Together As One Catholic Area Catholic Communities

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Week of July 2, 2023

A Note From Fr. Jeremy


Psalms 33:12

Brothers and Sisters,

I am very excited to be joining our parishes.  I am looking forward to meeting you and being part of the many great things happening in our area.  Interestingly, I am joining our Together As One ACC at the same time as Father Brady Keller; I was previously the pastor of Father Keller’s home parish during his final years of seminary.  For me, it is exciting that I will now be working alongside him as a colleague.  In the coming weeks, I hope to introduce myself more fully. 

Every county that I have visited has a grand sense of patriotism – a feeling of ‘our country is awesome and we are happy to be part of it.’  That’s a good thing and the Church encourages patriotism for all Christians.  Here’s Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) paragraph 2239: 

“It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom; the love of service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity.” 

With Independence Day for the United States occurring this week, it is worth reminding ourselves that it is very much part of our Christian faith that we both have an appreciation for our nation as well as a desire to make it better.  The above quote from CCC 2239 insists that this is a part of our charity. 

In fact, the United States has several saints in our history that have been wonderful examples of how to live as both Christians and citizens.  Some examples that come readily to mind include Saint Theodore Guerin, Saint John Neumann, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint Rose Philippine Duschesne, Saint Damien de Veuster, and Saint Katherine Drexel.  Notably, many of these saints were also immigrants to the United States.  In the example of these (and other) saints we see how good patriotism ought to be:  a gratitude for what God has given to us and a desire to make an impact – to help others – based on how God has helped us. 

Notice that the Church describes patriotism – for us and the Catholics of all countries – as an active sort of thing.  For the Church, patriotism is not passive (such as simply enjoying the benefits of being in a particular county).  Patriotism, as far as the Church sees it, is an active thing that inspired saints to do wonderful things for the good of others.  From her faith in Almighty God, Saint Theodore Guerin came to the USA and built a school, Saint Damien de Veuster was willing to be exposed to deadly illness simply to bring the sacraments to those who were suffering, and Saint Katherine Drexel gave up her family fortune to help others. 

As we celebrate and enjoy Independence Day with our family and friends, let’s pray and think about how we can follow in the footsteps of the saints.  What can I do in “truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom?”  Where can I help others out of a sense of duty and charity?  If we can get all of us Christians thinking and acting in such a way, then we will indeed have a nation that is blest. 

God be near, 

Father Jeremy, Pastor

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