31 December 2007

I've done it again

It seems that I have a knack for angering a few parishioners every few months simply because I speak the truth, which I guess isn't necessarily a bad thing.

After the Masses this past weekend, I made a few annoucements and reminders:

This coming Tuesday, January 1st, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be celebrated on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at both St. Anthony's and at Shumway and on Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony's.

I would remind you that to purposely miss Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day is a mortal sin. Furthermore, receiving Holy Communion after missing Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day without first confessing the sin is also mortally sinful.

If you need to go to confession you can always contact a priest and ask him to meet you anonymously in the confessional at a certain time on a certain day if you don't want him to know who you are.

With the coming New Year's festivities, there is another sin of which I must remind you: that of drunkenness. To purposely get drunk is always mortally sinful and must be confessed before receiving Holy Communion. If you feel yourself getting tipsy, it's time to stop drinking; it's that simple.

Drinking itself, of course, is not sinful, provided it is done in moderation. Remember what the Psalmist says: "Wine gladdens the heart" (Psalm 104:15), but also remember the words of St. Paul: "Do not get drunk" (Ephesians 5:18).

Next Sunday, January 6th, the parish kicks off a yearlong celebration of it's own: the sesquicentennial year. To help us celebrate 150 years as a parish under the patronage of St. Anthony of Padua, Bishop Lucas will be present to celebrate a special Mass at 2:00 p.m. Many priests and sisters who have served at St. Anthony's over the years will also be returning for the festivities. A reception will follow the Mass.

We warmly invite everyone to attend to begin celebrating 150 years of Catholic faith here in Effingham, a celebration that will continue in various ways over the next twelve months.
Now, I'm sure that my words about missing Mass raised a bit of ire, but what seems to have angered some to move to mockery were my words about drunkenness (not that I'm too surprised at this).

Apparently not a few people remarked that they weren't going to get drunk but were going to get "hammered" instead. I knew I should have asked my high school students for synonyms for "drunk" so as to speak to the maturity level of not a few people.

I pray that what the Lord said to the rich man he will not say to these drunkards: "You fool, this very night your life will be demanded of you" (12:20).

I have said what I needed to say. Now may they cooperate with the grace the Lord gives them.

I shouldn't be surprised anymore at how speaking the truth so angers people, but I am. Kyrie, eleison!

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