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We pray for the victims in Las Vegas

One theme in today’s readings is that justice and peace are responsibilities of Yahweh’s people and disciples of Christ Jesus. Justice and peace are not ideals. Justice and peace are realities and truths.

Violence, terrorism, and senseless massacres cannot lead us to anxiousness, but rather, “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let our requests be known to God.” And so we pray for the police officers and all the souls of the 58 dead and over 500 injured in Las Vegas. And we pray that we listen to God, follow Christ, and be empowered by the Spirit to act in justice and work for peace. -FR

From Padre this week….

As far as in writing, the word “catholic” appears in one of St. Ignatius of Antioch’s letters around the year 107 A.D. It was at this time that Ignatius, as bishop of Antioch, was being led to his martyrdom. He was sentenced to death by lions in the Coliseum.

In Ignatius’ letter to the Church at Smyrna, he writes: “Let no [one] do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. The celebration of the Eucharist is valid only if it is administered by the bishop or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Where the bishop is, there let the people also be; just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

Many scholars have concluded that Ignatius’ absence of an explaination demonstrates that the word must have been familiar to the people. “Catholic” comes from two Greek words: kata meaning “concerning” and holos meaning “whole.” It means universal.

Why this Church history lesson? It is because of the pastoral care and concern of our bishop and the whole Diocese of Venice. My sisters and brothers, other Roman Catholic faith communities within our diocese have read and/or heard of our parish’s and school’s devastating damage, and they have joyously and generously donated toward our repairs.

The letters expressing their sadness and committing their talent, time, and treasure has demonstrated that God the Holy Spirit does make us “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” Church. That is our grace, favor, blessing, and power of God in Jesus Christ through the Spirit. We are not alone, and our sisters and brothers offer prayers and action instead of mere lip service.

Please be assured that I have sent “thank you” letters communicating the entire (catholic) parish’s gratitude for their care. As we have welcomed others and as we have aspired to be alive in the Spirit, so now we are receiving the same from our diocesan family.

Peace and blessings,
Fr. Russell