Just Like Us

06-27-2021Year of St. Joseph

Pope Francis: “St Joseph experienced moments of difficulty, but he never lost faith and was able to overcome them, in the certainty that God never abandons us.”

To think about: Sometimes we think of saints as never having doubts or difficulties, but the saints were just like us. When you feel confused or alone, or when you have difficulties, remember that even those close to Jesus experienced the same, and turn to Joseph for help.

Keeping Faith

06-27-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have been rather amazed at the blatant irresponsibility of various news sources reporting on just one of many recent deliberations of our U.S. Catholic Bishops. The Conference voted to draft a teaching document with help from the Vatican on the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of all the Catholic faithful. It is indeed sad that some have chosen to read things through a political lens, and not through the eyes of faith. We absolutely must be a people driven by the Holy Spirit, and not by rumors, speculation, or our own agendas. If one is searching for a fight, he or she will always find it.

Below are some excerpts from a recent interview by Our Sunday Visitor with Bishop Kevin Rhoades, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, which explains things well:


Summer in the Parish

06-20-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Father Francisco continues to be away on a well-deserved vacation, visiting his family in Mexico. He will be away through July 11th. We pray that he has a relaxing and Holy Spirit-filled time. While he’s away, we welcome the help of our retired priest-in-residence, Msgr. Willie. Thank you for offering Msgr. Willie such a warm welcome to St. Mary’s.


06-20-2021Year of St. Joseph

Pope Leo XIII: “In Joseph … heads of the household are blessed with the unsurpassed model of fatherly watchfulness and care.”

To think about: Many parents find the job difficult. Parents can remember that Joseph had to protect, teach, and perhaps discipline the child Jesus. Parents can look to Joseph for guidance as they care for their children. Joseph can be a patron for families who do not have a father in the home; go to Joseph and ask him to help you in this important job.

We Belong

06-13-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Leonard of Port Maurice: “All Christians belong to Joseph because Jesus and Mary belonged to him.”

To think about: Joseph cared for Jesus when He was hurt, taught Him his trade, and protected Him. We can also go to Joseph when we have a need, knowing that Joseph will guide us as well. Our stained glass windows that include Joseph depict him caring for Jesus and Mary - you can use them as a starting point for prayer.

Reasons for Gratitude

06-13-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Saying “Thank you” is far too little for all the amazing love and support so many of you showed last weekend. I am extraordinarily blessed to celebrate twenty years of priesthood. I’m doubly blessed to celebrate it here with the wonderful people of St. Mary’s parish. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and may God bless you!


Divine Sustenance

06-06-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Wednesday on June 9, by the grace of God I will give thanks for twenty years as a priest. It doesn’t escape my notice that half of my priesthood has been spent here with you, the wonderful people of St. Mary’s! Our parish staff has graciously arranged a little reception following the 5pm Mass on Saturday, June 5, in the rose garden and Mother Teresa Hall. (Rain location is St. Angela Hall.)


Most Holy Trinity - Undivided Unity

05-30-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hopefully, you were able to read my letter to the parish in the bulletin (also posted on our parish Facebook page) outlining the most recent changes to our virus-related protocols. Here is a quick summary in case you missed it:


Obedience to the Father

05-30-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Francis de Sales: “What a dignity to be the guardian of our Lord, and, not only that, but to be even his reputed father, to be the husband of his most holy Mother!”

St. Madeline Sophie Barat: “The two greatest personages who ever lived on this earth subjected themselves to [St. Joseph].”

Something to think about: We sometimes have a hard time doing what we are asked – especially when we think we have a better idea on how to do things. We also have a hard time being corrected. Jesus “was obedient to” Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:51), even as he grew up!

Emboldened by the Holy Spirit

05-23-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Francis de Sales: “What a dignity to be the guardian of our Lord, and, not only that, but to be even his reputed father, to be the husband of his most holy Mother!”

To think about: Sometimes we feel burdened by our vocation in life, by our mission. Today, think about how the Lord has honored us by asking us to participate in the salvation of others (and of the world). He is relying on us! Like the apostles he had honored us by using us to spread the Gospel in our own little circle. Praise God! Today we celebrate Pentecost, the great event that emboldened the apostles to preach fearlessly. Let’s share the joy of the Gospel with those we meet this week.

Come, Holy Spirit! Come!

05-23-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Since the bulletin must go to print by Tuesday morning (sometimes earlier), my weekly column may not reflect news and information that comes to light later in the week. By the time this week’s column goes to print, we will certainly have more guidance from our Bishop on face coverings/masks for parishes in our Diocese. I will communicate any new information via our website and Facebook page. Thank you again for your wonderful patience and understanding. We have such a great parish!


Most Recent Changes to Virus-related Restrictions at St. Mary’s

05-21-2021NewsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With the recent alterations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding guidance for wearing masks for those fully vaccinated for COVID-19, please note the changes below to virus-related restrictions for our parish.

As always, your safety continues to be my utmost priority. At the beginning of and during the pandemic, we adhered to CDC guidelines based on the best science known then about how the virus spreads. Now, we are continuing to adhere to the best science from the CDC in lifting certain restrictions.


Following Mary's Lead

05-16-2021Year of St. Joseph

Blessed Gabriele Allegra: “St. Joseph sweetly and continuously stimulates us to love, serve, and imitate the Queen of his heart, the Immaculate Mother of Jesus.”

To think about: Fr. Benedict Groeschel used to say that it must have been hard for St. Joseph to live with the Son of God and a sinless woman – if there was ever a disagreement he would be wrong, and this may be why in scripture he didn’t say a word. In truth, Joseph probably did follow Mary’s lead in many things. We should also love Mary and imitate her in her love of Jesus.

I Will Not Leave You Orphans

05-16-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On May 6, the City of Aiken rescinded its mandatory requirement for masks in retail and commercial establishments, while not prohibit individual businesses from requiring them. Churches, as religious institutions, have been exempt; however, we have followed the lead of our Bishop, who has strongly encouraged many things for parishes, including especially face coverings since we gather a great number of people under one roof.


Support of Mother and Child

05-09-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Teresa of Avila was a great advocate of devotion to St. Joseph. “I do not know how one can meditate on the care which the Blessed Virgin took of the Divine Child, without thanking St. Joseph for the care he likewise took of both the mother and the Child.”

To think about: Joseph protected and cared for Jesus Christ and Mary. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the care of children we forget about the care of the parents. When you are praying for the children in your life, remember to also pray for the mutual support of the parents and an increase in their ability to work together on parenting issues.

Nourish Your Faith

05-02-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!

The great season of Easter continues for fifty days, giving us the vital opportunity to contemplate the radical meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it means for each and every one of us. “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. … If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). These words of St. Paul, written soon after Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection, say it all. Eye-witnesses have passed on their personal testimony to us. We cannot remain unchanged.


Guardian of the Church

05-02-2021Year of St. Joseph

Venerable Pope Pius XII wrote “If Joseph was so engaged, heart and soul, in protecting and providing for that little family at Nazareth, don’t you think that now in Heaven he is the same loving father and guardian of the whole Church, of all its members, as he was of its Head on earth?”