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					                     PARISH OFFICE

         Pastor Rev. Guy Noonan, M.B.A., S.T.D.
               Kim Cunningham, Secretary                                      Capital Campaign
      5005 Church Road, St. Augustine, FL 32092-0459                   ―Equal Sacrifice Not Equal Giving‖
        Telephone: 904-824-8688 Fax: 904-824-5110
             Hours: Monday: 11:30am -12:30pm                                Our Goal: $1,500,000
          Tuesday through Friday: 9:00am -1:00pm                          Total Pledged: $1,100,000
       Website: www.ourladyofgoodcounsel-church.org
              E-mail: olgcoffice@bellsouth.net
                                                                         Received Sept 20/21 $993.00
        Bulletin E-mail: olgcbulletin@bellsouth.net
       Editors: Bonnie Holder & Jeanne T. Vecchione
`                                                        We need your help to reach our goal. If you have not made a
                    Mass Schedule                        sacrificial commitment or you are new to this community, there
                  Saturday Vigil 3:00pm                  are pledge cards available next to the sacristy door. Thanks
               Sunday 9:00am and 11:00am                 for your Sacrifice.
                    Tuesday 8:15am
                    Thursday 8:15am

                    Daily Mass readings
                    www.usccb.org/nab




                                                         PARISH OFFERTORY COLLECTIONS

                                                         Saturday Vigil                      $2,021.00
                                                         Sunday 9:00am                       $2,293.75
                                                         Sunday 11:00am                      $1,733.00
                                                         ____________________________________________
09/27 Sat                Helene Lloyd                    Total                               $6,047.75
09/28 Sun. 9am           Carson Ballinger
09/28 Sun 11am           Ann Stubbs†
09/30 Tues               Lynn Eustace
10/02 Thurs              Charlene McBroom


                                                                              Featured Ministry
                                                                              Music Ministry
                        Devotions
                                                                             Here at Our Lady of Good Counsel,
Rosary--30 Minutes before Sat and Sunday Masses                              we see the role of the music ministry
Eucharistic Adoration Wednesday 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm                            as supporting the action of the
        Vespers at 7:30 pm
                                                         Liturgy. Our singers help lead the congregation in song
        Holy Hour for Priests & Religious at 8:15 pm
Legion of Mary-Wednesday 5:45 pm OLGC Church
                                                         at the 3 PM Saturday Vigil Mass and the 9 AM and 11
                                                         AM Sunday Masses.
                                                         Adult rehearsals are Wednesdays from 6 PM to 7:10
                                                         PM. Anyone who wishes can stay for Exposition and
                                                         Eucharistic Adoration which follows at 7:15 PM.
                                                         Children's Choir rehearsals are Mondays from 5:45 PM
                                                         to 6:25 PM immediately followed by CCD classes for
                                                         those enrolled in that program.
                                                         We welcome all who feel called to serve the Lord
            The Julian & Laskos Family                   through song.
              Andrew, Kathleen & Irene Julian
                                                         For more information, call Carol at 230-1872.
              Walter Laskos
            We are now 397 registered families strong.

                                                                             Parish Census
                                                         In order to update our parish records a Parish Census will be
                                                         held after each Mass the weekends of 4-5 October and 11
                                                         and 12 October. Every registered family is asked to stop and
                                                         fill out another registration card on one of those days. New
                                                         registrations will also be accepted. Please help us update our
                                                         records.
                   NOTES AND NEWS


