Dear Friends in Christ,
Our Gospel reading this Sunday affirms the sanctity of the vocation of marriage. Marriage is the foundation of family life and is a great gift to society. As your Pastor, I pray for married couples so that you can be strengthened in your love for your spouse and for God. I am also painfully aware that not all marriages ‘are made in heaven’. If you are currently experiencing challenges in your marriage, please seek counsel either with one of our Priests or we can recommend another resource. I also understand that wonderful healing and restoration of marriages can occur at a retreat weekend called Retrovaille (visit www.retrovaille.org for more information). If you have experienced separation or divorce, I also encourage you to speak with one of our Priests or our Annulment Advocate, Jody North, to assist you in the journey of healing.
During the month of October, Catholics celebrate Respect Life Month in order to inspire a greater awareness of the dignity of human life. Please remember that Respect Life advocacy includes the child in the womb waiting to greet the world to the family member who we see every day and may take for granted to the resident of a local nursing home longing to hear the words ‘I love you’ from a visitor to the inmate on death row whose earthly life may soon be over and is working on conversion for their past. In every human person lies the image and likeness of God. He has put His thumbprint upon our souls making each of us unique. Thank you for embracing and promoting care and concern for one another as a witness of God’s love!
Next weekend is the 2012 Fall Festival. It is not too late to donate an item for the auction, participate in the raffle, or offer some time to help out. Parking is available at the office complex parking lot just up Wekiva Springs Road and buses (we have added an extra one this year!) will be available to transport you to our parish campus for fun, fellowship and food. I look forward to seeing you next weekend and please invite a friend or neighbor to join you!
Finally, the Living Rosary will be on Monday evening at 7pm. We will be praying the Luminous Mysteries. If it has been a while since you have prayed the Rosary, this is a great opportunity to deepen your relationship with Christ by remembering the wonderful events of His life. Thank you for your prayers and support. We may not see each other each day but may we meet each day in our prayers!
Very Rev. Stephen D. Parkes, V.F.