Website Update and Upcoming Special Events

01-14-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, I am excited to announce that we have launched a new, even more user-friendly version of the St. Mary's website. We have several improvements available, including on-line registration, e-giving registration, podcast homilies have returned, and more. Why not make us your home page to keep up with the latest goings on?

We have a few very special upcoming events to be sure to put on your calendar:

First, the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will culminate on January 25 when St. Mary's joins St. Paul's Lutheran Church with a special, joint Vespers (Evening Prayer) at 7:00pm at St. Paul. Both Father Wilson and the senior Pastor of St. Paul's, Jeff Erbskorn, will preach about the meaning of the most recent document, Declaration on the Way (2015), which is both an expression of the agreements achieved by Lutherans and Catholics on the central topics of Church, ministry, and the Most Holy Eucharist, and an indication of differences still remaining to be resolved. We should always recall that, at the Last Supper, Jesus prayed "that all may be one" (John 17:21). The highest level governing bodies of both Catholics and Lutherans continue in dialogue. Although much remains to be done before full communion (intercommunion) is possible, we look to acknowledge and celebrate the progress that has been made and to pray to the Holy Spirit for unity. So, join us on Jan. 25 at 7PM at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 961 Trail Ridge Road in Aiken.

Second, in the Church's sacred liturgy, the anniversary of the dedication of a church is considered an annual solemnity of the highest order. It allows a local parish community to celebrate and renew its resolve to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world, beginning with Aiken. This year, we will again as in years past move the Anniversary of the Dedication of St. Mary Help of Christians to the closest Sunday, which is the weekend of February 3 and 4. The 11:00AM Mass on February 4 will be a special bilingual (English/Spanish) Mass, just as we did last year to celebrate as one community in one faith.

Finally, it's hard to believe but Lent is just a month away. It is such a magnificent time for each of us to delve more deeply into our faith and work to overcome our pride and selfishness to become more like Christ. You will notice, however, that Ash Wednesday (a day on which Catholics fast and also abstain from meat) falls on – you got it – St. Valentine's Day, February 14. Since all who are able and of age must observe the fast, might I suggest to all of St. Mary's many lovebirds that they move their celebrations to Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, February 13, which is already a day of feasting and celebration. You'll even probably get that reservation you want by going the night before! It's great being Catholic…

  • Let us pray for each other,
  • Father Wilson