Sacred Heart

Catholic Church

Imlay City, Michigan  Tel: (810) 724-1135

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Fr. Paul Ward

Sat. & Sun., Jan. 17 & 18
2nd Sun. of Ord. Time, cycle B
Sacred Heart Catholic Church


Notes on Living our Catholic Faith



   Several thoughts today. We have begun ordinary time, and a number of aspects of the living of our Catholic Faith deserve attention, and so I beg your forgiveness if today’s points seem scattershot.

   Our readings today are the first up. They bespeak vocation, God’s calling of the soul. This has two applications: each person’s individual calling to know, love and obey the Lord, and therein live a happy life on earth and obtain eternal blessedness hereafter. But it also reminds us of the important vocation of those called to the priesthood, and also to religious life. It is the duty of the whole Church to work for vocations. We need to do this by prayers and sacrifices, by directly encouraging young men who may have the aptitudes; but also by demanding from Bishops worldwide a reform of seminaries and religious houses, which have the lion’s share of the responsibility for the vocations crisis we are experiencing in our time. May God bless the Church with many faithful vocations to the priesthood and the religious life!

   The next point. Some parishioners and friends have spoken to me about the confusion caused by a certain Fr. Yousef Ssemakula. An African priest, I think he has become incardinated in Pensacola, FL. He published a book, The Healing of Families: How to Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems. Despite how nice sounding the title is, the book has been condemned by the previous administrator of the diocese, for containing blatant theological errors, and did not receive an Imprimatur or Nihil Obstat, and the current Bishop of that Diocese, Bishop Parkes,
has said as much and has the book under examination himself. The Fathers of Mercy, an excellent religious community, provided a six page evaluation of the errors and problems of the book and of the methods it promotes; it can be easily found on line. I strongly – very strongly – discourage any of the faithful to exposing themselves to this book, its methods, its heresies and bizarre ideas. As I post my weekly homily on our parish’s web page, if you wish to find the sources I refer to on line, there I have included links to these sources.

   Another point, unrelated. We wish to raise some money to purchase a very beautiful statue of our Lady, and have that statue in the pavilion where now our beautiful manger scene graces the parish lawn. One day, I hope to provide a beautiful walk-way, and keep it plowed in the winter, so that getting a closer look at the statuary there can be more feasible even in snowy weather. The Marian statue, we hope, will be crowned in May by the first communion children, as we have done every year, and provide an excellent honor to the Queen of Heaven. There is a flier in the bulletin this week; please consider donating a little, so we can promptly order this statue and have it here in time for May, our Lady’s month.

   A further unrelated point. Many have waxed enthusiastic about the excellent bible course, the Bible Timeline, by Jeff Cavins, which we have been projecting on various days each week here in the parish. I’m very happy about this, and encourage all of us to continually dedicate ourselves to the important matter of our continual education as adults in the Catholic faith. There is so much to learn, and it is so beautiful, and it opens up our eyes about so many things in our faith, and it helps us live our faith better, and therefore assists us powerfully in obtaining our goal of eternal life in heaven. Persevere, and follow the course to the end. Each fall, I hope to project different formation video courses on the faith, courses of sound doctrine and good-quality presentation. Please feel encouraged to participate, and to continue each time to the last episode.

   Finally, and not least of all, January 22 is Thursday of this week. I hope you realize the importance of the day: on that day in 1973, in the famous case of “Roe v. Wade,” the Supreme Court of our country, and countless politicians and citizens with them, declared abortion a fundamental right under the Constitution of the United States of America. Forgive me for being frank: those murderous justices were as wrong as they were liars, and will have to pay in eternity for the blood of more than 50 million babies, and for the oceans of tears shed by men and women because of it all. We have not managed to conquer the evil of abortion in our own country for one simple reason: we Catholics are not living holy lives. Holiness is irresistible to the powers of hell, who are behind the whole abortion issue. We’re all guilty, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity. One real saint would be more effective to end abortion by his or her prayers or sacrifices than millions of people who engage in lots of activism – which is helpful, don’t get me wrong – but who are still poor in prayer, attached to worldly possessions and pleasures, proud of mind and friendly towards sin. Let us fight the spiritual battle with hope in victory, by the grace of Jesus the Lord.

   May the Virgin Mary, by her intercession, obtain these and every other grace for us, day after day. Amen.


















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