The Pastor’s Corner
There is a familiar passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans which is often read at funerals that says, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things, we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”
Maybe we have read those words in the past as echoes of the situation of early Christians in the Roman empire. But as we read in the newspaper and see on television, they are very contemporary. We are witnessing direct persecution and savagery against Christians in the Middle East precisely because they are Christian. In fact, Christians are being persecuted in one way or another in over 130 countries today!
That raises important questions for us.
How would we react under the kind of persecution that is occurring in the Middle East?
What are we to do to provide assistance to Christians who are suffering terribly in the very places where the first ancient Christian communities were born?
How should we, as a Church, respond beyond statements of shock and outrage?
Certainly there is prayer. But whatever the future may hold for the Church, solidarity in the Faith can give great strength to Christians. The early Christians showed enormous courage because they knew they were not alone and because they knew that Christ would give them strength and stamina.
It may be that the collective witness of the Church has been weakened because we have spent the last few decades in intramural disputes about various issues in Church life. Those matters are important, but they should not deflect us from the solidarity, communion and mutual support that public witness to the Faith requires.
Before the conclave, Pope Francis, while still a cardinal, spoke to the assembled cardinal electors about the fact that the Church had become to self-referential, had spent too much time and energy looking only within. Now the Church must unite for action and for collective witness to the world.
I trust that soon there will be a call from our Holy Father and bishops to the collective action of some kind. May we respond not only as individuals but as a united community of faith.
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The RCIA program for those wishing to learn more about the Catholic Church and perhaps even to join the Church begins after Labor Day. Registration forms, yellow in color, are in the Narthex under the picture of the Sacred Heart. There are also brochures explaining the program and the process of becoming Catholic.
We also have registration forms at St. Bridget’s. All RCIA sessions, however, will be held Monday evenings at Sacred Heart parish in Muldowney Hall.
In Our Lord
Father Stan Krempa
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From our new principal
“I want to thank all of Sacred Heart for the warm welcome I have received. My name is Susan Parks and I am the new principal of Sacred Heart Academy. I moved here from the Crystal Coast of North Carolina where I was Principal at Annunciation Catholic School. I grew up in Maryland and lived for many years in Northern Virginia, so I feel I am returning home.
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from George Mason University, a Master of Science in Education Administration from the University of Scranton, and a Master of Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. I am currently pursuing my EdD in Educational Leadership from Northcentral University.
My hobbies are my four children, seven grandchildren and Catholic education. I am very excited to be part of such a delightful community. I look forward to meeting everyone and having a wonderful 2014-2015 school year.”
Fr. Barron explains what’s happening to Christians in the Middle East.