August 26, 2018
Twentieth First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Dear Parishioners of St. Paul:
Since last, I have written to you we have all been greatly saddened, shocked, and scandalized by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report outlining the cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated against innocent children over a period of seventy years. There can never be any excuses or rationalization that can be made by this disordered and sinful actions by priests. The attempt to cover up these crimes only has added to their horror and made things worse. These acts of violence are a violation of their sacred vows and a violation of the sanctity of the ordained state. Like all sin it serves as a poison, harming many others and for generations to come.
We pray that this sin will be purged from the Church, as it must be, by prayer and fasting. I ask the forgiveness of all of you and that of God Our Lord.
On Friday of this week August 31st, there will be a special Holy Hour Prayer Service of Reparation. This will be in the Church and will consist of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, special penitential prayers, and the special invocation to Our Blessed Mother, the Refuge of Sinners. The Evening will begin at 7.00PM and end with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at 8.00PM in the Church (not the Chapel).
Please note this is different from our usual First Friday Devotions which will be in the Chapel on the First Friday September 7th. In addition to this special Holy Hour may I invite you to a special First Saturday Mass in Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday Morning at 9.00AM in the Chapel.
In conclusion may I share with you a beautiful poem written this week by one of our parishioners. I believe it gives us all hope and is used with her permission.
HOW TO SURVIVE A SCANDAL
How do you console a devout, kindly priest
Whose heart has been broken by news of abuse?
How do you comfort him with purpose at least,
Who thinks his years spent have been of no use?
How do you manage all that bad news:
There are no more chances or reviews?
Don’t you recall that warned we have been?
The trouble and sorrow we would be in?
The addictions eat up every hope of change:
The result can be that we become deranged.
Will the Lord recognize then who we are?
Will He not chastise us yet from afar?
But if we refuse to take such quick heed,
How can we expect suddenly to be freed
From violence, torment, disgrace and shame?
When all things tolerated remained the same?
Remorse and penance can pierce a heart,
But they must begin right from the start.
Recovery is possible when repentance is valid:
It can make a great sinner a hero valiant!
Ask Our Dear Lady who was troubled in sorrow
To protect and console you today and tomorrow.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda