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Dear Friends,

I am writing this column on Labor Day, still recovering from a full-blown upper respiratory infection. Unfortunately, I had waited for a week before seeing the doctor. Thank goodness, the medicines are having a positive effect. This illness came on a critical weekend, however, when our priests were also covering Masses at other parishes with infirmed priests. I am grateful to Father Buck and Monsignor Murray for helping out on all these fronts. Thank you for your prayers and understanding.

Last weekend, Father Buck at the Vigil Mass had the great blessing to receive into full communion, Paige Cornwell. Paige participated in our RCIA program and was extremely excited to take this step in becoming a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. We warmly welcome her and assure her of our prayers.

We begin, this weekend, our annual Forty Hours devotions at the 12 Noon Mass. Father Moriconi will preach each evening, Sunday through Tuesday. Sunday will be Holy Mass, as usual. Monday and Tuesday evenings, the devotions will include Evening Prayer, Homily, Benediction. On Tuesday, we will also have our outdoor procession with the assistance of the Verdi Band, outdoor Benediction and then an informal Cider Social in the cafeteria. We are happy to welcome home Father Moriconi for these special days of prayer and devotion.

Last weekend’s column sought to provide some available resources to help process our feelings of anger and frustration as we move through this dark moment within our Church. We are called together by Christ and we gather to worship Christ so we can continue His work on earth. Together, we need to work to strengthen and renew the Church and to keep safe all of God’s people, by the power of Christ, which we receive from Him in His Sacraments and Holy Mass.

My desire is to continue our prayer vigil for reparation and petition, as an ongoing opportunity for our parish family to pray together for, reformation, renewal, restoration and healing. In addition to the resources in my column last week, I am looking for additional professionals who can be of help for victims, their families and anyone struggling at this time. I will keep you informed.

You may have seen that Archbishop Chaput, along with a few other Bishops, have written to the Holy Father for a synod on bishops in light of this present crisis, which is present in different parts of the world. I wholeheartedly support this initiative. A meeting, like a synod, to discuss renewing the identity of priests/bishops, devising life-style and supports for celibacy, proposing a rule of life, establishing appropriate forms of episcopal accountability and supervision are timely and vitally important topics needing immediate attention. These efforts rooted in prayer and penance with the assistance of lay experts in the necessary disciplines both secular and spiritual will bear fruit in reform and renewal. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide all these efforts and all of ours.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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