Last week I was planning to
offer a teaching Mass to our 9th graders.
My intention was that we would celebrate Mass together during their
usual Faith Formation class but during the Mass if they had questions, I would
stop and answer them. In our world of
technology I had (I thought) the very clever idea that the way to handle the
questions would be to have the kids text them to me.
As we prepared to begin I
received a few texts: “HI”; “How are you?”; “Can you help me with my
math?” Then the questions started
pouring in in earnest. I thought my cell
phone would melt! They were some of the
best questions I have ever had. Fifty
minutes later I hadn’t yet even put on my vestments. Since I didn’t get all of them answered that
night, I will answer the rest in ensuing columns. This week: question 1: Have you ever
regretted being a priest? There are some
days that are long or difficult.
Sometimes I have to do things that I would not consider very fun. I have wondered whether I would have been a
good dad or even what kind of husband I would have made (knowing myself I am
guessing I would have missed my wife’s birthday a few times if I were married
and not made her very happy). However I
can’t see myself doing anything other than being a parish priest!
How can we help Christians
in the Middle East?
Christian minorities in the
Middle East are being persecuted for their faith and many are living lives of
misery because of their belief in Jesus Christ. The US Congress and the European
referred to the ISIS campaign against Christians and other
religious minorities in the region as
a “genocide.” Clearly Christians living in the Middle East
deserve our prayers, support, and efforts to safeguard them. The Knights of Columbus (a Catholic
fraternity with 1.9 million members worldwide) have been particularly active in
raising awareness of their plight and organizing support. The Knights have raised millions of dollars
for Christians suffering from war or persecution, especially in Iraq and
Syria. The Knights’ relief fund for Middle East Christians and other
minorities is accepting donations through its webpage at www.kofc.org/Iraq
We should pray for and
support these persecuted minorities in the Middle East and wherever there is
oppression of Christians. In addition,
we should be grateful our Nation protects freedom of religion and the religious
liberty of all faiths; we benefit from these blessings every day.
How can I help the five
families of Syrian refugees who were originally identified to be resettled in
The five families will be
resettled by Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
(LSS). Saint Patrick Parish will accept
monetary donations on their behalf and forward the funds to LSS as a specific
gift from local donors for these five families.
If you wish to make a donation, write a check or provide cash to the
parish office (or Sunday collection) and designate the gift: LSS/ Syrian
Families. Thank you for your generosity.
Fr. John Gerritts