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Announcements ~ 20 October 2019

fleur cross logo Our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New" continues. The private gifts phase has raised  $2.7M toward our goal of $5M. Now into our public phase, we have increased our pledge amounts to 3.1M. We appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  If you have not yet filled out a commitment card, please offer a pledge amount over time.   Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.Our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New" continues. The private gifts phase has raised  $2.7M toward our goal of $5M. Now into our public phase, we have increased our pledge amounts to 3.1M. We appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  If you have not yet filled out a commitment card, please offer a pledge amount over time.   Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.

fleur cross logo The 49'ers will be selling White House Ornaments after all Masses this weekend and next. Look for their table in the vestibule of the church. 

fleur cross logo ECHO’s popular Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 8am-Noon in the gym. Proceeds of the sale benefit ECHO whose mission is to help local people who are experiencing emergency as well as those who have long-term low income needs.

fleur cross logo Our 4th Monday TAIZE Prayer Service is next week, Monday, October 28 at 8pm. Please invite all your Christian friends to join us in this beautiful, peaceful ecumenical prayer service in the tradition of the Taizé Community in France.

fleur cross logo All Saints’ Day Mass schedule (holy day of obligation) October 31 Vigil at 7:30pm, November 1 Masses at 6:30 and 9am, Noon, 6:30pm in English and 8pm in Spanish.  The  All Souls’ Day Mass schedule includes 9am  and noon on Saturday, November 2 for all our deceased.

fleur cross logo All Souls’ Novena of Masses - Remembrance envelopes in which you may include the names of your deceased family or friends are available in the vestibule of the church and parish office. Envelopes will be placed near the altar during the Novena of Masses. To participate please fill out one of the envelopes with your donation and return them to the parish office before November 2nd. Questions, please contact the parish office.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 20 October 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,


This week I have been on my annual retreat.  Priests are required to do a week-long retreat each year, something we probably wouldn't find the time to do if it weren't required.  All of us have a great need to step away for a few days and try to get an objective look at life and especially our life with God, to determine a course of action and ongoing conversion.   We should figure out some way to include a retreat in our yearly plan, even if just a day or two to devote to evaluating and moving forward with life.  That is primarily why we schedule a 40 Hours Parish Mission each year during Lent (this year will be Sunday evening, March 8 through Tuesday evening the 10th) when the parish stops regular activities and focuses on God.


It is all the daily stuff that can tend to shut down your spiritual life.  Things that seem more tangible, confronting us in ways that can be so distracting and contrary to the plan of God in our life.  We know that what he offers is complete love and mercy, but we can defer even our thinking about this because there are too many things pressing on us now at the present moment.  We can circle back around to God later, right?—or will we?  It will always be the present moment.  Maybe we will never get around to it.


Some people I know have a space dedicated in their house only for this.  A quiet corner with a chair and table and a Bible or spiritual book.  Even in this way you can designate a space into which you enter, and decide to leave everything else outside, even for ten minutes a day.  The fixer upper shows on TV would have you believe that a "retreat" is a spa bathroom that reminds you of the beach, or a basement cave where you can go and watch football.  The retreat we need is a place where one meets with God.


What if married couples were to plan time together like this before troubles begin?  Or families who need to just unplug and be together?  I am grateful, though it will be hard to leave daily parish life with all its needs behind, for the opportunity to go on retreat.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Another update on the Our Lady of Lourdes window in the sanctuary.  The diocese recommended a company to work with us in resolving this issue of the window, which has now been dark for over a year.  As I have said before, replacing the lights behind it requires that it be removed from the wall.  Now we are told that this particular window was installed without restoration (I had thought that the Saint Joseph and Lourdes windows were purchased at the same time, but apparently were not) and the leading has deteriorated and there are gaps between stained glass and leading that have made it very fragile.  The consultant told us that if we move it it could dissolve all over the floor.  


This might be more than you want to know, but I found it interesting.  Really old stained glass was made by casting lead into the filigree pattern of the window, then glass was added.  Today lead is extruded to fit between the pieces of cut stained glass.  But in the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a lot experimentation with adding alloys to the lead, a practice that has been discontinued as the alloys proved to fail with time.


The Lourdes window will need to be re-leaded which will take some time, as well as being remounted and retrofitted with a new lighting system.  While one is being done, we need to do both or we will be undergoing the same process twice.  The cost estimate for this is $75,000.