                   Mass Schedule Change                                  Soldiers Abroad
Starting 01 November OLGC will add an additional Mass on                 We continue to collect items such as paperback books,
Sunday. Sunday Masses will then be at 8, 10, Noon.                       cosmetics, shaving items, individually wrapped snack items
Saturday Mass will remain at 3 pm.                                        (no items that will melt please), lotions to send to our deployed
                                                                         service members. Please place your donations in the bins at
                                                                         the lobby of the church. Packages are sent monthly. Also if
                                  RCIA                                   you know a deployed service member that would like to
If you are an adult aged 18 or over and wish to investigate a            receive these care packages please contact Jackie Stubbs at
commitment in the Catholic Faith, The Rite of Christian Initiation for   940-6997.
Adults (RCIA) may be for you. RCIA is a process of adults meeting
regularly for a period of time, and learning and sharing with others
about the Catholic Faith. If you are interested in undertaking such a                                Mass Intentions
process, please feel free to contact the Church office. There are also
forms in the lobby of the Church that you may drop in the collection     If you would like to have a Mass said for a special intention you can
basket with ―Attention to Father Guy‖.                                   drop a note into the collection basket or mail it to the Church Office.
                                                                         Mark your envelope ATT Kim. Please include the intention for the
                                                                         Mass (Ex. name of person, living or deceased, special day—
                           Vote Your Conscience. Tell your               anniversary, birthday, etc.), the address where you would like the Mass
                           friends and family about a three-             card to be sent, and the requested date. Please note that Masses are
                                                                         generally booked for one month in advance. Please include your
                           minute video that will educate and            contact information so that you can be reached if there are questions.
                           inspire Catholic voters looking for           Customary offering is $10.00 per Mass.
                           guidance this election. The video
                           can       be        found       on
www.CatholicVote.com. The video is an excellent product, but
CatholicVote.com has not been endorsed by the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops.

           2008 Wedding Anniversary Celebration
                                 th   th   th  th   th  th
All couples observing either a 25 ,30 , 35 ,40 , 45 , 50 or
more year wedding anniversary between January1 and
December 31, 2008 are invited to register to celebrate with              Legion of Mary. Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at the Church
Bishop Victor Galeone on November 22, 2008, 2:00 pm at
San Juan del Rio Catholic Church, 1718 State Road 13, St.                Youth Ministry meets Wednesday 01 October 7 to 8 p.m. at
John’s FL. You may register on-line at www.dcfl.org or                   the Church.
complete the form available in the back of the church and
return by November 17.        Registration is required.  For
questions, please call 308-7474.                                                               Fish Fry. Lunch is from 11:00 to 1:00-
                                                                                               Dinner is from 4:30 to 7:00. Grilled Shrimp
                                                                                               is also available. NEW now is a "Chef’s
                                                                                               Special" this is Broiled Fish, Shrimp or
                                 40 Days for Life                                              Combination of Both, served with rice and
                                                                                               cole slaw. Great for those folks who are
               40 days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign           unable to eat fried foods for various reasons or perhaps just
               with a vision to access God’s power through               like broiled food.
               prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil to end abortion        The NEXT Fish Fry is October 03.
               in America. The mission of the campaign is to
bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a
focused 40-day campaign, seeking God’s favor to turn hearts
and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus
bringing an end to abortion in America. A Peaceful Vigil,
standing for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness
outside the All Women’s Health Center of Jacksonville, 4331
University Blvd. South will be held. from Sept 24 to Nov 04.
OLGC’s 24 hour participation period is September 30
beginning at one minute after midnight on September 30 and
running for 24 hours. Parishioners of OLGC are invited to join
together praying in front of the abortion center. Please contact         October 5 is the National Life Chain. The St. Augustine location is the
Bob Mathison at 940-9560 or 504-0843 for further information.            Destiny Church on US 1 (right next to St. Gerard). We meet at 1:30
                                                                         and close at 3:00 pm. This is a silent (You may sing or pray the
                                                                         Rosary but no calling out or confrontation) standing to attest to the fact
                                                                         we are God’s Army against Abortion. Let us show that OLGC is on the
                                                                         front line.
                     Mass and Healing Service                            There you will also find additional ideas for requested items.
                                                                         Thank you for your support and generosity. For more
Sister Briege McKenna and Fr. Kevin Scallon will be at Holy Family       information, please contact Joanne Ketchens at 940-1915 or
Catholic Church on Friday, October 10 at 7 PM. The evening will          joannerinc@yahoo.com
include a Mass and Eucharistic Healing Service. Sr. Briege is widely
known for her gift of healing and is author of the book, "Miracles Do
Happen". She and Fr. Scallon also travel around the world conducting                                       OLGC’s Men Club will hold a
retreats for priests.   Holy Family Catholic Church is at 9800                                             Spaghetti Dinner on 12 October
Baymeadows Road, just west of the intersection of Baymeadows Road
and Southside Blvd. This will be a very powerful evening. Save the
date.


