The linen wrappings were lying there…

03-31-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” This is the refrain from Psalm 118 that we shall be singing throughout the Easter season. It aptly summarizes the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Father has resurrected Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, in whom He delights. Our Lord has loved us to the point of giving his life for all of us.

READ MORE

Hosanna to the Son of David!

03-24-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today is a very special day. We come dressed for a feast and carrying palms in our hands because Holy Week is starting. For forty days we have followed the path of conversion and penance. There are two contradictory feelings in our hearts: on the one hand, joy at seeing Christ make a solemn entrance into Jerusalem and be proclaimed king; on the other, sorrow from knowing what he will suffer for us in a few days. Offended, betrayed, beaten, humiliated! We are going to see him climb up Calvary with the Cross on his shoulders and die for us.

READ MORE

Dying to produce fruit…

03-17-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today’s Gospel might have been powerful words of encouragement in the faith journey of persecuted early Christian community to whom the “beloved disciple” writes. During the festivals in Jerusalem some Greeks went to worship and wished to see Jesus through the help of disciples. To “see” Jesus is not just to look at Him, which is what those Greeks presumably wanted.

To “see” Jesus is to enter totally into his way of thinking, to understand why he had to suffer and die and rise again. Like the grain of wheat, Jesus must let go of everything, including his own life, in order to bring life to him and many others.

READ MORE

God sent His only Son...

03-10-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, the liturgy offers us an early scent of Easter joy. The celebrant's vestments are rose colored. It is “Laetare Sunday,” inviting us to a serene joy. The Entrance Antiphon cries out to us: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.”

God wants us to live an abundant life. The most basic psychology tells us that a person who does not live happily eventually becomes ill, both in body and spirit. However, our joy must be well-founded, it must be the expression of the serenity of living a life with full meaning. Otherwise, joy would degenerate into superficiality and folly. Saint Teresa of Ávila accurately distinguished between “holy joy” and “foolish joy.” The latter is only external, short-lived, and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

READ MORE

The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows

03-03-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Are you looking for another devotional prayer for your Lenten time of prayer, fasting and sacrifice? Have you considered the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows?

This devotion has a long history; it goes back to the Middle Ages. However, due to the church-approved Marian apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda in the 1980’s, this chaplet has increased in popularity. In her apparitions, Our Lady of Kibeho encouraged people to pray the Chaplet of the Seven sorrow to obtain the favor of repentance.

READ MORE

Let’s Read During Lent!

02-25-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

As you know, the Lenten penitential season is so much more than just giving up something, like coffee, chocolate or dessert. Increasing our reading of the Sacred Scriptures and meditating on them is an awesome practice to add to our lives during Lent. Also, most of us, me included, would benefit greatly from less screen time (be it the smartphone, the iPad, your computer or the “telly”) and more time reading good books. Many Catholics are not engaged in reading good and edifying books. We must be intentional if we are going to add more quality reading to our life. Lent is a good time to change our ways and add quality reading to our lives. Accordingly, I would like to offer a few suggestions for special reading during your Lenten season.

READ MORE

Lead us not into temptation...

02-18-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, the Church celebrates the liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent. The Gospel presents Jesus preparing for His public life. He goes into the desert where He spends forty days in prayer and penance. There, He is tempted by Satan.

We must prepare ourselves for the Easter Triduum. Satan is our great enemy. There are people who do not believe in him, saying he is a product of our imagination, or that he represents evil in the abstract, diluted among people and in the world. This is definitely not so!

READ MORE

Lent is upon us...

02-11-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last week we were blessed with a special Mass offered by the Most Reverend Robert Guglielmone, Bishop Emeritus. At that Mass, we celebrated the ninth anniversary of the dedication of our church and the Bishop also blessed 19 stunningly beautiful tapestries. What a special time that was for us as a parish! We were able to reflect upon our physical and spiritual heritage and to look forward and consider what God might have for us in the future.

READ MORE

Our Ninth Anniversary!

02-04-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Nine years ago, on the Feast of Candlemas, His Excellency Robert Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston dedicated our church. This marvelous event, this milestone, in the life of our parish was the result of many long years of prayer, sacrifice, and hard work by Father Gregory Wilson, his staff, and so many deeply committed volunteers. I think it is indisputably clear that our Lord and St. Mary Help of Christians have highly favored our parish.

READ MORE

Now is the Day of Salvation

01-28-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, Christ addresses us with His forceful cry, without doubts and with authority: “Quiet! Come out of him!” (Mk 1:25). He speaks to the spirits that live within us and prevent us from being free, as God has created and desired us to be.

Perhaps you may know that the first rule the founders of religious orders set up when establishing community life, is often that of silence: in a house where prayer is needed, silence and contemplation must reign. As the adage goes: “Noise makes no good, good makes no noise.” This is why Christ commands that evil spirit to be silent, because its duty is to surrender to the Word, who “became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) The evil spirits have no option but to obey the command of our Lord.

READ MORE

An Update on our School

01-21-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

St. Mary’s Catholic School has been back in session for about three weeks now. Enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year has begun, and interest is high at this point! If you have a child that you wish to enroll, please pick up an application located at the school office, in the narthex, or online at excelatstmarys.com. If you would like to find out more information first and learn more about our school, please call the school office to schedule a tour or visit the next open house on Friday, February 2nd from 9 am to 11 am. All active parishioners automatically receive tuition discounts and have access to payment plans. If you desire additional tuition assistance, please apply early!

READ MORE

Parish Mission, Jan 22-26, 2024

01-14-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

By the time you read this, we will be two weeks into the New Year! That’s hard for me to believe. The flip of that calendar page from December to January causes many of us to reflect on the past year and look to the new one with hope and optimism, considering changes in your life.

This would be a good time to attend our parish mission! From January 22nd to January 26th, we will be blessed to have Mr. Kyle Clement, SMD here for a five day parish mission.

READ MORE

Following the star…

01-07-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

The route of the Magi is a symbol of our path to Christ. Almost always we come from afar, across the desert of faith, surrounded by darkness. Some of us get disoriented, others get lost, some give up, but a few lift their eyes up to the sky and in the middle of the night discover the star. When we find the star, we must follow it with all hope and to persevere to the end. The Magi set out on their way, and they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him.” (Matt 2:2)

READ MORE