The Scandal – and Hope – of the Cross

09-09-2018Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Now more than ever, we need to get to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection. This is what started it all, and this is the entire reason you and I are here. Do you feel adequate in your knowledge of and friendship with Christ? If not, don’t worry because Alpha is here! Alpha presents the basic Gospel message and provides an opportunity to encounter Jesus. It is a series of sessions that typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question of faith and is designed to create conversation. It provides a safe, non-threatening environment to invite your friends to come, freely explore the major questions of life, and through this experience, be introduced to God’s love for them. Alpha starts this weekend in Oswald Hall (across from St. Angela Hall), 9:45–10:45am. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Jackson at 803-642-2676 or:

Many parishioners have told me how their small, in-home studies have helped them get to know both their faith and their fellow parishioners so much better. Be sure to stop by the Faith & Fellowship Groups table in the courtyard after Mass and find out more. If you and I have a free opportunity that’s been proven to enrich our lives in faith and fellowship, why let it pass by?

A few months ago, Deacon Bob and Donna Pierce had the amazing opportunity to walk the Camino Primativo, one of the paths of the Way of St. James (the Camino) in Spain. Come join them on Tue, Sep 18, 7:00-8:15pm in Mother Teresa Hall as they share their valuable insights and life-lessons with which God blessed them through this experience.

On Fri, Sep 14, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The fact that Jesus died on a cross was a huge scandal for people to overcome. Only the worst of criminals died this humiliating death. And yet, Jesus used this “scandal” (which literally means, “stumbling block,” see 1 Cor 1:18-25) to save the world. When it looked like all was lost and that it couldn’t possibly get any worse, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. God is able to bring totally unexpected good out of the worst possible situations, whether personally or on the scale of the whole Church. Let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on Christ crucified.

“We are not Catholics because of the moral excellence of our leaders. I mean, God help us if we were. We want our leaders—indeed, we expect our leaders—to be morally excellent. But we are not Catholics because of that moral excellence. We’re Catholics because of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead. We’re Catholics because of the Trinitarian love of God. We're Catholics because of the Mystical Body of Christ. We’re Catholics because of the Sacraments. We’re Catholics especially because of the Eucharist. We're Catholics because of the Blessed Mother. We’re Catholics because of the Saints. Even as leaders in the Church fail morally, the Catholic Church remains the Mystical Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. And she’s worth fighting for.” (Bishop Robert Barron)

Let us pray for each other and the whole Body of Christ – Father Wilson