Who is my neighbor, Lord?

Francis Ministers

Peace and all Good! “Just exactly who is my neighbor, Lord?” Jesus tells the lawyer the now-famous story of the Good Samaritan. We know it well—a beloved story of children in Sunday school and to all of us throughout the world! The truth of this story is revealed in the way each of the characters responded to human suffering. It was the hated Samaritan who stopped to come to the aid of the man beat up and thrown in a ditch to die. This is indeed a wakeup call for all of us. Coming to Mass and showing our piety does not make us a friend of God. The priest and Levite in the parable today were solid church-going folks! Why didn’t they help the man who was suffering? All worship of God must lead to us to outreach and concern for those who are in need. Rather than asking, “who is my neighbor?” we ought to be asking, “How can I help?”

This weekend we welcome Fr. Ephrem Tillya from the catholic Archdiocese of Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa. Fr. Ephrem is here as part of our Diocesan Mission Appeal program in which various missionaries from throughout the world share the stories of their work among the impoverished people with whom they live and minister. Please be as generous as you can in this appeal. Welcome, Fr. Ephrem!

It’s time for our monthly “Loretto Market,” our farmer’s market, on next Sunday after the 10 a.m. and Noon Masses. If you have some fresh produce that you would like to donate, please drop it by this week or call for a pickup. Our Social Outreach Ministry began this ministry last month, and it was a tremendous success as parishioners donated produce and were able to take home some other delicious fruit and vegetables—all for free! See the bulletin for more details.

This week on July 15th, we celebrate the feast of St. Bonaventure, a great Franciscan scholar of theology and philosophy. He studied in Paris along with St. Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican. After teaching for a time, he was elected Minister General of the Franciscan Order. As the leader of the Order, Bonaventure was God’s instrument to bring all the brothers back to a deeper love of the way of St. Francis. He wrote a beautiful life of St. Francis and many other scholarly works of theology and Franciscan spirituality. Later he was named a cardinal, and attended the Council of Lyon. Sadly, on July 15, 1274, the pope and the Fathers of the Council were shocked to learn that toward dawn, Friar Bonaventure had sickened and died. An unknown chronicler has given us this impression of this great Franciscan cardinal: “A man of eminent learning and eloquence and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness, and compassion. Full of virtue, he was beloved of God and people. At his funeral Mass that same day, many were in tears, for the Lord had granted him this race, that whoever came to know him was forthwith drawn to a deep love of him.” Masses in honor of this great saint will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. and Noon on July 15th. St. Bonaventure, pray for us!

In closing, we have good news that Senate Bill 360 has been withdrawn upon a remarkable grassroots campaign by the state’s Catholics, members of other faiths, and religious liberty advocates across the country! Thanks be to God! As Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles says: SB 360 was a dangerous piece of legislation. If any legislature can force believers to reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings shared with God in Confession, then truly there is no area of human life that is free or safe from government.” To this, we say: “Amen!”

Love, Fr. Vince

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