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!"
Friday, June 8, the Diocese of Charleston joyfully received a new priest through the Laying on of Hands and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Guglielmone ordained Fr. Rhett Williams to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ. Please pray for Fr. Williams and for all of our seminarians, who are all on retreat this weekend. (Our summer seminarian, Rafa, is away with his seminarian brothers as well.) Please pray also for more men to answer the call to priesthood. God's call is not lacking – we need courageous men to answer as Mary did – "Yes!"
Speaking of seminarians, if all goes as planned, our own Will Frei will be home next weekend after his first two years in Rome at the Pontifical North American College. It is hard to believe that two years have passed since he began major seminary. On his current track, Will will be ordained a deacon next year and a priest in 2020, which is also the bicentennial of the founding of our diocese. Please be sure to say hello to Will if you see him!
People often wonder what it takes to "feel" like they are making a connection with God. The answer is alarmingly simple. First, we have to let go of insisting that we must have a "feeling" or some type of emotional response in order for us to believe that we've had an encounter with God. Our human emotions and sentiments are always in flux, and we can deceive ourselves into thinking that if we don't feel a particular response that we are looking for, then we haven't encountered God. We end up demanding an encounter with God on our personal terms. But the God who holds all existence into being cannot be put into such a box.
Instead, seek God first by an act of the will, most especially by making time to pray. You won't "find" time – it must be made. The most effective type of prayer is silence – to just be with God. It is said that God's first language is silence; everything else is translation. Try encountering God's presence in the Real Presence. Go spend some time in Ste Claire Chapel where the Most Blessed Sacrament is exposed twenty-four hours a day. Kneel or sit, but pour our your heart to Jesus truly present, and allow Him to silently fill your heart up with the unbounded love of His Sacred Heart. (Ste Claire Chapel is open to the public during daylight hours.)
Let us pray for each other,