                                                                                                                 nd
                                                                         Mark your calendar for OLGC’s 2 Annual
A Special Religious Education Program, Growing Faith                     Golf Outing on Saturday, November 1,
Together featuring Sister Barbara Cekosh, SSJ will be held               2008 held at St. John's Golf Club off SR
after the last Sunday Mass on 12 October. This is a recurring            207. We will begin with a12 noon shotgun
                               nd
program that will be held the 2 Sunday of Each Month                     start followed by dinner and prizes. More details coming soon.


                                                                                             Around The Diocese…
               GOD'S ANGELS GIVING THANKS ANNUAL                         Potential Scam Alert - Recently there have been many e-mail and
                          FUND RAISER                                    phone scams using Catholic Charities to gain access to funds. Do not
                                                                         respond to e-mail or phone requests for donations from Catholic
            The Ladies of OLGC are selling raffle tickets after          Charities without checking your local Catholic Charities Office in
            each mass. Grand prize is $1000.00 with many                 Jacksonville (904) 354-4846), Gainesville (352) 372- 0294, St.
            more prizes to be won. Price is 12 for $10, 6 for            Augustine (904) 829-6300, Lake City (386) 754-9180.
            $5, or $1 each.
                                                                         Foundation for Ministry Leadership - The Diocese of St. Augustine
                                                                         and the Diocese of Savannah, GA have joined forces to offer the
                                                                         certificate in youth studies weekend to network with others working
                                                                         with adolescents and learn the latest techniques and strategies needed
HARVEST FESTIVAL & PUMPKIN PATCH UPDATE                                  for successful programs Oct. 11-12 at Marywood Retreat Center,
                                                                         Jacksonville. Trainer: Marie Eckert. Cost: $150. For more details or to
                           The Pumpkin Patch will start with the         register, call Dewey Szarkowski at (904) 262-3200, ext. 112 or email:
                           delivery of pumpkins on Oct. 9th or 10th      dszarkowski@dosafl.com
                           and will continue through Oct. 31st.
                           Pumpkins will be for sale and children can
                           take an old-fashioned hay ride around our
                           property.

