The Joy of Being a Father!

06-18-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

This weekend our secular world reminds us to honor, love and pay proper respect to our fathers. They, along with our mothers of course, gave us life. We look to them to help us in life, to teach us how to work, how to be a good citizen, how to love our country and most importantly, how to love our God and those who surround us.

My dad, Woodrow Charles Wilson was born on June 25th. He died on May 11, 1977, but if he were alive today, he would be 110 years old on the 25th. My father was not overly affectionate, but we always knew that he loved us…all nine of us. We grew up poor, but we were never hungry. I learned many things from my father. He taught me to be honest in word and in deed. He always emphasized that we should not be prejudiced against people of a different race and treat them equally. My father did not practice his Seventh Day Adventist faith, but he always would take us to our church, Bethany Lutheran Church and he never spoke against the faith.

I am the only one of nine in my family who does not have any biological children. I do however have 13 Godchildren for whom I pray regularly. And, in the surprise of my life, God called me to be a priest of Jesus Christ and to be a spiritual father to my parish. On Saturday, June 10th, Our Lady of Peace (OLP) in North Augusta, celebrated its 75th Anniversary as a parish. Father Antony, their Parish Administrator invited all the priests who had served at the parish to attend this special celebration. Bishop Fabre was there and presided at the Mass. There were seven priests in attendance who concelebrated at the Mass: Msgr. Rowland, Msgr. Droze, Father McDonald, Father Joseph, Father Antony, and Father Arnoldt (Savannah Diocese) and me.

It was a great joy for me to be there at the Mass with six other priests and the Bishop! It was truly one of the high points in my eight years as a priest. Camaraderie with fellow priests is always very special; to be with those who had ministered in the same parish, was a treasure.

At the reception, I was privileged to visit again with many parishioners from OLP and renew friendships. I praise God for his work through me in their lives over the two and a half years that I was there. Yes, it is true that I do not have any biological children, but I praise God for my spiritual children and feel blessed that God in his mercy has allowed me to be a Father. All in all, it was a very special Father’s Day for me!

A Blessed and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in our parish!

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson