09-06-2020Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Family of God,

Peace and Joy in Our Lord Jesus Christ!

You may have noticed these signs around town. They are simple signs that offer some hopeful messages. They are encouraging roadside signs that have been popping up in neighborhoods all around the world – and it’s all thanks to one woman who felt helpless in the face of mental illness.

Her name is Amy Wolff. After a heartbreaking discussion with a friend, she felt called to start erecting the inspirational signs for others to see. Amy was stunned by the skyrocketing suicide rates and she wanted to do something about it. Although she felt helpless and unprepared to alleviate the problem, she never lost hope. Her love for life and desire to help others is bringing hope to millions of people.

I have to say, the novelty of Covid-19 wore out its welcome months ago and seeing these signs lifted my spirits and gave me a hopeful perspective. Recently, I have been praying daily for an increase in the theological virtue of hope. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope and love. They are called theological virtues, because when we live them, they draw us to God because ultimately they come from Him.

Christians have a very specific understanding of hope that is related to our desire and longing for our eternal home in heaven. C.S. Lewis once said that, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven."

I believe, for example, that our parishioners who stepped forward during the COVID-19 quarantine to participate in our parish blood drive were imbued with hope. There is a certain bravery that motivated our parishioners to donate blood while most Americans stayed safely at home.

So many were simply inspired to save lives. Not all parishioners can give blood, so many parishioners supported our vulnerable brothers and sisters through our food and water bottle collections and by dropping a few extra bucks in the collection basket.

There is a huge temptation to focus our attention solely on the conditions here on earth. This narrow vision limits our ability to actually improve conditions down here on this earth! But hope, the pursuit of God, Heaven, and holiness is what charges us on towards the perfection of earthly matters.

So if you really want to make a difference and if you really want to change the world, then start by making sure you are putting God and your supernatural destiny first. Come to Holy Mass. Go to confession. Offer your daily prayers so that God is not a stranger in your life but the most trusted Companion who alone is our hope.

We are disciples of Jesus at this parish, not social workers. The Catechism reminds us as we hope for heaven, “we are preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.”

There are many things that can call us away from hope and lead us to become frustrated and down. But as a hopeful people, we know that Jesus wins! The victory is won! Your sins don’t define you! All will be well. God is with us! Never give up! God loves you! You are worthy of His love!

Lastly, if you haven’t yet signed up for online giving for our parish. Please do so here: https://saintbernadette.weshareonline.org. Your gifts are needed now more than ever so we can continue the mission of the Church of making more disciples. Thank you for all who have helped to keep our parish focus on Christ, Our Eucharistic King!

God Bless, Fr. Don Kline, V.F.