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1 September 2015
General Intention: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.Missionary Intention: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.
— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) August 30, 2015
The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door (47).Despite the plea of the Holy Father, the doors of the church were shut to me and to others. Unfortunately, I am not alone in this experience. It happens frequently not only here in Hawaii (and so this post should not be seen as an indictment of this particular parish), but throughout the United States of America and, indeed, throughout the entire Catholic world, even in Rome itself where pilgrims are frequently locked outside of churches (even when the posted hours say the church is to be open). It happens even in the diocese of which I am a priest.
Before I continue, I should say that when I was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Virden and of St. Patrick Parish in Girard, both of the churches remained locked throughout most of the day. The previous pastors kept the doors locked for fear of theft or vandalism and I decided to continue this practice; it is a decision I greatly regret. How many people felt turned away by the Church when they came looking for God?#Catholic pastors: please keep churches open. 2/3 of churches I visited this week were locked. #WeWantToSeeJesus pic.twitter.com/xKzwWJXCQq— Jonathan F. Sullivan (@sullijo) August 7, 2015