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Many opportunities to share our faith

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As we continue our Respect Life theme this week, we’re invited to reflect on the call to accompany our sisters who are pregnant and confronted with serious dilemmas. While Catholics know that abortion is a grave evil and its legalization contributes to a culture of death, the call of each disciple is to accompany our sisters as we promote a Culture of Life. Who ultimately suffers when a baby’s life is ended while the little one is still in the womb? We all do! But the issue itself requires that we extend compassion for the unborn, their mothers, as well as those who have suffered the violence of abortion. Let us accompany these women while we protect the most innocent of humans.

In addition to the Respect Life insert, we’ve also enclosed a brochure introducing our diocesan campaign, Heart of a Shepherd. The $30M campaign, begun in 2019, is to raise support for three specific needs of our priests: the renovation of our seminaries, a relief fund for newly-ordained priests who have substantial student loan debt, and the priest pension fund. St. Patrick Parish is being asked to contribute a total of $41,100 (the equivalent of one year’s offertory assessment) over a three-year period. We thank everyone who is able to assist with supporting this diocesan need.

Finally, allow me to share one of many wonderful encounters that happened on the rectory porch. This one occurred just the other night while I was visiting with Fr. Hollis and Max Giorgi, our seminarian. While we were chatting, three men approached us and asked if they could “bother us for a few minutes.” I replied that they were certainly not bothering us. With that, one of the men asked about three specific saints of the Catholic Church. He shared that he was Jewish and only had heard of these saints. So, we shared some of what we knew and conversed further about a number of other things within the span of fifteen minutes. As they were preparing to leave we all exchanged gratitude for the opportunity to meet.

Shortly after their departure an ambulance raced by and stopped at what we believed to be a parishioner’s house. Pursuing the matter, Max and I raced over to the house as Fr. Hollis committed to keeping vigil at the rectory porch. Sure enough, it was the house of our dear parishioner who lives within a stone’s throw of Saint Patrick. We entered the house and prayed over our friend, joined by members of the family and the paramedics. The medics concluded that all was well and a hospital visit would not be required. Not wanting to be in the way we returned to the rectory porch.

After a briefing was offered to Fr. Hollis, we all agreed it was time to call it a night. I knew Fr. Hollis, Max, and I would each have a couple of extra intentions as we said our night prayers, first for our new friends and then for our dear parishioner who is going to be okay.

I like our porch and those opportunities that present themselves each day.

Joyfully yours in our Lord of Life,

Fr. Gurnick