I'm not sure how to proceed.  We ran it by the finance council last week and they suggested we spend the money, but it is not budgeted and we need to keep our savings in case it is needed with the school this year.  Additionally, I was hoping that what unexpected donations might come in would be used to construct proper tiered risers for the choir area, a project that would really have a positive effect on our worship of God.  We will discern this, and I will be in contact further with the diocese to see what alternatives we have.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~


As I write this article the noon Mass and parish picnic have just ended and we are breaking down the area behind the school.  These moments of our being together as a parish are so important to the life of the Church.  Vital, I would say, otherwise we fall into the trap of thinking of faith individualistically.  Since the picnic will be already last weekend when you read this, we want to thank all the many people who worked to make our annual picnic a terrific event, including all the folks that brought food, who served food, who set up and took down tables and chairs, our great PTO who provided games and rides, and to our parish and school staff who provided a beautiful witness of teamwork and family. 

 
Family is great.  Family is even greater when we work together with a shared objective and produce a wonderful event that is so significant.  Thank you!


God bless you,

Announcements ~ October 13, 2019

fleur cross logo TODAY! You are invited to our Saint Bernadette Parish Picnic and Fall Festival Family Day, Sunday, October 13. The afternoon Mass schedules will be adjusted to accommodate our family celebration of all the diversity in the parish. Details are on page 7.
 
fleur cross logo Our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New" continues. The private gifts phase has raised  $2.7M toward our goal of $5M. Now into our public phase, we have increased our pledge amounts to 3.1M. We appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  If you have not yet filled out a commitment card, please offer a pledge amount over time.   Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth OR seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Register now.
 
fleur cross logo All are invited to the Lord of the Miracles (El Senor De Los Milagros) celebration. on Saturday, Ocotber 19 at 10:30am. The Lord of the Miracles is a mural painted of Jesus Christ that is venerated in the country of Peru and throughout the world by Peruvians. The mural became famous after it withstood the many violent earthquakes that shook the City of Lima and for this reason it became known also as “The Lord of Earthquakes,” a divine sign that recognizes the Lord God as all powerful. There were many who swore the image was responsible for miracles that happened in their lives. The image became known as the “Lord of Miracles” and now is the Patron Saint of Peru.
 
fleur cross logo ECHO’s popular Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 8am-Noon in the gym. Proceeds of the sale benefit ECHO whose mission is to help local people who are experiencing emergency as well as those who have long-term low income needs.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ October 13, 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
I couldn't resist including one final picture of our pilgrimage to Ireland.  I can't really explain it, but since the first time I came here to Clonmacnoise I felt like it was home.  Perhaps there is some connection—after I finally did the DNA test last year I discovered that Rooneys come from a town called Moore's Church, two miles west as the crow flies from this place on the other side of the River Shannon in County Roscommon.  And the chapel in the photo above, the old one with the stone roof to the right, is the O'Connor chapel. My Grandma Rooney was an O'Connor.
 
Clonmacnoise was established by Saint Ciarán in 544.  At the crossroads of the main east-west road and the River Shannon it became a major center of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 9th century, and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland and a center of learning for scholars from all over Europe.  The high kings of Connaught and Tara are buried here.  Having survived many Viking raids, it was finally destroyed by the English garrison at Athlone in 1552.
 
Here we are celebrating Mass in an oratory in the cemetery built for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979.
 
 ~ ~ ~ ~|~ ~ ~ ~ 
 
I've been hearing some rumblings from the peripheries that we have too many second collections.  I agree.  I'm almost embarrassed to announce them all the time.  It seems endless, and I would also have to admit that each one takes a bite out of our weekly offertory for the parish.  So I thought I might say a little about this.
 
Second collections are optional.  We have a list of national collections that we are asked to take up, just shy of mandatory.  So we do them.  There are others that are local, such as maintenance of facilities or tuition assistance or religious education.  These are necessary because we have found people don't give to these things unless we ask, since the offertory literally breaks even with operations costs of the parish office and ministries, and our support for the school.  We count expenses very carefully lately and have put off a lot of repairs/projects because our budget is tight.  Then there are the collections like we had for the Little Sisters of the Poor last weekend, a charity that this parish has traditionally supported very nicely who has come to rely on our generosity.
 
Second collections are optional.  We include them in case you would want to give to them, but no one is expected to give to all of them.  For example, when asked by the diocese to add the Bahamas to the second collection list recently, we did so, because we thought it would be worse not to offer the opportunity.  Choose the charities you are passionate about.  Then, at least we have given you and them opportunity. 
 
