The Conway Communiqué, Nov. 10

“Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition.  Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member.  Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.  Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.”    — Pope St. Leo the Great (Feast Day: November 10)

If the world of retail can start forcing Christmas on you, so can I; this quote is an excerpt from one of Saint Leo the Great’s Christmas homilies.  I’m guilty of selective quoting, though: this particular excerpt isn’t necessarily Christmas-related, but is instead relevant the entire year through.  And, given the state of things right now, it is especially relevant.  Another mass shooting, this time at a church.  More comedians and actors, and now politicians, being accused of not just simple indiscretions, but those of the vilest sort.  Saber-rattling in the world of international diplomacy.  And a tax plan that no one can agree on.  (I guess that one’s not necessarily new.)

At best, it’s sort of depressing; and worst, it can make you lose hope.  So remember your dignity.  Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member.  Remember that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Remember that you can be, must be, a light in the darkness.  Remember to be a voice crying out in the wilderness.  Remember not to conform yourselves to this age.  Christian, remember your dignity… and live in a way that helps realize the Kingdom.

Some news and notes…

THANKS:  This is belated, almost inexcusably so, but I need to thank so many people for their work in making the 25th Anniversary Weekend such a great success.  The Hardest Working Parish Staff in the Diocese, as usual, went above and beyond the call of duty.  So, too, did our Music Ministry.  I’m grateful to the volunteers from both the Lamb’s Supper and the Guatemala Mission groups, who helped serve the meals on Friday and Sunday, respectively.  Speaking of food, thanks to Wagner’s Market and John Marshall Catering for their help and generosity, as well. Erin Fort and Kathia Kennedy were invaluable in helping decorate the social hall.  Thanks, too, to the Knights of Columbus Color Corps for adding a little pomp to Sunday’s Mass.  And, of course, thanks to everyone I missed on this list.  I’m sure I’ll remember you right as I hit send and will feel terrible about it all weekend.

Most importantly, thanks to everyone that came out to celebrate with us.  This parish is certainly worth celebrating, after all, and your presence gave further proof to how alive in the Spirit we are.  Here’s to the future!

PRAYERS:   Tomorrow morning at 11, 87 of our young people will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Waltersheid.  Please keep them, their sponsors, and their catechists in your prayers as they prepare to receive the Holy Spirit.

ADORATION:  We could use one more person to cover the 6:00 AM hour tomorrow.

ADVENT:  One the one hand, it’s hard to believe Advent is almost upon us; on the other hand, I’m quoting a Christmas homily in this email.  If you want to really enter into the season of Advent this year, why not consider buying an Advent wreath or some Advent candles?  They’ll be on sale this weekend in the narthex.

APPALACHIA: For those interested in going on the Appalachia Mission Trip next summer, there is an informational meeting on Sunday at 1:30 in the social hall.  Registration opens Monday morning at 8 AM.  Contact the youth ministry office for more info.

FAMILY GAME NIGHT:  This Friday, turn off the TV, leave the phones at home, and have an old-fashioned, fun night together as a family.  Join us at 6 pm in the social hall.  For more info, call the faith formation office.

I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  Stay warm this weekend.  Remember your dignity.  Know that you are loved.  See you at Mass!

Fr. Mike

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