As I noted last weekend in this column, today (Sunday, July 22) begins Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, a national educational campaign of the US Bishops to celebrate God’s design for married love, the gift of life and to raise awareness of Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods. This year’s theme is “Generations of Love: Humanae vitae (1968-2018).”
Included, as an insert in this weekend’s bulletin, is a personal testimony from a journalist, Fletcher Doyle, entitled, “My Slogan: “Practice Saved Sex!”” He is a convert to Catholicism and gives his witness to the beneficial effects of practicing Natural Family Planning. Additionally, at all the doors of the Church this weekend, is a pamphlet ~ The Beauty of God’s Design, Understanding and Appreciating Humanae Vitae. It is authored by Dr. Janet Smith, a professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan. She is an engaging speaker and writer on moral topics. The Couple to Couple League pamphlet with more details about NFP is also at the Church doors to take with you.
While almost everyone knows the basic Church teaching on contraception, in one way or another, very few, I believe, know why the Church teaches what it does or how this teaching flows from both natural law and Biblical revelation. Being made in the image and likeness of God brings great dignity and great responsibility.
Although the teaching is puzzling to many, I hope that an openness to reading the witness insert and the pamphlets at the Church doors will assist us in understanding more deeply this awesome mystery of our participation in the Divine Life of the Trinity as male and female. Even though as disciples we must embrace the Cross of Jesus, we know that Jesus promises and offers the graces we need to do what is good for us and good for others.
For more information and resources check our parish website at www.steleanor.com/natural-family-planning and the Archdiocesan website, www.archphila.org where you can look under the Life and Family Office section. The Life and Family Office webpage will provide access to much information not only about Natural Family Planning but about family life as well.
On another note, I have heard many compliments about the new concrete steps leading down to Locust Street. It is certainly a vast improvement. We are awaiting the installation of the railings (with lighting). We have been told that this should occur the week of July 23. So, we hopefully will have use of them shortly. Thank you for your patience.
We are also undertaking some major improvements regarding water run-off on our parking lots. Two new drainage improvements will commence shortly. During rainstorms, water run-off is a major problem on our property. Also near school, there is underground water that seeps up through the black top, which will be addressed with this project. These projects are approximately $48,000 in total. We also are planning another project to fill the cracks, seal coat and repaint the lines of the entire parking lot. This project will give additional life to our parking lot black top and will cost approximately $48,500. We recently replaced and expanded the concrete pad in front of the dumpsters, which was necessitated by the heavy trucks that come and go in that area. We are also replacing light fixtures in the old side of the school building with higher efficiency and brighter lighting. Thank you for your continued generosity to help meet the many needs that we face on our beautiful parish campus.
Our ChristLife participants continue to informally meet on Monday nights through these hot summer months. We look forward to part three, Sharing Christ, which will begin after Labor Day. Both Discovering Christ and Following Christ are scheduled for the coming year as well. I hope that many of our people will join in this great effort to deepen your discipleship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a blessing this summer that a new Summer Young Adult Bible Study meets on Wednesday evenings, 7-8 pm at the parish offices. It is great to have them reading and reflecting on the Word of God and socializing together.
Finally, be sure to mark your calendars for our Forty Hours Devotions, 7 pm on the evenings of September 9, 10, 11. Father Christopher Moriconi will return as our guest homilist. We look forward to joining together for these devotions to Jesus Christ, our Eucharistic Lord, truly and really present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
God bless you, God love you,