Week of 5/28/2017
This weekend we commemorate the incredible sacrifice of so many soldiers of all the wars in our nations’ past. What makes it especially poignant is that these wars were fought to preserve and protect freedom, the many freedoms we enjoy that so many millions and even billions in world history never could. We live in freedom today precisely because very young soldiers went to war and sacrificed their lives for future generations. Especially the freedom of religion, where we are protected to not only worship as we please, but also preserve our faith but not being coerced to act contrary to it. The Quakers and the Amish are respected whereas they can achieve conscientious objector status in the military; laws respect the absolute seal on confession in Catholic sacramental confession, though there have been attempts, even here in Connecticut, to override that seal. To that end, all Catholic priests understand that the law of God always overrules any such possibility.
It is amazing to consider the amount of religious persecution in the world that we do not hear much about. In China in many places it is illegal to attend mass; one must join the “patriotic Catholic Church” in order to worship. Bullets can fly when someone sneaks out to go to Mass. Such is also the case in many Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, where a visible cross on oneself is illegal.
When we contemplate such stark truths in the world today, we realize that many things that seem to upset us are nothing compared to the trials and sacrifices of so many to ensure our fundamental freedoms. As I once walked across the massive and immaculately kept cemetery in Normandy, containing over 10,000 graves, I could only be awestruck and prayerful at the rows and rows of perfectly lined up graves, crowned by crosses or a Star of David. These of course are all purchased by taxpayer money, and are the least we can do for the soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.
This is why it becomes so sobering as we had experienced the multiple lawsuits launched by many Catholic dioceses and colleges against the Obama administration for trying to force virtually all insurance companies to pay for intrinsically (meaning always) evil acts including direct (different from indirect) sterilization, abortions and abortifacients, and contraceptives. As proven, if one really desires such things, they are readily and cheaply available, though they will never lead one to true peace; only that which correlates to God’s wisdom can heal us and save us. Fortunately, the new administration is seeking to accommodate conscience clauses; we pray this continues.
Save the dates: Next week our parish picnic rockets directly after the 12noon Mass on Sunday, June 4th. Hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages, philly cheesesteaks, as well as amazing desserts! Rides for children! Corpus Christi procession at noon on Sunday, June 18th; with our Sons of St. Joseph providing a great lunch in the gym afterwards!! Also, please sign up for our fabulous Bible Camp; see inside the bulletin for details. We will extend the registration deadline this week!! Deadlines are approaching; camp is June 27th – July 1st.
God love you,
Fr. Brian Gannon