Where Everybody Knows Your Name – Donna Whiteford

Dear St. Charles Parish Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe it is the end of September and Fall is definitely here. I often look at each season as both an ending and a beginning – bringing not only new weather and activities but new opportunities.  So this got me to thinking about something Fr. Bill said last Sunday before he made the announcements at the end of Mass – about wanting St. Charles to be a faith community where someone knows your name.

Fr. Bill has spoken about how this difficult time we are living through presents us with an opportunity to “re-imagine or re-found” St. Charles. I’ll admit I was confused when he first said this but after a few conversations I understand that he means that this time is an opportunity for us, the St. Charles faith community, to ensure that the parish is reflective of who we, the parishioners, are today, and who we want to be; that it offers all of us both the spiritual and social programs we want and need to nurture our faith and our sense of community; and importantly, is a place where someone does know not just our name but, who we are.

Continue reading “Where Everybody Knows Your Name – Donna Whiteford”

Expanding our Table – Donna Whiteford

Happy August to all those in the St Charles Parish Family and to all of our Friends. I hope that everyone has been able to enjoy the summer and get in some relaxation, wherever you may be.

Matthew’s Gospel on Sunday recounts the miracle of the loaves and fishes. I can’t exactly explain why, but this Gospel passage has always been a favorite of mine. Perhaps it is the demonstrated faith of the apostles that after Christ blessed the meager food supplies which they had collected and then began to share, that He would expand the table and enable all of those present to be fed. Or I sometimes see in it a metaphor for the boundless love that Christ has for us, his brothers and sisters, and his willingness to share that love with us in whatever way we may need. Other times for me it symbolizes how Christ, and the church and our parish community, is the table at which we are able to nourish our spiritual hunger and renew and sustain our faith. And, as you will hear from Fr. Bill on Sunday, it can be seen to prefigure the Last Supper and our own Eucharist, which celebrates and renews our relationship with God. Continue reading “Expanding our Table – Donna Whiteford”

We, the Little Ones, Can Do So Much Good – Donna Whiteford

Dear St. Charles Parish Family,

What seems like a lifetime ago but was only back on March 21, I included in my introduction to the weekly parish email the quote “These are the times that try men’s souls,” from a pamphlet titled The Crisis written by Thomas Paine in December 1776 during a time of crisis for our newly founded country.

Back in March, I don’t think any of us had any notion of how we might be tried in 2020 as individuals, families, communities, states, and a country during the Covid-19 pandemic, the resulting economic hardship, and the longstanding crisis of racial inequality in our country.  While we have not yet seen the end of these crises, what I do know is that because of our faith in Jesus Christ, TOGETHER we will persevere and succeed because as a faith community we can and have pulled together and done the right things—let us continue to do so.  As Matthew writes in Sunday’s gospel:

I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

While the road ahead remains bumpy, I am continually amazed at the Christian love, generosity, kindness, ingenuity, openness, and creativity I have read about but also witnessed in our St. Charles parish family and the wider community. We, the little ones, can do so much good.

So as we celebrate the founding of our country, and a return to celebrating Mass in our beautiful church sanctuary, let us be grateful for the freedoms we have and all do our part to work to secure the resolution of those crises we are confronted with today.

Your Sister in Christ,
Donna Whiteford

Parish Pastoral Council Statement on Inequity

The following Parish Pastoral Council statement was announced at today’s Online Community Mass:

Thanks Donna. Good Afternoon. I’m Francis Chin, one of the parish trustees, and I am speaking today on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council. We would like to take this moment to reflect together on what is going on in our country today.

Today at Pentecost, we celebrate God, the Holy Spirit – the breath of life and the founding of the Church, a community commissioned to spread the Good News of God’s love, to serve God’s people everywhere, speaking to them in every language.

So let us say this plainly. George Floyd’s killing was unjustified. Breonna Taylor’s killing was unjustified. The 100,000 Americans killed by COVID-19 were unjustified. They were denied their breath of life because of racial, social, and economic inequality. They were denied their breath of life because there are those who believe that to enrich and advance themselves, others must suffer. The daily bad news cycle of demeaning words and anonymous deaths has made us numb to the fact that this is wrong.

We believe that to love God we must love each other as ourselves.  We call upon all of us to raise our voices to build up a more just society that serves everyone with dignity, rather than one that oppresses and tears people down.

Let us value each other more than we value our accounts. Let us redouble our efforts to care for each other and to be concerned for our world.

This Pentecost, let us speak each other’s language.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Message from Mike McGowan, PPC

Hello all. I wanted to highlight a few parish updates.

Last Sunday’s Mass – Thank you all who participated in last Sunday’s Mass dedicated to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a moving and healing moment where we were spiritually connected even if still socially distant.

Change to Friday Liturgy of the Hours Timing – There is one change to our online weekly events. The Liturgy of the Hours prayer will move from Friday morning to Friday at 5 PM to better accommodate people’s current schedules. We encourage you to join in—as Fr. Bill says, it is a wonderful way to end the week with Jesus, and there will be an opportunity to stay on the line afterwards and socialize. Continue reading “Message from Mike McGowan, PPC”

Message from Phil Murray, PPC

Hello! I’m Phil Murray. I serve on the Parish Pastoral Council and have been a St. Charles Borromeo parishioner since 1984. Yes, I know that is longer than more than a few of you reading this have been alive. And I can say that what we are all now going through is the strangest time in my life, both as a person and a Roman Catholic Christian.

This Sunday at our Online Community Mass at 11:15 AM, we will be particularly remembering all those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and especially those who have suffered and died. Many have been also impacted by the suffering of relatives or friends. The pain has not been distributed uniformly, but as it is now estimated that 25% of City residents would test positive for the virus, we can be sure that our St. Charles Borromeo family has been affected. (I will especially be praying for a long-time employee—forty years plus—of my co-op who is recovering, and for his twin sister who died.) Others of us may be feeling increasingly down as the enforced separation and the disruption of daily routines continue. And, there is the economic hardship being experienced by so, so many people and families. Continue reading “Message from Phil Murray, PPC”

Message from Carol DeSantis, PPC

Hi, everyone, I’m Carol DeSantis. I have been a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish for about 17 years. I know many you of from our various Ministries, the 9 AM Sunday Mass, and our Meet and Greets and look forward to knowing more of you. I am grateful for the many ways we are connecting as a Parish family and faith community during this time and hope you are able to participate in some way too. I find St. Charles Borromeo to be a welcoming community united in faith, hope, and love.

If anyone told me a year ago that “Zoom” would be one of the most used words in my vocabulary today and that I would be participating in meetings, tutoring, doing homework help, playing Family Feud, having an Easter egg hunt and… praying, and, last and certainly not least, attending Mass via Zoom, I doubt that I would really, truly have believed them. During this time, I am reminded that we humans may not be perfect but we sure are flexible and strong, and change and hardship bring out creativity and the best in most. Continue reading “Message from Carol DeSantis, PPC”