Good news:  we have ordered a new mixer that will replace the patched together sound systems in the church.  Hopefully this will guarantee that microphones will work on Sundays during the middle Masses!
 
God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ 6 October 2019

fleur cross logo LIFE CHAIN - a public witness to the sanctity of human life!  We will form a chain along Franconia Road from 2:30-3:30pm. Our parish is assigned to gather in front of Key Middle School. Signs will be provided. Please join us Sunday, October 6 for a peaceful, prayerful, silent demonstration.
 
fleur cross logo Save the Date! You are invited to our Saint Bernadette Parish Picnic and Fall Festival Family Day, October 13. The afternoon Mass schedules will be adjusted to accommodate our family celebration of all the diversity in the parish. Details are on page 7.
 
fleur cross logo Our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New" continues. The private gifts phase has raised  $2.7M toward our goal of $5M. Now into our public phase, we have increased our pledge amounts to 3.1M. We appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  If you have not yet filled out a commitment card, please offer a pledge amount over time.   Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth OR seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Register now.
 
fleur cross logo Please support Saint Bernadette School! AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support our school every time you shop, at no cost to you. Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to St. Bernadette School.
 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 6 October 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
On the cover of the bulletin this week I have included a photo which I took of a "Mass Rock," one of many in Ireland.  Over the cliff face which served as a secret altar is a memorial plate which simply reads in Irish and English, "In penal days Mass was offered here 1691-1829."  It was during these 138 years that people and priests could be killed for practicing their faith in Ireland under British law.  The churches had been virtually all destroyed or taken for use by the Church of England (later, the Church of Ireland in the Republic of Ireland after independence from the monarchy in England).  The Irish countryside was literally deforested so that Catholics could not practice their faith in hiding.  The people would set up a watch in hidden places when the priest could come and would be ready to disband at a moment's notice if they were to be discovered.
 
This location at Glenville in the parish of Watergrasshill just north of Cork is in a ravine cut by a flowing stream.  Beside the stream is a cliff face which is today filled with candles and other signs of faith from pilgrims who travel here to remember and pray.  The community celebrates an annual Mass here, as we did last week.
 
It was hard to find this spot, even today, but it's a real treasure.  We all commented on how it clearly felt like a very holy place.  This was my reflection this week.
 
We have been to so many holy places on this pilgrimage, and some churches, too.  We have visited some of the earliest monastic foundations established by the great saints of Ireland:  St. Kevin's Glendalough, St. Ciaran's Clonmacnoise, and other historic sites on the western coast of Ireland.  I described in my letter last week our Mass celebrated at the holy place of the mass grave of hundreds (thousands?) of people who starved during the famine starting in 1845.  We visited holy wells, one connected to St. Brigid as well as springs blessed by St. Patrick where he baptized an entire land.
 
I have been thinking a lot about what makes a place holy.  Take the cliff and stream on the cover for example.  It is already a holy place simply because it is God's creation and his beauty is palpable.  He is present. It is perfect in its taking place.  But its impact is unique because it is a place of a great witness of human faith in God.  It is the faith of the people that makes the place holy, in the same way that the covenant with God was possible (not one sided) and that Jesus' healings in the Gospels were possible because of the faith of the person in need of healing.  These are places where people actually risked their lives—and often lost them—simply because they were Catholic and Catholics were considered somehow less than human, the same way slaves were considered only 160 years ago here in our land.  It was their faith in God as humans that won the day despite their desperate losses... as the Fathers of the Church often said, it is the blood of the martyrs that mixes the mortar which holds the stones of the Church together.
 
So what makes a place holy?  This is a central question for us to pray about as we go about intentionally building our church community at Saint Bernadette.  It is most certainly the presence of God.  This makes altars of reservation of the Eucharist special instances of this presence of God.  Also, we all would agree that, as members of that Body in communion with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are each and all tabernacles of God, with more dignity and beauty than even the most exalted expressions of human artists and architects. 
 
But where does heroic faith become incarnate in the community?  Where does it take place?  It takes place on the altar of service. I don't remember now exactly who it was who said this, I believe it was one of the martyr saints of Latin America, that every horizontal surface has become an altar.  The table of feeding the hungry.  The place of our family meals.  The beds of the sick.  Hands outstretched in prayer.  The horizon of our earth, God's great work.  And it takes place in the expressions of how we care for the place where we come together to share a house with God.  God doesn't need a house; we need to be with him, and form a home where we can dwell together.
 
