The Conway Communiqué, Sept. 22

“But you, man of God, avoid all this.  Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession, in the presence of many witnesses.” – 1 Tim 6:11-12

Saint Paul wrote his epistles to Saint Timothy with three audiences in mind, it seems.  The first was, most obviously, to Timothy himself; the letters were intended to be advice on how to effectively be the bishop of Ephesus as well as being a spiritual exhortation.  The second audience would be the Church of Ephesus, which Paul knew well and loved.  Knowing that Timothy would share those letters with the faithful, Paul inserts some commentary into the letter that is clearly meant for them to hear, and isn’t so much directed to Timothy personally.  Finally, the Holy Spirit was working through Saint Paul as he wrote this.  God’s plan was, unsurprisingly, even greater than Paul’s; it turns out that this letter is addressed to all of us.

So we find ourselves this morning being directed towards righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Perhaps more importantly is what we are being directed away from: envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, a love of money, and a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.  We’ve seen what those things do: they lead to division and they drive communities apart.  One could certainly make the argument that it’s happened to us politically; now it seems to be happening even to the Church.  This is not what we’re called to.  This is not what we’re made for.  This is not what God wants.  Avoid all that.  Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.

Some news and notes:

*Pray for Karah Peters and Ronnie Wilson, who will be getting married tomorrow down at Immaculate Conception.  It’ll be the last time I have to do a wedding down there for a few months.  Also, please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Al McKelvey, who was buried from our parish this week.

*If you’re not making the long drive down to Bethel Park tonight to watch the Rams beat the Blackhawks, then consider joining us here for family movie night!  We’ll be watching Disney’s Moana starting at 7 PM in the social hall.  There will plenty of snacks available, just bring a comfy chair.

*On Mission Update:  The bishop is continuing to consult with various diocesan bodies (e.g., the diocesan pastoral and finance councils) about the final groupings for parishes.  Concurrently, work is beginning on planning out new clergy assignments.  Every priest in active ministry in the diocese is being interviewed by members of the clergy personnel board so that we can make good, informed recommendations to the Bishop.  I’m on that board, which means I’m going to be a little busier than usual; so if I’m not around or seem more distracted than usual, it’s probably related to this.  Pray for us.

*25th Anniversary update:  Plans continue to be made; plans continue to change.  Bishop Winter will now be our celebrant and homilist for Mass on Sunday, October 29.  Also, Fr. Tom has agreed to come back and preside at the family Festival of Praise we’re having on Saturday, October 28.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something important, but for the life of me, I can’t think of what.  I’m sure I’ll remember right after I hit send.  In the meantime, remember that you’re loved, and have a great weekend.  See you at Mass!

Peace,

Fr. Mike

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