Pastor Message - St. Catherine of Sweden
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A Message from the Pastor

Fr. Steven V. Neff, M. Div.

Nick Clinton, Seminarian

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,         

      I want you to think back to the time in the Gospel between the crucifixion of our Lord and His glorious resurrection from the dead.  I want you to imagine that you are in the room with the Apostles as they talked about what had just happened.  They obviously were talking about how Jesus was crucified horribly and died, but you have to think that they were also talking about what Judas had done.  They were with him for three years as well—they ate with him, prayed with him, laughed with him, and most likely performed miracles together with him in Christ’s name.  And just like that, Judas betrayed not only Jesus, but he betrayed the trust and friendship of Jesus’ other followers.  In this time, they saw darkness itself, the scandal of humanity which prefers to dwell in sin and death rather than in the light of love.

I tell you this because it has been in my thoughts over the past few weeks as these allegations came out about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the impending release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report into the Pennsylvania Dioceses, including our own.  As faithful Catholics, we stand looking at some of the leaders of our Church and seeing only darkness.  I wasn’t old enough (or even Catholic at that point) to remember back to the 2002 scandal, but I can only imagine that this is a similar feeling.  The allegations that have come out over the years have worn down so many of our faithful that they can now only see darkness coming from the doors of The Church.

So the question is what must we do to purify our Church?  When G. K. Chesterton was asked, ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ he answered, ‘I am.’  I think that is a good answer for us too.  Some leave the Church because of its sins and go to another community or even just turn to themselves to find holiness—only to find darkness follows them there too.  We know that this is Christ’s Church and we are the body of that Church, thus we must be like Him.  We must, each of us, give ourselves over to the gift of His grace and love.  The work of redemption takes a lifetime, let us today pray that all the darkness of the Church and ourselves be illuminated as we are covered in the resurrected light of Jesus Christ the Lord.
                                                          May the Good Shepherd continue to guide you,
Nick Clinton