We are currently celebrating Fourth of July Weekend. We are celebrating our nation’s Declaration of Independence. It is a day for us to celebrate, and be grateful for, our freedom. Our Parish has so many men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces; this weekend I am reminded of their service, as well as all the men and women who have worked so hard, with many giving their lives, so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have. As this is an election year, each one of us has a responsibility to be informed, and vote for candidates who truly uphold the dignity of the human person beginning with the right to life.
On that note, I would like to inform you of an initiative by the U.S. Catholic Bishops: last year they launched an initiative that invites Catholics to model civility, love for neighbor, and respectful dialogue. It’s called “Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate.” The Bishops are asking Catholics to pledge civility, clarity, and compassion in their families, communities, and parishes, and call on others to do the same. Here is the Pledge:
- Civility: To recognize the human dignity of those with whom I disagree, treat others with respect, and rise above attacks when directed at me.
- Clarity: To root my political viewpoints in the Gospel, and a well formed conscience, which involves prayer, conversation, study, and listening. I will stand up for my convictions, and speak out when I witness language that disparages others’ dignity, while also listening and seeking to understand others’ experiences.
- Compassion: To encounter others with a tone and posture which affirms that I honor the dignity of others, and invites others to do the same. I will presume others’ best intentions, and listen to their stories with empathy. I will strive to understand before seeking to be understood.
To quote Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development:
“Conversation in the public square is all too often filled with personal attacks, and words that assume the worst about those with whom we disagree. We are in need of healing in our families, communities, and country. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate is a call for Catholics to honor the human dignity of each person they encounter, whether it is online, at the dinner table, or in the pews next to them. I invite all Catholics to participate in Civilize It. In doing so, they can bear witness to a better way, approach conversations with civility, clarity, and compassion, and invite others to do the same.”
After all of the Masses this weekend (Saturday 5PM and Sunday 9AM), the Knights of Columbus will be selling their Raffle Tickets by the dumpsters. This is their major fundraiser; please consider buying a Ticket to support them.
Let us pray for all those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. And may we also pray that we are truly one nation under God.
Peace and God Bless,