                             October 25th OLGC will be celebrating       Florida Respect Life Conference - Oct. 10-11 in Tallahassee,
our Annual Harvest Festival. We are preparing this one -day event to     Florida. Topics include marriage, natural family planning, stem cells
be a family fun filled day with many culinary delights. The day will     and death penalty. Bishop Galeone will give the keynote address at the
begin at 9:00am and go till 7:00pm. The Ladies Guild will be very        closing banquet. Registration deadline: Sept. 30. Brochures available
active with a Country Store & Crafts. Enjoy their Funnel Cakes and       at www.flacathconf.org or call (904) 308-7474.
many delicious Baked Goods. There will also be a Raffle of beautiful     It is also not too late to sign up for the bus to Tallahassee for the
Theme Baskets.                                                           Florida Respect Life Conference.. The cost is $25 per person and the
  Children can play in the Bounce Toy area, ride the hayride and visit   contact is Pat Greenfield, e-mail is rjgbopat@aug.com. The bus
the Fire Department equipment. Watch Sparky the Clown do his             belongs to St. Anastasia and those who sign up will meet at St.
magic, balloon art and juggling. Popcorn, Cotton Candy and Snow          Anastasia and leave their cars there and they will be monitored during
Cones will be available for all to enjoy.                                the two day conference.
   To satisfy your thirst, we will have Tea, Soda, Lemonade and Beer
for sale. When you get hungry, try the great Minorcan Chowder, Black
Angus Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers, Ball Park All Beef Hot Dogs,
Italian Sausage Sandwich with combinations of peppers, onions,           Catholic Charities presents the 5th Annual Festival d'Vine -
potatoes or egg. Regular or Jersey Boardwalk style Fries will also be    Saturday, Nov. 8, 6:30- 9:30 p.m. at Balis Park in San Marco Square,
available. Our famous and delicious Philippine Foods will be on sale.    Jacksonville. This wine tasting event will include over 300 wine
Our own in-house chef, Fr. Guy, will prepare crepes both as a meal or    selections, fabulous food from area restaurants and beer samples for
dessert. Music will be provided throughout the day by Brett DeVoe        all to enjoy! This event was a sell-out last year so get your tickets now.
                                                                         Proceeds from the event will benefit Catholic Charities programs to
Harvest Festival Baskets                                                 help families in crisis. Tickets: $75 per person. For more details or
                                                                         tickets call Katie Santilli at (904) 354-4846 ext. 227 or purchase tickets
                                                                         online at www.ccbjax.org.
                    The OLGC Ladies Guild requests your
                   help in assembling gift baskets for the
                   upcoming Harvest Festival (Saturday,
                   October 25th). The gift baskets span a                                   Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi
                   variety of themes and will be raffled during          Pauline Jubilee Year led by Father Terry Morgan of St Anastasia
                   the Festival to raise money for the church.           parish, March 5-12. Father Morgan, who studied and worked ten
You can drop off new and unused items (and large baskets) for            years in Rome, will lead visits to the sites in Rome important in Paul’s
any of the following basket themes: kitchen, bath, golf,                 life as well as a general Audience with Pope Benedict XVI. $2350
chocolate, wine, Italian & pasta, baby, toys of all kinds,               ($450 fuel surcharge; May be reduced!), land package only $1650.
                                                                         Call St Anastasia church office (471-5364) for a brochure with full
Halloween and Christmas, in the large box located in the lobby.          information.
Cathedral Parish School 8th Grade is pre-selling Poinsettia plants for
the Christmas season. The Proceeds will benefit 8th grade end of year
trip. Floral quality plants with pot cover (5 - 6 blooms per plant) colors:                      General Information
red, white, pink or marble cost: $9.00 each. Delivery date: December          New Parishioners Welcome! Please take a few minutes to complete a
4, 2008 at CPS order date deadline: October 9th.                              registration card that may be found in the Church lobby. The data
                                                                              provided by you on this card is kept confidential. When completed,
 CPS 7th Grade is pre-selling N.C. Frazier Fir trees and wreaths.             please give to a Welcome Minister or a Greeter.
Proceeds benefit 7th grade trip to Holy Land in Orlando Fl.
 6-7 ft. tree $50.00 7-8 ft. tree $60.00 8-9 ft. tree $75.00                  Sacrament Of Marriage Couples should contact the Pastor before
Christmas wreaths - one sided/single faced                                    setting a wedding date, (normal preparation time is 8 months) and
8 inch $15.00; 12 inch $25.00; 16 inch $35.00:; 20 inch $40.00                must attend a Diocesan marriage preparation program.
Delivery date - either December 5 or 6 at CPS. Order deadline –
December 01                                                                   Sacrament Of Baptism Preparation must be made well in advance. A
Please prepay with check to CPS. For more information contact CPS             Baptismal Class for the parents is required. The next Baptismal
at 824-2861                                                                   preparation class for parents wishing to have their children baptized is
                                                                              going to be held on October 1st at 7:00pm in Pod 3. Please contact
                                                                              the church office to register for this class.
                        Counseling/Healing
                                                                              Sponsors for Baptism. Anyone asking to receive a document from
A Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreat is an opportunity for men and             the parish to be a sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation in another
women who have struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of              parish must be an active Catholic at OLGC. This implies regular mass
abortion. All calls and inquiries are confidential. For more details, call    attendance and participation in the support of the community. (The
(904) 221-3232 or email: rachelsvineyardjax@yahoo.com or visit                church envelopes help to establish such support.)
www.rachelsvineyard.org.
                                                                              Adults Seeking Baptism Or Confirmation:. If you are interested,
Professional Counseling by a licensed therapist is available from the         please contact Father Guy through the office. Classes/sessions are
Diocesan Center for Family Life at Riverside and the Catholic Center.         regular (weekly) and usually last for between 6 to 9 months.
Counseling is available for family, couple, or individual. Areas of
counseling include marital problems, depression, anxiety, stress, self-       Sacramental Preparation for First Holy Eucharist/Reconciliation &
esteem, addictions and more. Fees are based on a sliding fee scale.           Confirmation is a two-year program. Contact the Religious Education
For an appointment call (904) 874-4907.                                       Office for further information.