Half of our Masses on this pilgrimage trip are taking place outside the four walls of a consecrated church.  The church isn't the building:  it is the people who populate it.  In fact, our church at Saint Bernadette (1980) is a late manifestation of an architectural movement that happened in the 1970s, a movement that is largely criticized today.  The churches built often did not have a lot of art or ornamentation, intentionally:  they state that it is the people who enter who provide the beauty of faith, the living expression of the glory of God.  We don't need to find it outside the living expression of our Community.  God is present where we are gathered in his name... perfectly.  We don't need to look outside to find God.
 
Ultimately, the answer to "What makes a holy place?" is a challenge to all of us.  A place is holy according to the holiness of the people who gather.  So let us, each and all of us as community, make holiness our first priority.
 
God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ 29 September 2019

fleur cross logo This weekend we will welcome a guest priest from Cross Catholic Outreach.  Fr. Frank Iacona, CMF, is speaking at all the Masses on behalf of the poor in developing countries.  Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America adn the priests and sisters working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
 
fleur cross logo Last weekend was Commitment Weekend for the public phase of our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New."  The private gifts phase has already placed us above $2.7 million for a $5 million goal and we appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  If you have not yet filled out a commitment card, please offer a pledge amount over time.  You can find a card printed on page 8 of this bulletin.  Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth OR seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Register now.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 29 September 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
Today we had planned to visit a church near the Rock of Cashel for Mass, but as sometimes happens on pilgrimage tours, plans change because of tour reservations at different places get switched, or weather happens, sometimes it is the tendency of pilgrims to run a little behind schedule.  You have to remain flexible!
 
Instead, this morning, we found that we needed to plan a Mass somewhere between the Waterford Crystal factory tour in Waterford, Ireland, and the Cobh Heritage Center in Cobh (the seaport of Cork) where we toured the museum dedicated to the millions of Irish who had to leave the country, first under two centuries of British occupation when their homes were tumbled and lands seized, then during the potato famine in 1845 and following, continuing well into this century as the limits of law prevented the Irish people from flourishing in their own land.
 
It is a story that has been repeated in nearly every culture in every country.  For me, it is personal, because my ancestors began coming to the United States from Ireland in 1835.  Turns out they probably had their farms taken away in the north of Ireland and became wandering laborers in the southwest, ultimately to seek a future somewhere else.  One of the towns of my ancesters, Rathkeale, is a town of people called "Tinkers," Gypsy-like people who began a nomadic lifestyle after they lost their homes and families in the north. 
 
The phenomenon of migration from Ireland is recorded since the Early Middle Ages, but it is only possible to quantify it from around 1700: since then between nine and ten million people born in Ireland have emigrated. This is more than the population of Ireland at its historical peak of 8.5 million in the 1840s.
 
Our guide today told us that the population of modern Ireland is about 4.5 million; in the 1840s as many as three million emigrated as a result of the famine (maybe as many as half of these did not survive the "coffin ships" during the six to eight week passage to the United States or Australia), as many as three million left behind died of starvation even though there was plenty of food.  The laws prevented them from any access to survival, as the Catholic Irish were considered lower than livestock.
 
So our bus driver offered an idea of where we might celebrate Mass.  On a high hill overlooking the Irish Sea near the coastal city of Dungarvin is a field fenced with stones, overgrown, with a large cross monument standing in the middle of the field.  Here, he said, was a famine cemetery, a place of mass graves where an untold number of unknown people who were found dead and then buried during the time of the great hunger.  I couldn't help but reflect on how our Tradition calls for a relic of a saint to be placed in the altar:  here, we had no altar other than my carry-on suitcase, but the ground was our altar with all those saints below, those who died simply because they were Catholics.  The ones who couldn't leave, and couldn't survive.
 
It is a sobering fact that our world is full of people in the same situation today.  It is also sobering how many people would rather build a wall to keep them there, to make them stay.
This weekend is the observance of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.  Let's pray for a conscience to see and respond to the facts of today.
 
STATEMENT BY BISHOP MICHAEL BURBIDGE ON WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
 
His Holiness, Pope Francis, has chosen Sunday, September 29, for the observance of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to draw attention to those who have been forced to leave their homes because of war, violence, famine, or lack of the essential economic means. Many migrants and refuges and their families come to our nation in the hope of finding a new and better life.
 
Our Catholic faith challenges us to respond to the plight of our brothers and sisters by welcoming them in our midst. In our diocese, we strive to support them through the generous work of our parishes and our Catholic Charities Newcomer Services. By welcoming, training, equipping and integrating into our community migrants and refugees, we manifest our common human dignity and our need to be one as children of a loving God. Take action.
 
