A Heart Full of Gratitude

10-20-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the spirit of last Sunday’s Gospel, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all who wished me a happy birthday either verbally, through email, a card, through cakes, cookies, or other creative ways. I truly feel your love and support. Certainly, the past few months have been difficult; however, you, the parishioners of St. Mary’s, never cease to amaze me with your unfailing love, support, and generosity. So, while it is inadequate to describe the depth of my gratitude to you, I say again, thank you!

This weekend we will have a special Vocations Weekend. We welcome Fr. Matthew Gray, the vocations director for our diocese, who will celebrate most of our Masses. Father Gray brings with him an extraordinary zeal for inviting people to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life. In particular (and we feel this especially at St. Mary’s) we need more men to answer to call to be a holy priest. The Church continues to look for those who are willing to live the life of Jesus Himself in a radical way – as Jesus lived it. To take a bride, yes, but a bride that is the Church. I became a priest because (1) God called me, and (2) someone from my parish encouraged me to consider it. Vocations come from you, the holy People of God. Encourage a young man today!

Father Gray will not be able to join us for the entire weekend, so we joyfully welcome Fr. Jimmy Touzeau, parochial vicar of St. Joseph’s in Columbia, who will celebrate the 12:30pm and 5pm Sunday Masses. You will likely remember Fr. Touzeau since he was a seminarian here the summer of 2015. Father Touzeau was just ordained this past summer, so remember to ask him for his blessing! (There is a long tradition of special graces received from the blessing of a newly ordained priest.)
Don’t forget our upcoming Holy Day of Obligation – All Saints Day, November 1. On this day we celebrate all the Saints, those officially canonized and all those known only to God. Masses are: Vigil – Oct. 31 at 5:30pm (church) & 7pm (Old St. Mary’s – Spanish); Nov. 1 – 7am (Old St. Mary’s); 12pm (church); 2pm Latin Mass (Old St. Mary’s); and 5:30pm (church). Recall that “obligation” (a word that we Americans tend to dislike) here means the loving duty we owe to someone we love – Jesus Christ. His Church asks us to remember a few special days outside of Sundays in order to worship Him and grow our faith.

The next day, November 2, is All Souls Day. While not a day of obligation, it remains a day dear the heart of every Catholic as we pray for the souls of our departed loved ones, that they may be cleansed of all their sins through the power of the Cross of Christ and rest with Him in eternal peace. Masses for All Souls Day are: 8am in Old St. Mary’s, and 11am at Calvary Cemetery, 1255 University Lane, Aiken (weather permitting; in case of inclement weather, Mass will be at Old St. Mary’s).

Be holy – Become a saint. There’s nothing else.

Father Wilson