Browsing Pastor's Corner

Rebuild My Church

Apr 23, 2019

In the wake of the fire that heavily damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris two weeks ago close to $1 Billion dollars was pledged to fund its rebuilding within hours. Most of that money was pledged by several French multibillionaire industrialists. While that is a wonderful sign of generosity and of the importance to the French identity of that beautiful building, we must remember that it is a building. Our Catholic faith isn’t based on buildings or imperfect leaders but on Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected from the Dead. The same Jesus Christ we celebrate during this Easter Season.

We are at a point where our Church needs rebuilding especially in its spiritual sense. The clergy sexual abuse scandal along with growing secularization and a focus on materialism in our society has left our Church crippled.

The need to rebuild our Church reminds me of the story of St. Francis of Assisi’s life. As a young man he was praying in the derelict Church of San Damiano when he felt the figure of Christ in an icon of the crucifixion say to him, “Francis rebuild my church.” St. Francis though Jesus meant the chapel itself. He went around the town of Assisi begging for stones to rebuild the physical building that was the church of San Damiano.

It was only after all this effort to rebuild a physical chapel that St. Francis realized that God was actually calling him to rebuild the spiritual Church that was suffering much like our Church today. Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor, known the Franciscans, the Poor Clares an order of Religious Sisters and the Third Order Franciscans, a lay association of men and women who live in the world but are dedicated to the Franciscan way of life. St. Francis rebuilt the spiritual church too.

In a similar manner the impulse to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world’s most beloved symbols of our Catholic faith, can also have a positive effect on efforts to rebuild the Church spiritually. Immediately after the fire, like many people I felt as if I wanted to donate towards the reconstruction too. After hearing of the amount pledged towards reconstruction, I had second thoughts. I have decided that any money I would have contributed would be better spent towards the rebuilding of the spiritual Church.

So, I have decided to increase my donation to the upcoming Catholic Charities Appeal here in our diocese. I feel that the Church will be better served if the money I would have donated were to go towards helping the poor and disadvantaged right here in our own area. At times critics unjustly accuse Catholics of not doing enough to help our community. I feel it isn’t that we don’t do enough but that much of what we do goes overlooked. The Catholic Charities Appeal is one of the sources of funding for the outreach local Catholics to the needy of our community.

Recently registered parishioners of Holy Redeemer Parish received a letter from me sent on behalf of the 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal. In the letter I asked for your generous support for the Appeal. If you did not get a letter there are extra mailings and pledge cards in the pews. Please take one and prayerfully consider your generous donation to this year’s Catholic Charities Appeal.
Last year -----Holy Redeemer parishioners donated $---- to the Catholic Charities Appeal. Hopefully even more parishioners will take the opportunity to reach out to the needy of our diocese and help rebuild our Church in faith and hope with a generous contribution to the 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal.

Easter Thank You
On behalf of everyone in the parish thank you to Josette Goff, Stefanie Murray and the Music Ministry for their talents during Holy Week and Easter. Both Josette and Stefanie left sickbed, Josette was hospitalized early in Holy Week and Stefanie’s son was operated on the week before. We’re so glad both are doing so much better. Thank you to Becket Senchur who filled in very nicely as organist on Easter Sunday at the 8AM and Noon Masses so Josette could get some needed rest. We appreciate the generosity of all those parishioners who donated towards our Easter flowers and all those who contributed towards making Holy Week and Easter memorable in any way.

Lenten Folders- If you have not yet returned your Lenten Folder you may do so by placing it in the collection box at the front of the Church. Parishioners received a Lenten Folder before Lent began. They were asked to put aside a quarter a day for a total of $10 over the entire Lenten season. These donations will be combined with those of other parishioners’ and sent to Food for the Poor to build a modest home for a family in Haiti. The cost of a home is $3,600. Last year parishioners donated $4,000. A modest house was built for the Montrevil Family of Plaine Du Nord, Haiti.

Cross Catholic Outreach Speaker
Fr. Farrell “Mac” McLaughlin will be visiting Holy Redeemer Parish the weekend of May 4-5, 2019, to speak on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach. Fr. McLaughlin is a retired priest of the Diocese of Providence, RI. In his retirement years he has done considerable work in the areas of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Recovery. Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and nuns working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Please be attentive to Fr. “Mac’s” message.

Parish Summer Event Meeting Sunday
The parish is planning a Summer Fun-raiser for Sunday, August 25, 2019. That is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the dedication of the original Holy Redeemer Church back in 1916. Back in mid-February we held our first organizational meeting. Sunday all interested parishioners and friends of the parish are invited to our second planning meeting at 4:00PM in the Parish Center. We will need lots of help! The Woman’s Club, Knights of Columbus and several parishioners are all onboard. It will be fun to work together as a parish community to make this event a success. Come share your gifts and make this a fun event.

Celebrating First Holy Communion
Next Sunday, May 5, our First Communicants will be celebrating the Sacrament at the 10 AM Mass. Please welcome them, their families and friends on this joyous occasion.

April Child Abuse Prevention Month
April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. As the month draws to a close it is important that we all learn how to recognize the signs of possible child abuse. Be aware of behavioral changes in children that suggest they may have been traumatized, such as:
Extreme mood swings;

  • Withdrawal;
  • Fearlessness;
  • Excessive crying;
  • Bed-wetting;
  • Nightmares;
  • Fear of going to bed; and
  • Sleep disorders


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