May 19, 2013
More than ninety days ago, on Ash Wednesday, we began our journey of conversion from darkness to light, from death to new life. Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, the “birthday of the Church.” Our fifty day celebration of Easter has been completed, and our joy has been fulfilled. On the original Feast of Pentecost, God sent forth His Spirit upon the Apostles who, while praying, actually had locked themselves in an “upper room,” for fear of the people. When they received the Holy Spirit, they no longer feared the negative consequences of their professed belief, but instead were joyous about the possibilities of suffering anything for the sake of the kingdom of God. Would that we could now feel the power of such courage in the Church today, especially in our leadership! Where are the good shepherds of the flock as promised by the Lord? Are we praying so that “the Lord of the harvest ends laborers into His harvest?” As the first Apostles were sent out into the world to share the Good News with people who longed to hear good news, we should again renew the pledge of our Confirmation, to make a real difference in the world, continuing that mission. Even though the Apostles traveled throughout the known world to bring that news to the world, we now have such modern means of communication today that we don’t even have to leave our homes to do such ordinary, but necessary things as shopping. Yet, are we using these gifts from God according to our abilities? Pray for good shepherds.
On the subject of good shepherds, I’m happy to announce that the Vocations Office of the Diocese of Palm Beach is sending a seminarian to our parish for two months of this summer. He is studying to be a priest someday for our diocese and has just graduated from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. His name is Seth Waite, and he’ll be entering our Major Regional Seminary of St. Vincent de Paul (Boynton Beach) this coming September. At that time, we will then have a transitional deacon, Jonathan Emory, who’s entering his last year of formation at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary, helping us on most weekends throughout the coming school year. Deacon Jonathan is studying for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and expects to be ordained a priest next May. Again, I ask you to keep them in your prayers that they may become good priests.
I am writing you, once again, in regard to a proposed Florida Personhood Amendment. You may recall that in 2009, there was an effort to have petitions signed in parishes in favor of this amendment. The Florida bishops, at that time, issued a joint statement explaining the following: “It is our opinion, and that of the legal experts with whom we have consulted, that passage of this amendment would not achieve the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.”
There is a renewed effort to place the same amendment before voters in 2014, along with a concerted effort to distribute petitions to this end in churches. You may be asked to actively take part in obtaining necessary signatures. Although the proposed amendment is well-intentioned, the Florida Bishops and legal experts still feel that its passage would very likely jeopardize efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade on a national level. Please understand that the Florida bishops hope to avoid divisive interactions with the organizers of the amendment, who are admirable in their commitment to the sanctity of life. Other states have had similar proposals, in which local bishops have taken the same stand as our Florida bishops. They have absolutely no intention to actively oppose the amendment, but do remain firm in asking that the collection of Florida Personhood Amendment petition signatures should not take place in parishes or other diocesan entities. However, individuals are not prohibited from signing it on their own.
Next week, we will observe the Solemn Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Traditionally, that Sunday has been the last opportunity for Catholics to fulfill their “Easter Duty,” according to the Precepts of the Church. That duty is to worthily receive Holy Communion at least once during the Easter Season – beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Trinity Sunday. So if you haven’t done so, please take the opportunity now. Confessions are heard every Saturday morning after the 8:30 A.M. Mass, and again on Saturday afternoon, from 2:30 to 3:30 P.M.
Please note that during the months of June, July and August, there is only one scheduled morning Mass on Saturday, and that is the 8:30 AM Mass (there is no Saturday morning Mass at 7:00 A.M.).