The Temple of God

02-03-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“The anniversary of a church’s dedication is celebrated with the rank of a solemnity.” – Roman Pontifical, Rite of Dedication of a Church, 27. Each year, Mother Church asks us to recall the day our church buildings were consecrated and dedicated to divine worship. While many places may not observe this important feast, it remains significant, especially since most of you made this place possible through your prayers and sacrifices. It has been four years since we gathered to set apart this space, the work of human hands, for the worship of God. The twelve consecration candles surrounding the inside of the church will be lighted for our Masses, which are only lighted for the most important celebrations. These symbolize the twelve gates of the new and heavenly Jerusalem – the Church as the Mystical Body and spotless bride of Christ. The crosses below them are where the Bishop anointed the walls with the sacred chrism oil, as you and I are anointed at Confirmation.

The true beauty of the Church, of course, is with the capital letter, “C,” i.e., the baptized members of the Mystical Body of Christ, of which our church building is a beautiful symbol and has an important function. It is here in this building that you and I are formed to be the Church as His Body and where we receive His saving Sacraments. Jesus is the Head and we, the baptized, are the Body (see 1 Cor. 12:12-26).

This coming Saturday, February 9, I have a personal reason to rejoice as my brother, George, will be ordained as a permanent deacon. My brother became Catholic in 2002. George has spent the last five years in formation for the diaconate. In your charity please pray for George and his wife, Janet, and their children, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Virginia; and for all the men who will be ordained Saturday and for their families. The following Sunday, February 17, I will be away to George’s home parish of St. Paul’s in Spartanburg to offer Mass with my brother as the deacon!

I wanted to let you know of the strategic land tracts the parish was able to acquire recently. With the consultation of the finance council and the diocese, the parish now owns the entire frontage of Union St. and Richland Ave. The only tracts in our block not in this acquisition are the Jackson-Brooks Funeral Home and the house to its left. As a “land-locked” parish, we are extremely fortunate and blessed to have been able to obtain these properties – a rare opportunity. It guarantees that we control the future use of these areas. In the short term, we might utilize some of it for parking when necessary. Who knows what future generations blessed with their own faith and wisdom might envision? After all, it took about thirty years before the former Dyches property was transformed into our new church!

As always, let us pray for each other that we may always become more visibly the one, holy Body of Christ to each and every person we encounter.

Father Wilson