Parish Statement to Seton Families
Dear Seton parish family,
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, says the Lord. (Jn 14:27)
Peace has been difficult to find in our parish in the past few days. As Fr. Ted has been suspended from ministry, we find ourselves wondering if peace will come back to us. All this happens in the midst of the stress caused by the Coronavirus and the isolation the virus has caused. It may seem that there’s no peace to be found.
The suspension of Fr. Ted as our pastor was triggered by the statements he wrote in last Sunday’s bulletin and posted on the parish website. As a parish, we do not condone his hurtful language, which does not recognize the dignity of all people. Regardless of his intent, his words endorsed silencing the oppressed. The Catholic Church teaches us that we do not and cannot accept this. Before Fr. Ted’s suspension, he intended to meet in person with the leadership of Carmel Against Racial injustice. We chose to move forward with that meeting to promote peace within the community.
There are those in our parish family who disagree with Fr. Ted’s words, and also those who agree with them. Justice requires us to go back to our foundation, the Gospel, and to recognize that Jesus came in order to honor the rights and dignity of all people. Now is a time for us to come together, not to come apart. We must seek the peace that can only come from God.
As a parish family, we need to come together not only to worship our God, source of all peace, but also to heal the wounds that we all bear as a result of the events of these last few days. We need to remember that God created the human race without divisions. He never intended us to be at odds with each other, especially in the Church.
We certainly all recognize and appreciate the many blessings Fr. Ted has brought to our parish during his 22 years of ministry with us. Let’s not lose track of all the good that he has done during those years; we have all benefitted from his ministry here. At this point our prayers for him are how we can support him. And we also pray for our parish and our community who have been affected by this.
I have been named as your parish administrator in the interim, and I ask for your support and your prayers.
St. Elizabeth Seton, pray for us!
Deacon Bill Reid