Catholic Church
Ashland, Oregon

Fr. Maro’s Weekly Message

Fr. MaroDear Parishioners,

“It’s a great time to be a Catholic priest!”

That was one of the things that the Archbishop told us during our Convocation two weeks ago. It is interesting because when the news of the cover up of the abuses that happened some years ago in a diocese in the east coast came out, my initial reaction – to be honest – was discouragement. I was so disappointed at my brothers (and even angry) for what they did in taking advantage of the weak and the vulnerable that the temptation to give up in the ministry or to be disconnected from my superiors was very strong.

But then, as I’ve said during one of my Sunday homilies, “To whom shall I go? I love the Eucharist. I love Jesus and this is the life I believe He gave me to live.” I told myself I will not give up and I will not be discouraged anymore – I will continue to do my best in my ministry and in helping people journey to God.

But then I realized that my resolve to “continue to do my best in my ministry” was not enough, especially when I heard the Archbishop say, “It’s a great time to be a Catholic priest!”. It was not enough because I now have this great opportunity to be a part of renewal and cleansing of our Catholic Church which I believe (and I am sure you agree with me) is very much needed. This is a great opportunity for renewal and cleansing – it is a mission and it should first start with me. I have to commit myself again to strengthen my spirituality as a priest and be ever more faithful in my pursuit of holiness. Only in doing that can I be more effective in helping the whole church be renewed and cleansed.

I was thinking more about it and I realized that it is not only a great time to be a Catholic priest… it is a great time to be Catholic! That includes all of you. This is a time of OUR renewal and cleansing. This is a time for us to show our faithfulness to God through this Church that Jesus built.

Some are saying that the situation is going to get worse before it gets better and it can get even more discouraging – I say bring it on! If all these will bring out a more pure Catholic Church then yes, bring it on! Let us arm ourselves with prayers and get strength from the Eucharist as we face this great mission. Let us together continue in our pursuit of holiness. The baptismal vows that we say and say again during Easter is not just a vow to be good – it is a vow to be holy. Our call is not just to be good and law abiding, our call is to be holy. With a renewed sense of mission, let us truly pursue holiness and with the Lord as our help and guide, we will be victorious. It is indeed a great time to be Catholic. God bless us all.

In Christ,
Fr. Maro