Dear Parishioners: We are grateful to Fr. Roy Shea from the Missionhurst Missionaries for sharing his experience in the missions with us last weekend. The Annual Mission Co-op enables us to spiritually and financially support the missions. It also reminds us that we are part of large and universal Church and that we are called to evangelize the world both near and far. Let us continue to pray for the many missionaries of our Church who bring the faith to the remotest and poorest places across the globe!
I hope you had a chance to say “Farewell” to our Summer Seminarian Eric Silva last weekend. We are grateful to Fr. Carl Fisette, Diocesan Vocation Director, for sending us a seminarian as part of the summer program of the Diocese. OLM is blessed to part of their formation for priesthood. We continue to pray for Eric and all our seminarians as they move forward in their preparation for priestly ordination.
I was blessed last week to attend a meeting of State Catholic Conference Directors. Nearly forty directors from across the country gathered together in Michigan to discuss legislative strategies, public policy initiatives, and Church teaching. We had presentations from legal experts about threats to religious liberty. In particular how the Religious Freedom Restoration Act effects the Church nationally and locally.
We also examined some of the national legislative initiatives to address the growing problem of poverty in our nation. Presentations offered by the staff of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA were very helpful. We also received updates on the progress of immigration reform and criminal justice reform.
We were updated on the growing movement across the nation to legalize Physician Assisted Suicide . In fact, such a bill was introduced and received committee hearings at the RI General Assembly this past spring. Thankfully these bills were held for further study but the fight to ensure the dignity of the terminally ill and handicapped goes on here and across the Untied States.
Another topic discussed at the meeting was the recent revelation about Planned Parenthood’s selling of body parts of aborted babies. This shocking news about such a depraved practice by the nation’s largest provider of abortion on demand only reinforces our Church’s commitment to call for the protection of innocent human life in our nation. Bishop Tobin issued a statement about this tragic news last week, stating:
“If there was any doubt about the evil agenda of Planned Parenthood, that doubt has been dispelled by the recent video showing the sale of body parts of aborted babies. This disgusting and depraved practice should be condemned by everyone with a conscience, everyone committed to the defense of human life and dignity. It is time for political leaders to renounce their association with Planned Parenthood. And once again I call upon the Rhode Island Congressional delegation to end the public funding of Planned Parenthood. Our taxes should not be used to end the life of children and then market their bodies.”
As Catholics we must make our concerns known to our elected officials both nationally and locally. If we are to turn the tide of the culture of death that continues to debase our nation we must not only pray but also act. So I encourage you to pray for our nation and also to act in defense of human life. I am reminded of the words of Pope Francis in his recent encyclical, Laudato Si. The Holy Father states:
“A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted.”
Pray and act in defense of life! Be well. Do good. God Bless.