Wow; what a week. For me and my wife we had a great week; we got to visit my family in North Carolina; son Jimmy, our daughter-in-law Sara and our two oldest grandchildren, Calvin (8) and Katelyn (5). We had a blast. We got to witness the kids at school; that's virtual school at home. That was very interesting. Watching the teachers at work I would say they are working very hard and are often under appreciated and under paid.
So our week was full of family joy. But I was aware of the approaching storm that eventually hit southwest Louisiana near the path of Hurricane Laura six weeks ago. Hurricane Delta did not seem to be as strong but we feel for all who were directly impacted. We send our love and prayers and will stand by to send other helps as needed.
I also was very aware of the horrible news coming from our own Archdiocese, the betrayal of two priests. I knew them both personally so I am horrified, disappointed, mad and shocked. In the case of Pat Wattigny our prayers must be focused on his victims; both the student from Rummel High School and then the student from Pope JPII High School with whom he was texting. Prayers for their healing and peace as we also pray that this abuse by a Catholic priest does not impact the victims relationship with God. In the Pearl River case we are all now horrified at the details of what Archbishop Aymond calls a demonic and evil act. The priest was not only willing to disobey his vows but to participate in the defiling and desecration of the altar on which he would offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I applaud the Archbishop's decision to burn the old altar and consecrate the new altar for the people of that church parish. Prayers are offered for all who are impacted by the actions of Travis Clark.
Today at Mass Fr. Peter addressed these issues and read the statement that Archbishop Aymond released on Friday. He also shared some personal insights that helped in framing the situation for us. He asked for prayers for the Archbishop as well as those who were victims.
After several weeks now since our pastor began a sabbatical leave I hope you join me in thanking Fr. Peter for all his efforts as the appointed administrator for us at St. Jane and St. Michaels. The good Benedictine monk has been very faithful in offering Mass and the Sacraments while keeping our active busy parish moving along. Thank you Fr. Peter.
Today we heard another parable from the Gospel of Matthew about a wedding feast and having a wedding garment. On first hearing the way the guest without a wedding garment was treated sounds harsh. As Fr. Peter explained today, we all are invited to a great wedding feast, the wedding feast of the Lamb in Holy Mass and the Eucharistic Banquet. What is our wedding garment? Fr. Peter explained it is the love in our heart and the joy in our very soul at being invited by Jesus to receive Jesus. I remember about 9 years ago we lost our long-time Archbishop Philip Hannan. During the beautiful funeral activities we were reminded that the episcopal motto of the good Archbishop was: charity is the bond of perfection. Well that too is the wedding garment we are called to wear every time we attend the wedding banquet of the Holy Mass. Do we come fully prepared to receive Jesus in Word and Sacrament and do we come in charity to show others that charity all week long? Do we exhibit in our lives that charity indeed is the bond of perfection.
In the week ahead can we, as a parish family, reflect on this Gospel while praying for our Archbishop, our Priests, especially Fr. Peter and our pastor Fr. Ken, for the protection of our Priests from the onslaught of evil? We add our prayers for all who have ever been victims of clergy sex abuse that they may find healing and peace. We also pray for all those so adversely impacted by this year's storms and that we all be protected for the remainder of this hurricane season. Add allow me to add one more prayer request for our parish secretary, Ms. Bertha, as she recovers from a medical procedure this past week.
May we all be richly blessed in the days and week ahead as we power on in the love of Christ and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Remember too the motto of good St. Jane: Live Jesus!