God bless you.

 

Announcements ~ 22 September 2019

fleur cross logo  This is Commitment Weekend for the public phase of our Capital Campaign for Community, "Make All Things New."  The private gifts phase has already placed us above $2.7 million for a $5 million goal and we appeal to you to truly support this opportunity for depth and growth for our community.  Hopefully you had an opportunity to really pray about how important this parish is to you and how we need space to be together.  This weekend please fill out a commitment card and place it in the basket.  Cards are in the pews.  You'll notice there is no envelope:  we are asking you for a commitment over time, not just a one-time gift.  Our society needs to put Church back into the center of its life.

fleur cross logo Think about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults began September 12.  It is not too late!  We welcome all who are interested in learning about becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register in the parish office. 
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth OR seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Register now.
 
fleur cross logo Next weekend we will welcome a guest priest from Cross Catholic Outreach.  Fr. Frank Iacona, CMF, will speak at all the Masses on behalf of the poor in developing countries.  Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and sisters working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 22 September 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
Last weekend I had an important opportunity to give a homily to the whole church at Saint Bernadette, something that a pastor doesn't get to do often.  With many Masses and many priests offering homilies, it is rare that you have a united message that is sent out to all the people of the church.  If you didn't get a chance to hear it, please know my homilies are always available on our parish website.  Once the page loads, simply scroll over the world "welcome" in the horizontal menu at the top of the page.  A menu will drop down, and toward the bottom, click on the word "homilies."
 
I followed several primary themes which I thought were vital for this opportunity to speak the truth to everyone at once.  The homily ran a little longer than usual (I cut out all that I could) but most people didn't seem to mind.
 
As you give a homily multiple times on a weekend it also starts to clarify in your mind.  What I was doing—and I actually said this in later homilies—was appealing to you to fight for the soul of our Church.  By strengthening families, helping parents to be good parents, children not to abandon the faith, to help our church community truly be a church community, not just a cultural identity. 
 
The Church doesn't exist to give us what we want:  God wants us and as the Church we offer ourselves to him.  It is, in the example of Jesus, self-gift that brings about salvation.  We have to give ourselves away to him.  This takes place in the form of bread and wine, and we become the Body of Jesus.  Not to get Jesus, but to be Jesus.  Most people are settling for far less than God wants to give us.
 
So we have to do better in our obligation to properly form ourselves to be Jesus.  This is not accomplished by self-study, or self-examination, though those things might be helpful.  It only happens when we become—as a community—witnesses of the presence of Jesus in the world.  We learn not as much by study as we do by doing.  Yes, we must teach our children the ways of God's love so that they might be a city of light on a hilltop for the future, but we must first learn what to teach them, and how to teach them.  This is where we don't know what we don't know.
 
Parish programs for adult formation, therefore, are primary and vital for parish life, for spiritual life.  And adult formation is what we don't do well.  If we give it a try, will people come?  I don't know, but we must try.

Therefore it becomes necessary to have facilities that allow our family truly become this family of God.  As I said, as parents must provide a home that is clean, safe and modest, able to provide for the needs, growth, fulfillment and leisure for their family, so must we provide for our parish family.
 
We distributed pledge cards.  There is one in this bulletin, too (p. 9), if you didn't take one with you.  I request everyone, everyone, to pray about this and consider adding a"Light of the World," Nelly Bube, Kazakhstan pledge of a few dollars ($10?) a week to their weekly offering, whatever it might be.  If you don't give a weekly offering, this is a great place to start.  100% of anything given to the Capital Campaign Making All Things New will stay in the parish as a restricted fund to accomplish growth meeting the needs of community.
 
Campaigning for the soul of our church.  It might seem a little dramatic unless you scratch the surface of daily life.  We are so divided.  It concerns me that everything has become an effect of political polarization.  Even things that would never have been questioned internally by the faithful of previous generations—things like the Pope himself, or official Church Councils—are lightning rods of division today.  "Truth" is being used as a tool for partisan advancement, even within the Church.  We well might be on the path of schism.  
 
Is it possible that Saint Bernadette might become central to the lives of Catholics in the area once again?  I believe so.  And even become a city on the hill that provides good example and light to the surrounding community.  They might even see a better alternative by our example.  Maybe we can begin to reveal Jesus.  In the middle of so much individualism, his is the only voice that will unite us.
 
God bless you.
 

 

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