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.

"The presence and contributions of African Catholics range from the earliest centuries of the Catholic Church to the present. Each generation is called to maintain and spread the faith of the 'one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.' Let Catholics from all the nations of the world rejoice in the Gospel and the gifts presented by members of every race who bear the name of Catholic." (from an article by Fr. Raymond Petrucci)

To learn more and celebrate the achievements of our brothers and sisters of African heritage, please join us Tuesday, November 21 in Mother Teresa Hall at 6:30pm for a special movie presentation on St. Josephine Bakhita. Pope Benedict celebrated St. Josephine as his main example in his encyclical on Spe Salvi on Christian Hope. Please note that this Thursday, November 23, we will have a special Mass at 9:00am for Thanksgiving Day. (There will not be confessions or a 5:30pm Mass this day.) Also, the school Mass is moved from Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8:30am in Old St. Mary's.

As a reflection on Thanksgiving Day, I offer the following excerpt from an article on Catholic Online. Let us pray for our nation and our world. – Father Wilson

"During his proclamation address Lincoln said, 'It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gracious gifts of the Most High God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.' …

"Catholicism is graced with an abundance of truth. For instance, it sees order, beauty, goodness, meaning, and purpose in creation. It sees all these things, and more, rooted in an all-powerful, all-good, all-loving God. It also sees a glorious destiny for the children of God, which begins in this life when we are united with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Catholics can offer these truths to our nation and help move America toward greater justice and blessings now and in the years to come.

"Through the intercession of our nation's saints, we pray for the protection and well being of America. This is God's country. Let us give Him the thanks He is due this day, and everyday, by living as His true children. May God bless America!"