One Faith, One Hope, One Love
St. Ann has achieved 100% of the goal set for it by the Archdiocese in pledges for the One Faith, One Hope, One Love Campaign. Sacred Heart achieved and exceeded its goal about six weeks ago. As pastor of both parishes, I am held accountable by the professional fundraisers for promoting the effort in each parish. I am so grateful to both St. Ann and Sacred Heart for achieving what most of us at each parish thought to be an unachievable request. I am so proud of all of you for never giving up.
I really believe in the purposes of the drive. If I did not, I would not have pledged the personal money I did. I divided my personal pledge equally between Sacred Heart and St. Ann. (Remember that diocesan priests own our own assets like cars, pay income taxes, etc. Religious order priests, sisters, and brothers take a vow of personal poverty and own their personal belongings corporately as part of the religious order.) I mention this to explain that I recognize how difficult it was for each of you to dig deep and achieve the goal. I am so proud of all of you. Now I can go to the next meeting of priests and proudly proclaim that the St. Ann and Sacred Heart have done their fair share in creating a legacy for Catholic Education and the future of the Church of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
The Saturday Precept Mass at St. Ann is no longer at 5:00 but at 5:15 p.m. Please help one another to remember until we all get used to it.
Please also remember that the St. Ann/Sacred Heart RCIA for 2015-16 begins on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the basement of Sacred Heart Church. We will have some classes at St. Ann and some at Sacred Heart, but for the first month or so, we will be at Sacred Heart. There is no need to register, just come. Anyone interested in becoming a Catholic and/or anyone already Catholic but interested in updating, please feel free to join us.
Infant Pre Baptism Program for New Parents
The infant pre-baptism class will take place on September 14 at 8:00 p.m. in the basement of Sacred Heart Church. (RH-2 & 3) If this is your first child or if not, but you have never attended a pre-baptism class at another church, I ask that at least one of the parents attend this class. No need to pre-register and feel free to bring godparents, or the baby, if you wish.
Reflection on Scripture
The cross is the only way for a follower of Christ. A Catholic asking whether there is another way to follow Jesus (perhaps without the cross and crucifixion) is a bit like the SCUBA diver asking whether he has to get wet?! You only need a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus if you are swimming under the water. You cannot be an effective diver without it. (Perhaps a snorkel may in some applications prove adequate.) In the same way, there is no following Christ without the cross.
Salvation is free in Jesus Christ, but there is a price to pay to be a true follower. The price is selfless acceptance of the challenge of doing whatever it takes to be a follower of Christ. I used to say to those listening, “Well in our modern world we are not confronted by religious persecution which would end in our death or martyrdom.” Now that we have ISIS terrorists beheading people simply because they are Christians, I don’t make the former statement anymore. We may lose our life in order to be loyal to Christ. But we may also be called to lose our religious freedom to follow Christ. We may be ostracized socially because we belong to Christ. We will almost certainly suffer some ridicule for standing fast in Christ. (Most of us probably already have.) How ready are we to die for Christ? Remember Peter said he wouldn’t deny Christ, but when confronted with arrest and death during Jesus’ passion, he did. He regretted his sin and later died being hung upside down on a cross. He made up for his earlier denial. Pray that you and I are never in a situation in which we find out. But pray also for the strength of the Holy Spirit to be unwavering in our commitment to Jesus Christ.
Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 2:12, 17-20
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