Saturday, April 19, 2008 – A Wake-Up Call?

Did you feel the unexpected “wake-up call” that we got yesterday morning in the form of the earthquake?  I don’t think that I was awake for the whole episode, but I remember hearing some rattling and just feeling something “unusual” beneath me.  Having been through a natural disaster just a couple of years ago, my first thought was “please don’t let this get any worse!”.  Fortunately, it did not, but we did get another little reminder that anything can happen at anytime, and that we need to prepared – both practically (bottled water, flashlights, radio, batteries, etc.) and spiritually.  God has His ways of reminding us that our time is not ours, but His.

I have been following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI as much as I can.  The only event I saw in its entirety was his vesper service and address to the U.S. Bishops, but I have seen highlights of others.  I have been pleased with much of what I have seen, including his outreach to other religions, and his efforts to express the regret of the Catholic Church in regard to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.  There will be many people who will say that his words and actions regarding this are not enough, and I respect these opinions.  I spent much of my childhood around clergy, whether it was in Catholic school, or serving Mass, or whatever the situation.  I can honestly say that I never experienced a priest make any sort of inappropriate gesture toward me at any time, so I am sure that my view of the situation is much different than someone who has felt victimized.  However, as a Catholic I can make these observations:

No matter what is done now or what policies are made, we cannot go  back and change the past.  What has happened has happened.  The best thing we can do as church is to take steps to try to ensure that it never happens again.  The policies that are now in place and the educational requirements that people who work with youth must go through are very comprehensive.  There will be those who will say that it is not enough, but I can say without hesitation that knowing what we know now, as a parent or guardian I would feel much more comfortable with  my child alone with a priest or other Catholic personnel than I would have 30 years ago.  Is the system perfect?  No.  No system is.  If you suspect abuse by a priest or other diocesan personnel, there is a 24-hour hotline that can be called – (800) 640-3044.  Let us pray that the Pope’s efforts and the efforts of all will bring us healing and that the victims of abuse may be comforted and receive the help they need.

Finally, as you know, we are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation here at St. Mary’s on Monday, April 28.  As one of the catechists, this a very exciting time, and admittedly a little bit of a nervous time also.  I ask for your prayers for our candidates, as well as those candidates who will be joining us from St. Boniface in Evansville.  I hope if possible you will join us for Mass that evening and also for the reception afterwards in the gym.  With all of the activity surrounding this, I will probably wait to make another blog entry until after the ceremony, and I will give you my thoughts then.

To end: My daily spitritual calendar has this thought today – Got Jesus?  It’s hell without Him!  Another wake-up call?

Peace.

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One Response to “Saturday, April 19, 2008 – A Wake-Up Call?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Brian
    I couldn’t find any place to send you a note to let yo know that I am unable to come to the Parish Council meeting as a had previously told you I could. I am still interested in running, although I am unable to come to every meeting because of my work schedule. If this is a problem than I will be unable to run at this time.
    Another thing that I would like to bring to your attention that I have not noticed in the bulletin or on the website is/are the 8th grade graduates from the parish from Chester grade school. Some of them are Joey Allison, Jacob Bohnert, Travis & Tyler Chandler, Nicholas Miller and there may be others?

    Thank You
    Rosemary Crain
    –Rosemary Crain

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