Dear brothers and sisters,
Following the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, I wanted to share with you a few personal reflections. The issue of clergy sexual abuse is nothing new – I was in my second year of seminary in 2002 when the scandal first broke into the national news in Boston. At that time, my classmates and I only strengthened our resolve answer God’s calling to us, and to live our lives with a commitment to health, happiness, and holiness. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are several priests on the list of accused clergy that I crossed paths with over the years. The priest who first asked me about the priesthood is on the list, as is the priest who preached at my first Mass. Both had a very positive influence on my life and vocation. I am angry that even after 15 years, church leaders still haven’t gotten their act together. Nevertheless, my faith in God, in God’s Word, and in Jesus’ Presence with us in the Eucharist is not shaken. Like Peter in today’s Gospel, I respond, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Many thanks to all who helped make our first annual Parish Family Picnic a huge success! Thanks to all parish organizations who helped out in some way, to Andy our faithful cook, and to the parish staff for your efforts. Our parish is truly a loving family. Next year I hear that we’re planning something called “Dunk the Deacon!” Also, may God bless our youth and college students who are going back to school in these weeks with another happy and growth-filled academic year. I know the youth are sad because summer went by so fast, but I also know that your parents are not sad to see you leave the house!