From the desk of Fr Stephen Sep 12, 2021

From the desk of Fr Stephen

This past Thursday, September 9th, we celebrated the Feast of St. Peter Claver.  Peter Claver was a Jesuit priest from Spain that went to the foreign missions in Colombia, where he ministered to the African men, women and children after they got off the ships from Africa.  St. Peter worked for the next 40 years with these poor slaves as they were forced, against their will, to come to America.  St. Peter Claver is an inspiration to us of someone who worked tirelessly to comfort the enslaved people in the face of much opposition.  Today at Mass, we have the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver from around the Archdiocese with us.  These knights and ladies have done admirable work over the years and we thank them for their service.  May God bless them and the work they do.

Yesterday, September 11th, we remembered the events of 20 years ago.  There is some closure to the war with the withdrawal from Afghanistan by America, but certainly, pain is still there for some.  I remember staring into the television that day, wondering what was happening as a second airplane crashed into the twin towers.  It was very surreal, especially as we watched live.  It reminds me of the ongoing war and hatred we still experience among nations and peoples worldwide.  In some ways, it is as if Jesus, the Son of God, never came amongst us.  Have we learned anything at all?  Violence just begets more violence.  I ask God to soften the hearts of people and let his healing presence abide within them.

This week work has begun on the stone wall on Cook Avenue.  It is going to take time and money before the project is completed.  If you haven’t already, you will be receiving a letter from me asking for your contributions to help pay for it.  We are sending out this mailing to all who have come through our doors over the years.  St. Alphonsus “ROCK” Church has stood here for over 150 years, so it sometimes requires repairs.  I know you may have other expenses that need your money, but the wall here is a landmark for the surrounding city.  Other churches may have used the same stonework on their churches, but the ‘ROCK’ was the first.  We have set the way for others to follow.  We must repair the wall as quickly as we can to avoid anyone getting hurt.

As you may know, the Card Party/Fall Festival will be a virtual event again this year.  It is not the best scenario, but we must do what is best for everyone involved.  I thank the committee and team for what they have already done in preparing for the event, and I ask God’s continuous blessing for us as we proceed forward. 

I hope you all have a blessed week.