                                                                              Deadline for Bulletin Information is 4pm Saturday. E-mail is
                                                                              olgcbulletin@bellsouth.net

                       Marywood Retreat Center                                Pulpit Announcements Information to be passed at weekend Masses
                                                                              please send to Kim no later than 10 a.m. Thursdays by e-mail or phone
Legacy Letters Share the Wealth of Your Experience - Saturday,                message
Oct.11, 9 a.m. Leader: Lilla Ross. Legacy Letters, also known as
ethical wills, are an ancient tradition, dating back to biblical times. A     Requirement for Volunteers           All Volunteers over the age of 18
Legacy Letter enables you to identify and share your values and               working with children must be fingerprinted through the Diocese.
experiences with your descendants. Cost: $20.                                 Those working with children must also attend a class called "Protecting
                                                                              God's Children." Classes can be found online at www.virtus.org.
Christian Mysticism: Human Suffering and the Longing for God                  Please call the church office if you have any questions.
Book of Job - Saturday, Oct. 18, 6:30-9 p.m. Leader: Cenacle Sister
Rose Hoover. Input, discussion, and time for personal prayer and              Death and Burial in OLGC Cemetery:
reflection will be included. Cost: $35. Includes lunch                        In OLGC Cemetery, in-ground burial is presently available. In the near
                                                                              future, placement of ashes in a columbarium grotto will also be
Advent Christmas Music Workshop - Monday, Oct. 20, 6:30-9 p.m.                available.
Leader: Bernie Sans. Whether you are a member of the choir or of the          The present fee for in-ground graves is $1500.00 for active
congregation, come out for an evening of new music and new ways of            parishioners and $2500.00 for non-parishioners. Columbarium rates
presenting traditional Advent and Christmas music. Check in 6 p.m..           have not yet been set because final plans are in process. For further
Session 6:30 until 9:00 p.m. Cost: $15.                                       information regarding the purchase of burial plots -- or to place your
                                                                              name on the list for information regarding the envisioned new
Hymnal Reflection and Poetic Prayers. Leader Sister Andrea                    columbarium -- please contact the church office or speak with Father
Zbiegien. Wednesday 22 October. Check in 6 p.m. How often have                Guy.
you been struck by the meaning behind the words you sing? Sister
Andrea will lead us in poetic prayer. Cost $15.00                             Last Will and Testament: About 25% of our Parish Community are of
                                                                              the age wherein a Last Will and Testament should have already been
Coming to know Jesus-Exciting Stories of Conversion. Leader:                  created. About another 25% are at the age wherein planning this now
Joe Difato. You will learn about Scripture, have a lot of fun, and you        is a reasonable thing to do.
may even experience a surprise of the Holy Spirit. Cost $20.00                Please consider including your church in your Estate Planning, even if
includes lunch.                                                               you have already written your initial documents. The Church and its
                                                                              diverse ministries exist only through the funding of its members. Estate
For       more      information,        or    to     register, visit          Planning can help create gifts that 'keep on giving'. Should enough
www.marywoodcenter.org, or email, info@marywoodcenter.org,                    parishioners wish to have a seminar offering legal and other advice for
or call (904) 287- 2525, or toll free (888) 287-2539                          Estate Planning, the Parish could sponsor an Estate Planning Seminar
                                                                              some time during the coming year. If you wish your name to be put on
                                                                              such a list, please call the Church office to let Father Guy know..
Please Pray For
Contact mhsa@bellsouth.net, or 824-8481 to have your loved one included
Patient Angel, Theola Armalavage, Marvin Atkinson, Joe Babino, Sandy Barata, Jennifer Basile, Fr. Michale Bass, Virginia Burr, Jackie Coonahan, Fr.
John Corapi, Jim Davidson, Mildred Davis, Mary Dillinger, Janice Donohue, Maureen Duffy, Jack & Luke Edwards,Valorie Hall, Betty Hanson, Lorraine
Harrington, Joe Harrison Jr, Dean Heaton, Virginia Hinckin, Charlie Hunter, Kristen Kettle, Sadie Lopez, Michele Mauro, Mary Maltby, Charlene
McBroom, Sean Meehan, Ann Medlin, Rosalee Mouzon, Josephine O’Halloran, Rick Pace, Lou Paterson, Bill Pickard, Shelia Quinn, Michael Riccio, Bob
Robinson, Daniel Russ Sr., Omar Santisteban, Demina Scardina, Nicole Shaw, Mary Slattery, Barbara Sligh, Henry Tabeling, Clinton Thomas, Jon
Todd, Dottie Townsend, Fr. Bob Traupman, Jim Veale, Frances Vrenicar, Elizabeth Wagner, Brian Wilkinson, Cathy Yates.




