Faith Seeking Understanding

02-16-2020Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some may recall that I was originally scheduled to be the chaplain for a trip to Ireland in May for the Diocese of Charleston’s 200th anniversary. Unfortunately, I will not be able to go on this trip. However, I still encourage people to go and celebrate our history through the life of our first bishop, John England. More information can be found on the website of the Diocese at

It’s not uncommon for us to question, and doubts are sometimes part of our life of faith. After all, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote copious volumes with this in mind. A century before him, a brilliant philosopher named St. Anselm took as his motto, “Faith Seeking Understanding.” The Church’s history is brimming with some of the brightest intellects ever born, who made the critical study of the faith and science their life-long passion: Augustine, Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus, Pascal, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Gregor Mendel, Edith Stein, Georges Lemaître, and Elizabeth Anscombe, to name a few. “On the basis that God is a God of reason and love, Catholics have defended the irreducibility of the human person to matter, the principle that created beings can be genuine causes of their own actions, free will, the role of the virtues in happiness, objective good and evil, natural law and the principle of non-contradiction. These principles have had an incalculable influence on intellectual life and culture.” (Fr. Andrew Pinsent, May 6, 2011)

In particular, the Catholic Church founded universities that include such names as: Bologna, Paris, Oxford, Salerno, Vicenza, Cambridge, Salamanca, Padua, Naples, and Vercelli. By the middle of the 15th-century (more than 70 years before the Reformation), there were over 50 universities in Europe, all founded by the Church.

There is so much more that can be said. One thing though, we have to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes when we say we doubt, it is because we are conflicted between what we want to do, and what Christ teaches. Courting “doubt” helps us numb ourselves to the truth. In such moments, we are actually being faced with the age-old choice of God or self. God is always the correct answer; but sometimes we confuse ourselves so that we can choose otherwise. So, our questions persist and fester until our faith is weak. Study of the faith (and prayer) can answer the questions we have; but sometimes, if we’re honest, we just don’t want to hear...

If you are truly serious about the facts, answering tough questions, and informing your faith with our God-given reason, then study your faith. The parish offers a free program with hundreds of opportunities to study called FORMED. Sign up by clicking Type in the name of our parish and continue onward to true enlightenment.

Don’t forget our Parish Mission with dynamic speaker, Elizabeth Ficocelli, Feb.26-28. We’ll begin on Ash Wednesday evening in the setting of a Forty Hours devotion. We will soon have signups for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the Forty Hours. Come and bring a friend! Child care will be provided.

And let us pray for each other! Father Wilson