24 Jun 2017

This Week Letter – June 25, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends.
The call “do not be afraid” appears in the Bible many times. It appears when God gives man a specific task; he calls for a decision, to take a risk. In today’s Gospel Jesus calls the disciples to a special kind of courage. It is the courage to tell the truth: “Repeat openly, proclaim on the housetops, admit to being my followers before men.” Truth needs courage, it needs witnesses. As it was in the days of the first martyrs, so is today.
Timothy Radcliff, the former General Superior of the Dominican Order, notes that formerly the rites of Confirmation included a bishop’s strike on the cheek. Confirmation was treated as a sacrament of courage, preparing us to suffer for faith, even martyrdom. Radcliff notes that in order to be brave in thefce of the  world, we need first the courage inside the Church: listening to one another, courageously defending against evil.
We, the modern Western Christians, lack courage. We are afraid to speak clearly and simply about our faith. We to easily surrender under the pressure of pagan culture that has dominated the Western world. This culture, in the name of false tolerance, prohibits public proclamation of God, of Christ, of virtue and of sin, and of the absolute truth. Only religion in the “diluted” version is acceptable, in which – as Evdokimov wrote – the chief dogma is: “God does not require as much”. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “There is no idol in the world,” and that “there is no God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8: 4). Do we have the courage to repeat this sentence aloud, while looking into the eyes of contemporary idols? What are we afraid of?
I wish you courage, especially in difficult situations when you have to stand on the side of truth and not fear. I know that often our weakness is great. Hence, let us invite to our lives Jesus Christ, who will tell us not to fear, after all: I am with you.
Today I would like to thank Father Robert, who for three years has served as  Associate Pastor in our parish. Dear Father Robert, may the Lord be with you and bless you when you will begin your pastoral ministry in the parish of St. Francis Borgia. Remember that your first steps on American soil were here in St. Constance. Take with you only good memories and experiences, so that you can bravely and lovingly serve all those whom the Lord will set in your life. The door of the parish of St. Constance is always open to you so you can return here whenever you wish.
The podium in the Borowczyk Hall, donated more than 25 years ago by the Mr. & Mrs. D’Ana, has fallen apart. Mr. Mieczysław Merchut is trying to fix it. However, if we could find individual sponsors or those within our parish organizations, we could have fund a new podium. May the Lord bless and reward you for your generosity to the parish of St. Constance.        God bless!