Pledge to Protect

10-14-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Of course, we have all been in disbelief at the revelations of the crimes that were done by those who were supposed to be shepherds charged with leading the sheep closer to Christ. Please continue to pray with me for all those around the world wounded by these atrocities, whose lives certainly will never be the same.

What has the Church in our diocese done to protect our most vulnerable? What about past settlements in the Diocese of Charleston – where our donations used? Enclosed in this bulletin, please find an information sheet from our Bishop to you, detailing what the Diocese of Charleston in particular has done over the past two and a half decades to create a safe environment for all, where the funds came from to pay for past sexual abuse claims (no funds have come from any parish Sunday collections or the Bishop’s Annual Appeal), and more relevant facts. We have been and continue to be committed to create a parish environment where the incidence of abuse is 0%. It’s one of the main reasons we have all employees and volunteers go through Safe Haven, which teaches each person to be part of making a safe environment, and to recognize the signs of “grooming,” the actions people do before abuse happens to win the trust of a minor. Safe Haven can help the entire community – not just here at St. Mary’s – to create an environment safe for all. Thank you especially to all our volunteers. Together, we make the safest environment possible where our children can flourish and the Good News of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed.

St. Mary’s is pleased to host the Aiken Symphony Orchestra’s offering of Handel’s Messiah on Tuesday, December 18, at 7:30pm at the church on Fairfield St. Please note that since this is not a parish event (we are just the host), tickets will be distributed through the ASO. Please find more information in this bulletin.

Are you a mother? Mothers of all ages are invited to St. Mary’s Play & Pray ministry group every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in Mother Teresa Hall (Union St. next to the church), 9:30 – 11:30am. Childcare and snacks are provided. If you don’t have little ones anymore, these moms want to hear your wisdom! I will be visiting the group on November 13 and look forward to seeing you there.

Next week, please pray for your priests (including Fr. Raymond and me) as we gather with our bishop for our annual retreat, October 22–25. This year we are again at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, N.C. We are also grateful to Fr. Ernie Hepner, who will help fill in while we are gone. Thank you again, Fr. Ernie!

As I write this, Hurricane Michael is threatening to come our way. May all affected by the storm be safe. Mary, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us!

Yours in Christ and Our Lady,

Father Wilson