Calling Us to More

11-03-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God is always calling us to more. One of the major ways we encounter Him and learn how to be less self-centered is by serving. After all, our whole point as disciples is to imitate Jesus Himself, who said, “I have come not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Find out how you can serve Christ in others this Saturday at the Matthew 25: Call To Christian Service Workshop, November 9, from 8am to 2pm. It costs nothing to register and includes a light breakfast, a lunch, and free childcare. We begin appropriately enough with Holy Mass at 8:00am in the new church (please note location). The workshop follows across the street in St. Angela Hall. Saint Mary’s parish is pleased to host this event for the entire Aiken Deanery, co-sponsored by Catholic Charities.

This Thursday, November 7 at 7:00pm in the church is our annual Mass of Remembrance, sponsored by the St. Mary’s Bereavement Ministry. Each year we have a special Mass for all those who have died in the last year. All are invited to attend. A reception will follow next door in Mother Teresa Hall.

Praying for our Faithful Departed – the Holy Souls in the state of purification / purgatory – is one of the spiritual works of mercy. It’s also one that doesn’t require any special equipment with the exception of a loving heart. We continue to pray for all the souls of those who have died throughout the month of November. The envelopes with names of your Faithful Departed are collected and placed on the altar. The priests include their intention at every Mass. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.

November 3–9 is National Vocation Awareness Week, the annual celebration dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life. Saint Mary’s is a two-priest parish, but there are simply no priests right now who can come be our parochial vicar. (Praise God for the help of Fr. Hepner and Fr. West!) We especially must renew our prayers and support for those who are called, particularly to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. But don’t just pray! Many young men (including me) recall that it was someone from their parish who asked them to consider being a holy priest. God gave His only Son for the salvation of the world.

While many people seem to think that celibacy is the problem, I’m here to tell you that it is, in fact, the answer. The Catholic priesthood is a profound calling to live the life of Jesus Christ in a radical way just as Christ did, totally devoted to one Bride, the Church. Jesus Himself endorses this when He speaks of remaining unmarried “for the sake of the kingdom”: “…because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (see Matt. 19:11–12). There’s much more than can be said and many myths that should be dispelled, but for now let me say it is how you have become for me a true family.

How is God calling you to live your vocation to the absolute fullest?

Father Wilson