Notes from Our Pastor

October 21, 2018

“My servant shall bear the guilt of many.” Isaiah 53:10-11  
 
Dear parishioners:                                                                                                                                   
 As we hear the scripture proclaimed this 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, I have little doubt that the arrogance of James and John and the call from Jesus to be servant of all may leave a lasting impression. 
I’d also like to call attention to our first reading, the last of the four “Suffering Servant Psalms” from the prophet Isaiah.  
 
I share a reflection Fr. Paul Turner wrote a number of years ago about our first reading:  “The mystery of human suffering haunts every life. No one likes to endure suffering. We feel better about it if it produces some good.  But for those who suffer needlessly and pointlessly, life seems bitter.  The prophet Isaiah speaks words that offer little consolation. “The Lord was pleased to crush him with infirmity.” That sounds like our worst nightmare.  It sounds like God took pleasure in crushing someone with illness. It appears to support the perverse belief that God takes delight in human suffering.  
 
But Isaiah goes on. God has given a task to those burdened with miseries. If they give their lives as an offering, they shall obtain their reward.  God can work wonders through the heavy-hearted who place themselves in the service of others.  
 
If someone else has the same sorrows we have, we can give them hope. Our weakness shows them that they are not alone.  All humans share the same condition, a condition that leads to life through death.  Not everyone can bear burdens with hope. But infirmity need not bring despair. 
 
It can be a source of connection with others, an occasion for insight into the meaning of life, and a glimpse of eternal life.”  
 
In Christ,
Fr. John 
 
 

October 14, 2018

Dear parishioners:
If you have been by the Parish Center to visit the chapel or go to a meeting recently, you will
have noticed that work has begun to correct the drainage problems that have affected the lower
level of the building for some time now.
The project will be rather extensive and will include cement work and landscaping and may
cause some inconveniences along the way.

We also have taken down the two pine trees next to the center. We will try our best to keep you
informed of any work that may affect entrance into the building.

We have been doing some work in refreshing the living quarters in the rectory over the last
couple of months. It is my hope to have a bit of an open house some Sunday afternoon when the
work is done.

Last year we did work on the offices and although some of you have business that brings you by,
I am sure that some of you have not seen the finished product either. I will let you know when
the work is done, and then Malcolm and I will be glad to show you the rectory.

When we have finished these two projects we will be turning our attention to heating,
air-conditioning and some cosmetic upgrades in the hall. Thanks for your generosity and support
that makes these projects possible. A special thanks to those who have been so generous to the
Beyond Sunday Campaign. The money that has returned to our parish is helping fund these
improvements.

And a special thanks to all who helped to make the Fall Festival such a great day, either by
working or by participating! The various booths and games were a fun attraction and the chicken
dinner was superb! I’m certain no one went away hungry! I’m so grateful to all of you for your
hard work and generous spirit!

In Christ
Fr. John

 

October 7, 2018

Dear parishioners:
First, I Hope to see you all at the Fall Festival this Sunday.
What a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow parishioners and support the mission of Seven
Holy Founders!
Thanks to all who have worked so hard to prepare for the Festival and Chicken Dinner. Thanks
to all who will work today to serve our parishioners and guests!

Additionally, I want to ask anyone who knows of a parishioner who is in nursing care and would
like a visit to contact the office. As part of his internship, seminarian Ben Franchuk, is asked to
spend several hours a week visiting the sick and the homebound.
If we know of those in nursing homes Ben, Sr. Pat or I will try to visit.

Last, but not least, I will be gone from Monday afternoon until Friday morning at the
Archdiocesan Convocation of Priests. Every four years the priests of St. Louis gather for prayer,
fellowship and hopefully to learn and grow.

Please pray for all the priests that gather and for integrity in the leadership of the Church. There
will be communion services on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday instead of daily Eucharist.

In Christ,
Fr. John

 

September 30, 2018

 

Dear parishioners:
Over the last month I have talked to many about their pain, anger and sadness concerning the news of
Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on the abuse of children by priests and on the revelations concerning
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. This news has so many sickened over the sometimes irreparable
damage done to children.

I write this column for two reasons. The first is to offer to sit down with anyone who wants to talk. I
know that the rest of the parish staff, Deacon Tom Forster, Deacon Tom Schiller, and Sr. Pat Kofron are
also open to sitting down with anyone who might wish to converse.

The second reason is that in the conversations, I have come to understand that some are seeking
information. Many do not know that the root of people who work with children having to take "Protecting
God's Children" classes in our own archdiocese before they can coach or teach PSR, etc. is what is often
called the Dallas Charter. In 2002 the Bishops of the United States met in Dallas and formulated ways of
protecting children from abuse. The charter not only sought to address abuse by clergy, but also by lay
people representing the church,( which is also part of the Pennsylvania report.)

I want to offer some information that is available on the web. On the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops website under the tab for "Issues and Action"
you will find statements issued August 16th and August 27th explaining the responses of the Bishop's
Conference to the "Moral Catastrophe" of abuse and "Lack of transparency in disciplining Bishops."
You can also find a copy of the "Dallas Charter" on the website explaining what practices have been in
place in our own archdiocese since 2002. (www.usccb.org)

I also believe that the statement on abuse by clergy that is present on The Leadership Conference of
Women Religious websites (www.lcwr.org) is also worthy of your time. It is a call to address "the
intolerable culture that developed (in the church hierarchy) and how that culture will be deconstructed."

And finally, on our own Archdiocesan website, (archstl.org) if you scroll to the bottom of the home
page you will find the Protecting God's Children Policy that has been in place in St. Louis since 2002!
I offer these suggestions because as much pain and suffering has been inflicted by abuse in the past, there
have been efforts in place since 2002 that are underreported that we should be aware of.


In Christ,
Fr. John
P.S. These articles are gathered on our own website, www.foundersaffton.org.

 

 

 

 

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