Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
God always provides us with amazing opportunities to make a fresh start. In terms of faith, a soul is born again in Baptism. With a good, honest Confession, we are restored yet again to the beauty of our baptismal holiness through Christ’s forgiveness.
Even in everyday life, God allows us to make new beginnings with marvelous possibilities for the future. As I write, I just left the first day of St. Mary’s School. How exciting to see faces old and new, excited and a bit not-so-sure, but all with the same opportunities for a fresh start and a new beginning! Like always we begin by invoking the Holy Spirit and entrusting our path to Him. Of course, it’s not too late to give your child an amazing education in the loving environment of faith. Simply contact the school office at 803-649-2071 or email our principal, Ms. Charlene Krushinsky, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This time of year also gives new beginnings to our other parish offerings. Our Sunday School of Christian Formation (a.k.a. CCD) begins anew on Sunday, September 8, 9:45–10:45am. Classes will be held in St. Mary School buildings and in Smith Hall. Registration forms and the calendar are available on the parish website at www.stmarys-aiken.org/ccd or in the parish office. The classes are open for all our children and youth K4-12.
Are you interesting in learning more about the Catholic faith? You’re invited to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes to learn more about the Catholic faith. There’s no obligation – just opportunity to learn. Classes Begin September 3 at 6:15-7:45pm in Mother Teresa Hall. Opening socials will be held Aug. 20 and Aug. 27 at 6:15pm, also in Mother Teresa Hall.
Women have long been a solid foundation in the spiritual life of the Church. However, we need strong, faith-filled men just as much. Our St. Mary’s Men’s Ministry will soon begin offering That Man Is You (TMIY). “It combines the best research from science with the teachings of the Catholic faith and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of authentic men capable of transforming themselves, their families and greater society” (from the flyer). Register online at www.tmiy.org. Be a man after God’s own heart.
Finally, a recent and rather alarming Pew Research poll of Catholics found that 75% of Catholics believe the bread and wine at Mass after consecration are merely a symbol of Christ’s Body and Blood. I will be preaching about this, but in the meantime, in the words of the great writer Flannery O’Conner, writing about attending a party where this came up, “[Mrs. Broadwater] thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, ‘Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.’” She continued, “it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.” Friends, my words exactly. Since I literally would not be here were it a symbol, I encourage you to pray and study. I’ll have more to say later.
Yours in Christ, substantially present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,