Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Francis of Assisi Church and Parish,
May the Lord give you peace.
This weekend we celebrate the feast of All Saints. We can look back at those children, women, and men recognized by the church as saints. We can also recall with St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians, “you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.” With this in mind, let us consider the many saints of our day. We can think of men and women who worked for the dignity and grace of all people. We can consider the educators who provide book knowledge and also tender the care and wisdom that forms gracious ways of thinking and being. We recognize medical personnel who offer healing and peace. We might consider the men and women who challenge us to face our racism, sexism, and limited understanding of gender and sexuality. We are also blessed with those children, women, and men who live simple, humble lives open to God’s continued call to transformation in grace. Pope Francis invites us to consider the holy men and women of other religious or non-religious traditions. We think of so many who give themselves in service to our world with compassion. I invite you to take some time to consider the saints of your life, those children, women, and men who have loved you, nurtured you, challenged you, held space for you, and were present for you. We can give thanks to God for all whom we know and the many we have already forgotten.
Many of us are anxious about the election. We are challenged to choose leadership as Catholic Christian voters. We think of the Pro-Life dimension of our call to social justice, and we remember that Pro-Life is not simply pro-birth; it is the whole of life. Within our Catholic Social teaching, we consider a large picture. The right to life continues beyond birth. The right to life beyond birth includes our transformation/conversion as a culture and church in the areas of human dignity. These areas of conversion include racism, ecology, care for families, care for the poor, quality education for all, affordable medical care, nutrition, homelessness, refugees, and migrants. To be Pro-Life calls for an economy that places people over objects. Our hidden wealth is found in our relationships, our faith, our willingness to dialogue, and our respect for diversity. We are responsible for electing leaders who see beyond the narrow confines of limited imagination. We seek leaders who are open to the vista of participation in a world that, while divided, is filled with children, women, and men created in the image of God, loved by God. Please pray for our nation.
Pray for peace during this election. Pray for those who are elected and those who are not. We seek to unite the divisions that often seem overwhelming. To do this we must put bitterness and resentment aside, work for the values of the Gospel within the way of the Gospel.
Finally, please stay safe. The virus is spiking in many places. Follow the prescribed protocols, avoid crowds, and encourage one another.
Peace and all good,
Peace and all good,
-Fr. Tom Gallagher, O.F.M