I complained earlier this week about how bad the customer service is around here and how I am looking forward to leaving the DC area when Wingnut retires. Besides the beautiful friendships we have made, there is one other thing I will absolutely miss if we move from here, our parish. We belong to one of those knitch parishes where orthodoxy abounds. The Mass is celebrated with extreme humility and reverence, by incredibly devout priests. There are never any shenanigans or liturgical buffoonery and it doesn't matter which Mass we go to, each is equally reverent. It is one of the very few parishes that does not allow girls to serve on the altar. We don't need them, our group of altar boys consists of over 100 boys from 4th-12th grade incorporated into a simple hierarchy of seniority and they perform their duties at the altar with extraordinary care and competence. As a result our parish boasts numerous vocations, including 8 permanent deacons, 3 priests, 3 current seminarians, and 2 religious sisters.
Today, I was once again reminded of why I love this fantastic parish and I why I so deeply respect our pastor. The following article for the bulletin was written by our amazing pastor, Monsignor Charles Parry.
It seems to me that every four years our nation goes through an internal upheaval by the trauma and actual fear over the election of a new president to provide leadership for our citizens. By what is said and promised it amazes me and at the same time distresses me to realize the lengths that some people will go to 'get a vote'. There are so many issues that affect us all--national security, the economy, gas and food prices, the cost of health care, and job security, just to name a few. On these issues everyone has an opinion, and there are proposals to address these things on both sides of the aisle.
I find a tremendous disturbance within my soul, and yet it is not over these everyday issues, important as I know that they are to us--issues that cannot be ignored, issues that need to be addressed for the safety and well being of our citizens. The conflict that rages within my inner being has everything to do with a basic imperative--the value, the concern, the care, the protection , the support, and the dignity of the human person from the moment of conception to natural death. If I am not in touch with the beauty and wonder of the human person in and of him or herself, and my desire is anything other than doing what I can to promote the well being of my neighbor--from conception to natural death--then all of my efforts turn to selfish gain and the promotion of my own comfort. Isn't this true for us all? The value that a person places on human life directs literally everything else he or she does. The value we place upon human life is at the heart and soul of our nation. To strip this value from our national identity is to rip out our heart and soul--without the heart and soul, there is no life.
I cannot--In fact I WILL NOT cast my single vote for any individual, political party, or party representative who is blind to the beauty and dignity of the human person from conception to natural death. Why? Because this is the bedrock, the foundation upon which everything else is built--unless the foundation is sound, nothing built upon it has lasting value; it will collapse into selfishness and contribute to the furtherance of the culture of death and destruction. What a difference the 67 million Catholics in this country could make by raising one united voice for life!
As the pastor of souls and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I urge you to weigh carefully the vote you will cast in the days to come--pray fervently for wisdom and guidance, to consider wholeheartedly the things of God, and to support the culture of life as we beseech the mercy of Almighty God upon our country, upon its leaders and upon its citizens.