                                                       Pastoral Service/Ministries

  ―The active participation in the mission/activities of the community is an expectation that comes with membership. Baptism is not a
  sacrament of entitlement, but a commission for ministry as a Disciple of Christ." R. Rivers: CSP From Maintenance to Mission. New
  York: Paulist, 2005, p 46.


          Pastoral Ministries     Meeting                 Contact                   Phone         E-Mail Address

          Director of             Classes Mondays         Tony Mouzon               940-9938      tonymouzon@aol.com
          Religious Education     6:30-7:30pm
          Director of Music       Adults: Wed 6-7:10 pm   Carol Velasco             230-1872      velascc@yahoo.com
                                  Youth: Mon 5:45-6:25
          Altar Servers                                   Jeff Pirrung              940-7983      jeff.pirrung@administarllc.com
          Bereavement                                     Helen Stafford            940-5829      hhs1109@aol.com
          Children’s Liturgy of   Sunday 9 am Mass        Paul Goricki              551-5501
          The Word                                        Leo Zanchettin            230-2912      leozanchettin@bellsouth.net
          Conversion Course       Thurs 7-9pm             Joseph Difato             429-3800
          Eucharistic             Wed 7:15-9:15 pm        Jeff & Denise Pirrung     940-7983      dpirrung8@bellsouth.net
          Adoration
          Extraordinary                                   Lena Lednick              522-0268      harvlena@comcast.net
          Ministers/Sacristans
          Family Rosary           3rd Sunday 4:30 pm      Jeff & Denise Pirrung     940-7983      dpirrung8@bellsouth.net
          Finance Council                                 John Bailey (Chair)       824-5987
          Hospitality                                     Ruth Mallett              797-5059      mruth19439@bellsouth.net
          Just Faith/Social                               Pat & Elizabeth O’Brien   940-5714      patobrien@performanceconsult.com
          Justice
          Ladies Guild            1st Tues. 7 pm          Jeanette Raccioppi        825-0502      Sisterhood6@bellsouth.net
          Lectors                                         Jackie Stubbs             940-6997      stubbscharles@bellsouth.net
          Legion of Mary          Wednesdays 5:45 pm      David Masters             692-3768
                                  OLGC Church
          Men's Club              2nd Tues 7 pm           Don Pepino                940-5488      thedonpepino@bellsouth.net
          Ministry Council                                Tony Mouzon               940-9938      tonymouzon@aol.com
          MOMS: (Ministry of                              Maryann Donovan           940-0755      msdonovan@bellsouth.net
          Mothers Sharing)
          Parish Council          3rd Tues 7-9 pm         Jeff Pirrung              940-7983      jeff.pirrung@administarllc.com
          Prayer Chain                                    Brett & Remy DeVoe        824-8481      mhsa@bellsouth.net
          Prayer Quilt            1st Tues 9am-noon       Dana Cunningham           940-1963      danasc@bellsouth.net
          Respect Life                                    Ruth Mallett              797-5059      mruth19439@bellsouth.net
          Rosary                  30 Minutes before       Brett DeVoe               824-8481      mhsa@bellsouth.net
                                  weekend Mass
          Singles Ministry                                Ginger Eddy               824-4274      geddy@marywoodcenter.org
          Ushers                                          Don De Cesare             940-7473
          Youth Ministry          Wednesdays 7-8pm        Bill Curtis               540-3849      billcurtis@curtisfirm.com
                                                          Ann Palmieri              940-5541      annpalz@mac.com
                                                          Florence Misselwitz
          Welcome Ministry                                Bonnie Holder             940-0725      bholder@bellsouth.net
"Priests are brothers among brothers and sisters as members of the same Body of Christ, which all are commanded to build." (Decree on the Ministry
and Life of Priests, No. 9). At the same time, in exercising their specific functions, priests act in the person of Christ the Head, and consequently, in the
same way, they act in the name of the Church. (Congregation for the Clergy, Pastor and Leader in the Parish Community, April, 2004, No. 20)


