Dear Parish Family,
I would ask that you please keep our children preparing for First Holy Communion in your prayers as they prepare to receive our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time on Saturday, May 5th. Last Saturday morning, April 14th, they participated in their First Communion Retreat Day here at St. Mary’s. I would like to thank Jeannette Stone and our Religious Education office team for making this day possible. We are also blessed to have wonderful catechists and volunteers that work to make the day a spiritually enriching experience for our children. My thanks go to all who are preparing our children for First Communion, especially their parents. They are to be the first of teachers and the best of teachers in the ways of faith, as it pertains to their children.
This Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” All three cycles of Sunday readings have the Gospel of John’s account of our Lord teaching his followers that He is the Good Shepherd. This year, we are in cycle B, so the reading that is proclaimed comes to us from John 10: 11-18. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for His sheep. He is no “hired man” who will flee and abandon the sheep at the sight of a wolf.
As I reflect on this Gospel passage, I am acutely aware of the great responsibility that is mine as Pastor of this parish. Being a Good Shepherd means, among other things, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel and the teachings of Christ and His Church in their fullness. The “wolf” can take the form of a need to be popular, accepted and a desire to “go along to get along.” This is not what the Church needs today.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said that we live in a culture that imposes, “a dictatorship of relativism.” It is a culture where there is no objective, moral truth except that there can be no objective, moral truth. It is a culture where all faiths are seen to be as good as any other and none can claim to possess the fullness of revealed truth.
This, however, is not the voice of the Good Shepherd, who desires that “there will be one flock, one shepherd.” The voice of Christ comes most fully and most clearly through the Church He established upon the rock of Peter. It is the Catholic Church and it is what she has taught for 2,000 years. What the Lord revealed to humanity about Himself, our relationship to Him and the essentials of faith and morals belong to the Deposit of Faith handed on in the Church from the time of the Apostles. It is from this deposit of faith that the Magisterium (i.e. the living, teaching office of the Church) draws all its purposes for belief as being divinely revealed (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1202). The Deposit of Faith is, in fact, the heritage of faith contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, handed on in the Church from the time of the Apostles (cf. CCC, #1202). This is not to denigrate other faiths and religions, but merely to state that the Church founded by Christ subsists in the Catholic Church.
Let’s pray for that day when there will be one flock and one shepherd. Amen.
God bless you.
Fr. Dan Redmond
WOW Presents: Rosary and Tea with His Majesty and the Queen
Saturday, May 12th, 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Ladies, high school age and up, save a spot now
by emailing or calling Christine Kolonko, (440)867-3556. R.S.V.P. by May 6.
We will begin promptly in church at 8 a.m.