Responses to the horrifying news out of Pennsylvania last week have been pouring in. Hopefully, you have read Bishop Caggiano’s letter, provided at Mass last weekend, in which he acknowledged the raw emotions that we are feeling about this evil of clerical sexual abuse and the ensuing coverups. Worth reading are several other letters, notably one by Jesuit Fr. James Martin, in the New York Times last Wednesday, in which he speaks of righteous anger, and using that anger to work for change in our church. Many commentators, including Fr. Martin, have called for the laity to make their voices heard in calling for the reform of the church. Pope Francis has also weighed in on this issue, calling for an end to the clericalism that perpetuates the abuses we have read about.
We are the People of God, baptized disciples of the Lord, and as such, we have the right and the duty to express our opinion “on those things which concern the good of the Church” (Lumen Gentium). In the coming weeks, we will explore ways of dealing with and channeling our “righteous anger.” Prayer is an essential component of this process as we move forward.
On a brighter note, donations have been arriving for the Padua Fund for Outreach, in Fr. John’s memory. Thus far over $11,000. has been received and will be used exclusively to aid people in need. We also have been receiving donations to the Labyrinth Fund, $21,000. thus far. The landscape engineer, in consultation with Liz Short (whose rendering of the labyrinth is displayed in church), are working on the plan. More to come soon. Thank you to all who have contributed. The parish is alive and well, busily gearing up for the Fall. Soon, religious education information will appear in these pages, along with news of various programs, existing and new, that are in the planning stages. While we have no word on a new pastor as yet, we are confident that the bishop is praying about our parish and that he will rely on the Holy Spirit (and Fr. John’s intercession) in his discernment, knowing what a unique and Spirit-filled parish we are…and will continue to be.