October 27, 2012 – All Sorts of Stuff

I think I’m finally done licking my wounds over the ending to the Cardinals’ season.  It was still a thrilling year, and certainly the most exciting 2-year stretch that I can ever remember.  And the great thing about being a sports fan os that you can always move on to the next thing.  Football is of course in full swing and basketball is getting ready to crank up.  There is no sign of hockey on the horizon, but we take what we can get.  This was one of those weeks when I couldn’t really pin down one subject to talk about, so we;ll just hit on some different things and see what happens.

I have been playing a little game with myself the last couple of weeks.  Whenever I pull up to my mailbox, I try to guess how many political advertisements will be inside.  Lately you can bet on at least 3, and many times there will be more than one from the same candidate.  I’m certainly not trying to downplay this election, and I know it is important to be an informed voter, but in this age of communication when you can put things on the internet at little cost, how much really needs to be spent on these campaigns?  ‘is it really necessary to have something appear in my mailbox every single day?  Couldn’t all of this money be put to better use?

This especially gets to me when I hear that organizations such as our local food pantry are struggling because the government is not keeping up with their obligations.  Until recently the food pantry received food shipments from the St. Louis Food Bank, but this has ceased for the time being because the state is not paying the bills.  They have also gotten cut back severely on USDA commodities from the federal government.  Irene Dill, an employee of the diocese who passed away about 10 years ago, told me one time “can you imagine if only part of this money that was used on political campaigns was instead used for justice?  Can you imagine what a better place the world would be?”  I think her statement holds even all the more true today.  Though many of us are still feeling the effects of a less than robust economy, if possible we need to put a little aside to help those less fortunate such as those who rely on the food pantry.

There was an item on the news that caught my eye this past week.  A library in Brentwood, MO carries a children’s book called “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding.”  The book is about a guinea pig whose uncle is getting married, and the guinea pig is afraid that his uncle won’t have time to spend with him anymore.  Sounds innocent enough, except for the fact that Uncle Bobby is marrying a male guinea pig.  A patron of the library petitioned to have the book removed from the shelf, but the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to keep the book in its collection.  First of all, the author of the book says that the focus of the book is on how fearful the guinea pig was that his uncle would not pay attention to him anymore.  If this were the case, then why didn’t the author show an actual marriage?  And why does this have to be portrayed in a children’s book where kids will get the impression that this is a “traditional” way to do things.  I am all for freedom of speech, and we have a right to express our opinion, but when something like this is being portrayed without a qualifier that this is not the true definition of marriage, then we as Christians need to stand up for what is the truth.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen had a great quote about standing up for our convictions: “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”

This weekend the Synod for the New Evangelization will wrap-up at the Vatican.  There have been some very good presentations, and I am anxious to see what the final report from the Synod brings out.  Timothy Cardinal Dolan has been blogging regularly from the synod, and did so again yesterday.  This blog had a bit more of a personal twist, even including an admission that someone in an audience with the Pope can still find his mind wandering.  Here is your link:

http://blog.archny.org/index.php/you-teach-us-our-faith/

If you saw the Messenger or saw my Facebook post then you probably read about what will occur in Gallatin County.  As you recall, St. Joseph’s Parish in Ridgway was destroyed by a tornado earlier this year.  This parish was part of a cluster with three other parishes in Gallatin County.  After consultation and with data gathered from the “Parish Renewal and Restructuring Process”, Bishop Braxton has decreed that the four parishes will be suppressed and that one new parish will be erected at the site in Ridgway where the church was destroyed.  The new parish will be dedicated to St. Kateri Tekakwitha who was canonized this past Sunday.  This situation was unique in that it was hastened by the destruction of the parish buildings in Ridgway.  However, as the data from the process continues to be analyzed, we may certainly see more parishes have to be merged together due to the shortage of clergy, population shifts, etc.

Finally, this Sunday is Priesthood Sunday across the nation, and we thank all of our priests for their continued dedication to their ministry and to the people they serve.  The circumstances they must endure continue to be overwhelming as the numbers of priests decline and fewer young priests are coming up to handle the workload.  We can show our appreciation by continuing to pray for vocations and by helping our priests in any way we can.  We continue to be so fortunate to have the leadership of Fr. Gene to guide our parish.  He does so much to show his appreciation for us that there is no way to repay him in kind, but know Fr. Gene that we are so grateful to have you here among us and we wish you continued happiness in your ministry among us.

Have a great week.  Fall is definitely here.  Peace.

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2 Responses to “October 27, 2012 – All Sorts of Stuff”

  1. Millie Layton Says:

    good job, Brian, as usual.

  2. Fr. Gene Says:

    Thank you Brian for your kind thoughts and prayers.

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