Dear Friends in Christ,
Please be mindful of these dates:
From 12 to 14 November 2018 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will hold their annual General Assembly in Baltimore, the first diocese in our country. At the top of the agenda this week are the many questions related to the scandals revealed during the Summer of Shame. How and why did the crimes of Theodore McCarrick go unpunished for decades? Why did so many bishops fail in their sacred duties of oversight, particularly of priests who harmed those entrusted to their care? How can the Church be reformed to prevent a recurrence of these fundamental failures in authentic Christian discipleship? I do not know in what form the bishops will address or answer these questions, but they must. Pray for their wisdom and courage.
On Tuesday 4 December 2018 we will have a parish Town Hall Meeting in Gallivan Hall at 6.30 pm, and I ask all parishioners to attend so that we can speak together about the future of this parish church. A capital campaign is, of course, part of this discussion, but the most important dimension of our plan for the future is helping everyone in this parish family make a decision for Christ and remain faithful to that decision no matter how many bishops and priests disgrace themselves and harm others. We must never leave Jesus because of Judas, and despite the many grave disappointments of the past few months, life goes on, and we need to make plans together for what St Mary’s will be for those who come after us.
On Tuesday 29 January 2019 Bishop Robert Guglielmone will host a Town Hall Meeting in Gallivan Hall at 7 pm. This gathering is for all the parishes in the Greenville Deanery, and our bishop will be here to listen to the questions and concerns of any Catholic who wants to attend. Bishop Guglielmone will talk about the crisis in the Church, the meeting of the USCCB which he will attend next week, and his vision for reform, but he also wants to hear from the lay faithful what you are thinking about these matters. Please consider joining our bishop for this important conversation.
From 21 to 24 February 2019 the president of every conference of bishops around the world will meet in Rome with Pope Francis to discuss the crisis in the Church and take counsel together for the best means of promoting lasting reform in the episcopate and priesthood. This meeting coincides with the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, the symbol of the authority of Peter and his successors in Rome to teach, sanctify, and govern the universal Church. Pray for Pope Francis and the bishops who will join him in these deliberations aimed at ridding the Church of a diseased and deformed clerical culture through the purifying fire of divine love and the truth of the revealed Word of God.