Father Guy’s Notes

                    Reflections on the Cross of Christ:

                Two weeks ago at the last Men’s Club meeting, President Don Pepino led the prayer. Before him on the
                table was a metal cross, carved out of steel beams, the beams themselves taken from the shattered
remnants and fallen beams of the collapsed World Trade Towers on 9/11. Friends had given this cross to Don. Other
friends were the reason for the cross. Those last friends had died.

This month the Roman Church throughout the world celebrated the feast of the ―Exaltation of the Cross‖. This is an
important tradition in Catholic consciousness. Yet the question needs to be asked: Why a feast? Why would a body of
people from time immemorial celebrate with constancy a feast wherein the primary symbol was an instrument of torture?
And why would so many people, when much or all else fails in their lives, look to the cross – indeed, even clutch the cross
for dear life?

‘Clutch the cross for dear life’! How is it that the cross of Christ becomes a tree of life?
It must be remembered that Christians did not always readily embrace the cross. In Jesus’ time, being placed on a cross
was an ultimate insult, a true horror . Hung outside the walls of the city for all to see, draped on rough-hewn wood, one’s
very life dripping and sagging down as blood leaked and muscles tore in what was surely excruciating pain and torment.
Yes, torment was part of it. Beholder, beware! People were put on a cross to make the point to others that they could
come to the same end if they rocked the boat!

So atrocious was the cross in those times that early Christians would never have used it as an object of art. Nonetheless,
it was certainly something to be remembered: The Lord of Life, the Personal Son of the Personal God, died an unseemly
death. Those were the facts. They needed to be remembered and re-told without the kind of high-story that often enters
into the narratives of history.
However, that being said, it must also be acknowledged that Christians never simply focused on the cruel cold facts.
Rather, from time immemorial they have struggled to understand how the seemingly errant end of the murder of the just
One could be righted by an even more marvelous new beginning: Have you not heard? The Lord is risen! The Cross of
Christ becomes the Tree of Life precisely because from what appeared to be dead wood springs forth the Father’s love in
a way least expected.
In those crucial hours the via crucis becomes the via vitae. ‘This is my beloved Son. I shall not let death and evil have the
final say’. He was not born to die. He was given so that all might live. This is why Christians, recoiling in horror from the
cross, would yet approach it and cling to it as an object of veneration. This is the cross on which the Son and King of
Glory died!

The toughest things in life are hard to explain, and yet explain we must. So also with the cross. Contradiction abounds.
How could God love Jesus and let something like this happen?
Paul acknowledged this when he writes in 1 Corinthians 1:23 that ―we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block
and to Gentiles foolishness.‖ Ghandi asked a similar thing when he pondered how Christians could confess the
faithfulness of a loving God when the same God apparently allowed such an awful end to happen to his beloved son?
Next week I will continue this column by asking the question--What does one person’s dying – even the Son’s – have to
do with testing the fidelity of God?
In the meantime, let us sit with the mystery: Like the ocean, there are lots of things in life that call for deeper reflection.
The explorer Jacques Cousteau said it well: When standing by the shore, if we only look at what we first see, then we
have not seen the ocean at all. We have only seen the surface!

Let us pause and reflect. Might we go into the deep. . . .
Father Guy
Pastor

				
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