just before canonization.) Father Solanus "spent most of his adult life and ministry in Detroit, caring for the sick, poor and downtrodden and lending a listening ear and caring heart to the thousands who came to him for counsel, wisdom and aid" (The Michigan Catholic, May 9, 2017). He truly lived a Christ-centered life that inspired thousands to love God. Long before his death in 1957, people already came far and wide to ask his prayers. Over 8,000 people attended his funeral. Though he died of skin cancer with many lesions, his skin was found healed of the lesions when his body was exhumed. Come to Mass to hear more about this remarkable gift to the Church in the United States – and to the world. Father Solanus Casey, pray for us!

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Consider Electronic Giving

11-05-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are "moving dirt!" The south wing of our church's courtyard is officially underway. When finished (hopefully by May), we will have more much-needed handicappedaccessible meeting space. By now, the new St. Teresa of Calcutta Hall (a.k.a., Mother Teresa Hall) should be actively hosting our various ministries and study groups in its spacious interior. Once the porch is constructed on the side facing the garden, we will have an official blessing and open house. Mother Teresa Hall was accomplished, not by any capital campaign, but by generous donations of time and treasure from your generous fellow parishioners. We indeed have a very generous parish!

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All Saints Day / All Souls Day

10-29-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, a reminder that this Wednesday is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. On All Saints Day we ask the prayers and help of the great multitude of all the Saints who are not officially canonized, but are nevertheless reigning with Jesus Christ gloriously in heaven. Vigil Masses on 31 Oct. at 5:30pm (church) and 7pm (Spanish – Old St. Mary's); and on 1 Nov. at 7:00am (Old St. Mary's), and 8:30am, 12:00pm, and 5:30pm (church).

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Why We Genuflect

10-22-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am happy to give you a couple of updates to some projects. First, the South Wing building – the "left arm" of the church courtyard: Contractor mobilization will begin any day now. We are blessed to have such caring participants and support from our diocese to bring this final phase of construction to completion with a projected date of completion of June 2018. As a reminder, this building – all handicapped-accessible – will house a gathering space about the size of upstairs Smith Hall, a conference room, and a small gift shop.

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Blessing Oneself with Holy Water

10-15-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last week I explained the reason we will be invited to offer, for a time, the Prayer to St. Michael after Sunday Masses (after the dismissal and before the final hymn). May each of us "put on the full armor of God" in this spiritual battle, which is "not against flesh and blood, but … against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:11, 12).

Pope St. John Paul II requested the faithful to take up again the praying of the Prayer to St. Michael: "May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Eph. 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the [19th] century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. … I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world." [Pope St. John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 24 April 1994] Amen!

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St. Michael, Protect Us

10-08-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the morning that I am writing this, along with all of you I awoke to the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, this time at a concert venue in Las Vegas. I am certain that all of us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, are terribly disturbed by the lack of respect for life that seems so common in our day. Of course, as His disciples, our only response is to do good. We must increase our love of God and of our neighbor. Only love will conquer – not hate. The website for our U.S. Bishops had these words: "No matter what the darkness, it will never overcome the light. May the Lord of all gentleness surround all those who are suffering from this evil; and for those who have been killed we pray, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them." May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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Upcoming Chocolate Festival

10-01-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Almost daily I am renewed in joy because of the generosity and selfless love of the people of this parish. The Bishop asked you to help the victims of hurricane Harvey, and you responded with almost $30,000 in aid. God bless each of you for your generous heart. With the most recent natural disasters – hurricanes Irma and Maria, the earthquakes in Mexico – we may be called upon to help again. In particular, the destruction caused by hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico and the impact of the recent earthquakes have touched the lives of many of our parishioners in a very personal way. Let us be generous in helping as we always have been.

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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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