Bulletin (October 26, 2003)

Let’s start off with some good news. In spite of heavy rains early this week, the school roof patch held. Special thanks to James Donohue and other parishioners who gave their time and talent to respond to this emergency. Catholic Mutual (our Archdiocesan insurance) paid for this temporary remedy.

The bad news is that we will have to replace the school roof sooner than we originally projected. Our Parish Building Commission had it as part of the fourth phase of our overall renovation project, but it has now been moved to Phase One. When we do the feasibility study, we will be asking about your support for this and other necessary repairs. (On Thursday I gave a presentation to the Archdiocesan Building Commission which I placed in this Sunday’s bulletin.)

The parish raffle will be a great help for our finances. As of Thursday morning we have received $10,031. This pays for prizes ($3000, $1000 and $500) as well the printing and other costs – and leaves several thousand for urgent needs here in the parish. Please do your best this week to sell or purchase other raffle tickets. The drawing will be Friday evening at 8 p.m. in the lower hall.

Deacon Ted placed an announcement indicating how we will remember our loved ones on All Saints and All Souls Day. I am especially remembering those parishioners who sacrificed to give us such a beautiful church. Also I will bring a picture of my parents and I ask you to please bring a picture of your own departed loved ones.

What should be our attitude toward death? Last weekend, in relation to the situation of Terri Schiavo, I spoke about the sin of euthanasia. At the same time, while none of relishes the thought of death, we all must die. When that moment arrives, may we embrace it as the entrance to true life. In his Canticle of the Creatures, St. Francis struck the right note:

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for our sister, bodily death, whom no man living can escape Woe to those, who die in mortal sin: blessed those whom she will find in Thy most holy desires, because the second death will do them no evil (cf. Apoc 2:11; 20:6)

Death is our sister, but to take her in our own hands by euthanasia is a grave sin. In the case of Terri Schiavo, some thought we were arguing for preserving her life “at all costs.” As I mentioned last week, the Catechism teaches that God does not require us to use means that are “burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome.” We do not worship life. We worship God. For that reason, we wish to do those things which please him and to avoid whatever displeases him. That obviously includes taking the life of an innocent human being.

At the other end of the life spectrum, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to ban “partial birth abortion.” Several years ago, Deacon Ted described this barbaric procedure in a homily. Many of you sent postcards to our Senators and representatives, but, above all, you prayed there would be some protection for the most defenseless members of our society.

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon argues persuasively that the unrestrained abortion license has not been a benefit for women. I tend to see the devastation in counseling and confessional situations. The sad part is that almost every one of the young women felt she had no choice. In spite of all the talk about pro-choice, no one really offered them true options. The death of their babies made things convenient for many people, but for the moms it was the beginning of a lifetime of remorse.

At the March for Life last January a number of very brave women, including actress, model and author, Jennifer O’Neill, carried signs stating “I Regret my Abortion.” They spoke for millions who suffer in silence or with misplaced anger.

Unless there is a deep and widespread conversion in peoples’ hearts, we will have legalized abortion in this country for a long time. Still, within that framework, we must work for some protection for unborn children and also some assistance for moms in desperate situations – and for healing for those wounded by abortion.

Para la comunidad hispana: he escrito en inglés sobre unos temas de importancia en cuanto a la parroquia y lo que Dios dice sobre la eutanasia, el aborto y otros asuntos básicos. Como voy a hablar de estos temas en la homilía, no he dado una traducción.