The Pastor's Corner

09-23-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although the effects of Hurricane Florence were little to nothing here in Aiken, the storm has brought loss of life and devastating flooding from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina north into eastern North Carolina. You may wish to donate towards recovery efforts. Two Catholic charities that are helping and that have online donation are the Knights of Columbus –, and Catholic Relief Services – The United States is not the only place where recent natural disasters have hit. From extreme flooding caused by monsoon rains in Kerala, India, to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and China, let us pray fervently for those who have been affected in any way by natural disasters worldwide. Also, may those who have died find eternal rest in God.

On a related note, I heard from Fr. Michel, whose parishes in Dillon and Marion were in the path of Florence. He and his parishioners are fine, but there is significant flooding. As of this past Monday, he wasn’t even able to make the drive to visit his mission in Marion. Please pray for him and his parishioners as they assess damages.

I wanted to say a few more words about the St. Michael prayer that we have added at the end of Masses. Pope Leo XIII composed a powerful prayer against evil and the evil one for the whole Church. This Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, as it is called, was widely known and prayed after every Mass. Indeed, many of you grew up with it. It was dropped around 1965. With the evil deeds we have seen even from shepherds in the Church, perhaps we need to pray it fervently and frequently once again. It is not magic – it must be prayed with faith. We know the end of the story: God wins. The Book of Revelation reminds us that God is so powerful, He doesn’t have to destroy Satan Himself. He sends one of His creatures – St. Michael – to do it (see Rev. 12:7-8). Let us do our part with the power of prayer, also including the rosary; and never forget to pray for the healing of the victims of abuse.

Are you or is someone you know interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church? Are you an adult Catholic who has been baptized but hasn’t yet received First Communion and/or Confirmation and want to more fully join in the mission of the Church? Our new series of RCIA classes (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) meets on Tuesday evenings at 6:15pm in Mother Teresa Hall. “Come and see.” (John 1:39)

Finally, last weekend we had a soft opening of our new St. Mary’s Gift Shop, located in the front courtyard. Special thanks to Michael Enloe who did an expert job volunteering to put together a real, Catholic gift shop! We should be able to take credit cards by this weekend. At present, we plan to be open after Masses with hopes for more hours as we go along. Stop in and take a look!

Yours in Christ,

Father Wilson