Respect for the Dead

06-25-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

“The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.” (Para 2447, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

So, burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. All faithful Catholics certainly deserve a proper Catholic funeral Mass and burial. All too often, in my short time here, I see that faithful Catholics are not offered a funeral Mass. I don’t know all the reasons for why that happens, but I do know that a Catholic funeral Mass is the highest form of prayer that can be offered for a deceased loved one. Why would a person not want that for someone they love?

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The Joy of Being a Father!

06-18-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

This weekend our secular world reminds us to honor, love and pay proper respect to our fathers. They, along with our mothers of course, gave us life. We look to them to help us in life, to teach us how to work, how to be a good citizen, how to love our country and most importantly, how to love our God and those who surround us.

My dad, Woodrow Charles Wilson was born on June 25th. He died on May 11, 1977, but if he were alive today, he would be 110 years old on the 25th. My father was not overly affectionate, but we always knew that he loved us…all nine of us. We grew up poor, but we were never hungry. I learned many things from my father. He taught me to be honest in word and in deed. He always emphasized that we should not be prejudiced against people of a different race and treat them equally. My father did not practice his Seventh Day Adventist faith, but he always would take us to our church, Bethany Lutheran Church and he never spoke against the faith.

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Pride Month: In whom should we have pride?

06-11-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

June is known as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus principally because the solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated during this month. This year, the solemnity falls on June 16. The date changes each year because it is celebrated on the Friday after the Corpus Christi octave, or the Friday after the second Sunday after Pentecost. The feast dates back to 1673, when a French nun who belonged to the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines) in eastern France began to receive visions about the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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0th Class Reunion at West Point

06-04-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

As I write this, I am attending the 50th Anniversary of my graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I must tell you that it’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years, but I don’t think that both my driver’s license and my birth certificate are incorrect!

I don’t know the exact number, but we have over 550 classmates that are back for our reunion out of about 944 that graduated in 1973. Thank God for nametags or otherwise we would not recognize one another. In our lives, a lot of water has gone “under the bridge” or “over the dam” as they say. 115 of our classmates have died and we will have a special memorial service for those who died within the past year. I will have the privilege of praying the benediction at that service.

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Wind and tongues of fire ...

05-28-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today the earthquake that shook the entire universe and turned humanity upside down is happening once again. The coming of the Holy Spirit. It's true that Easter Sunday will continue being the center of history; but if there had never been a Pentecost, Easter would only be an event of the past. The Holy Spirit makes Christ actual and contemporary in every age.

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Science & Engineering Design Approved at 90% and more...

05-21-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

SEA Academy - There was a meeting of the Diocesan Building Renovation Advisory Committee (BRAC) on May 11th. They reviewed the design for our Science and Engineering Academy for our School in great detail. The good news is that they approved us at the 90% design stage. This means that we are on track with our plan to break ground for the Academy in late June. We extend a huge thank you to all who donated and pledged so very generously! It is truly amazing to come into a parish and see such a huge project being undertaken and to have the cash and pledges in hand. Thanks so much to our fund-raising committee, the Finance Council and all who have worked so hard and faithfully to get us to this stage. May all of us be faithful to keep praying for the success of this project. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

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Why is your son or daughter not attending St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School??

05-14-2023Pastor's LetterFr. Richard C. Wilson

Dear Friends in Christ,

This is truly an exciting time in our parish school’s history. Soon we will begin to see construction on our new campus expansion, the Saint Mary Help of Christians Catholic School Science and Engineering Academy. With the increased physical space that the new addition will provide, we will also have the opportunity to increase our enrollment capacity! We rejoice for the ability to expand the work of one of the Church’s most important missions, educating our youth. News is spreading throughout the community of our growth, and we have seen an increased number of tours of our school and new family enrollments. Before we fill all our spots with students from the community, we want to give every opportunity to enroll our parish families first.

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Who is Jesus?...Seriously...Who is He to you?

05-07-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

Just before being elected Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger warned that we live in a “dictatorship of relativism.” This philosophy basically says that everyone's personal ideas about what is true or false, right or wrong are equally valid, as if there were no objective truth or right at all. People of our modern world consider everything to be relative; they don’t believe that there could be a “truth, a way” to which they can commit their lives. In our Gospel today, Thomas doubted, but Christ gave him the clearest answer possible: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

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The Voice of the Shepherd

04-30-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

We live in a culture filled with raucous noise. In the midst of so many voices and so much noise all around us, can we still pick out the voice of Christ saying, “I am the good shepherd?”

Jesus is the Shepherd, but also the gate of the sheepfold: the word “gate” implies an entrance. In a word full of urgent, existential questions, Jesus is the answer that gives meaning to our existence, the teacher that teaches us authentic truth. He is the only gate that leads to happiness and life. “He who enters through me will be saved,” he says so clearly. To enter by this door means much more than passively holding our baptismal certificate, the sacrament signifying our entrance in the church; it means hearing his voice and following him.

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Eucharistic Revival…and we bid farewell to Msgr. Willie

04-23-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

The source and summit of our Catholic faith is the Most Holy Eucharist. With that in mind, the USCCB is promoting three years of Eucharistic renewal within our parishes and missions. Here at St. Mary Help of Christians, we are fortunate to be one of six parishes to host a special event of the National Eucharistic Revival. A Eucharistic Revival Mission Night is coming to us on Friday! Specifically, Friday, April 28th from 6:00-7:30pm at Old St. Mary’s following the daily Mass.

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Do You Desire God's Divine Mercy?

04-16-2023Pastor's LetterRev. Richard C. Wilson, VF

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Lord Jesus, the Risen One is coming today to open our eyes, just like He did for Thomas, so that we can have a new perspective on our lives. His Spirit enlightens us and strengthens us with a new life that fills us with joy and peace. “If then you were raised with Christ,” says St. Paul, “seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” (Col 3:1-4) Christ rose from the dead, but He did not stop there: he promised that each of us would also one day rise again. St. Paul teaches us that our faith allows us to wait hopefully for our own resurrection, and this hope will give us the spiritual strength necessary to break the bonds of sin.

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