Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have had to write this column a little early since I’ll be attending the diaconate ordination in Rome of one of the sons of our parish, Will Frei. What a joy! For the last eight years we have watched Will go through college seminary, an intense philosophy program, and finally major seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. We have had a front row seat in seeing Will grow in his vocation, in love, and in knowledge of Christ and His Church as he prepares for the holy priesthood. There were many smaller steps along the way, but as of Thursday, October 3, Will has received the Sacrament of Holy Orders, being ordained a deacon. (In the Catholic Church, the diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry, bishop and priest being the other two. Deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons.)
Please continue to pray for Deacon Frei as he completes his final year of studies in Rome. Sometime in July of 2020, he will be ordained a priest at the Cathedral in Charleston. And please, please pray that more men will accept the call to serve the Church as a holy priest. Our parish is growing (we now have over 1,930 registered families) along with our diocese, and the need is great. “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest’” (Matt 9:37-38).
Are you doing all you can in service? Find out how you can serve Christ in others through our upcoming Matthew 25: Call To Christian Service Workshop on Saturday, November 9, from 8am to 2pm. The workshop will ignite the fire to give of ourselves more generously based on the passage in Matthew 25:31-46 – “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” It costs nothing to register and includes a light breakfast, a lunch, and free childcare. Also, for our Latino parishioners, we are planning to have simultaneous translation. More information to follow!
In the Creed we proclaim the Holy Spirit as “the Lord, the Giver of life.” October is Respect Life Month. We as Catholics pray for the protection of all life: the defenseless unborn; the immigrant, legal or not (they are still in God’s image); the prisoner; the elderly, who some think have outlived their “usefulness” and are a burden – all life, period. As God – infinite and perfect, all-loving and merciful – is the One who gives life, there is not one of us who is worthy, not one of us who can rightfully decide to take it away. There is no unvalued, only valued. There is no unwanted, only wanted. There is just life – a gift from the eternal God. No one is a mistake.
Some things you can do this month: 1) Study the Church’s teaching on why every human life should be valued; 2) Join others in the Life Chain, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM at 183 Old Wagener Rd in Aiken; 3) Choose one Friday this month to fast and pray for a greater respect for human life; 4) Pray the holy rosary (or a decade) for the beautiful gift of life; 5) You choose!
May God give us the joy of His life,