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Words Matter

Words Matter

  • Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
  • 26 July 2020

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This childhood saying apparently no longer holds true. Events of the past few weeks show that words indeed do matter. These past few weeks have been shocking to our parish, and have caused confusion, anger, sadness, and probably more emotions than I can name. We face a challenge that will not be met quickly. Our parish is hurt, and we may still be bleeding from the hurt. We need to stop the bleeding and begin to heal our wounds.

Our priests and our parish staff have been working diligently to receive your messages in a listening mode, and to plan how to help our parish move towards healing. To that end, we will be hosting a series of “listening sessions”. These sessions will allow you to come and speak what’s in your heart, without interruption. It’s said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, and we should use them in that proportion. It is my hope that by speaking what we feel without fear of interruption or defensiveness, we can unload the burden that we might be carrying. And by listening to one another, we can understand each other’s perspectives. Hopefully, we can discover that we all share the same basic principles of love for God and for one another, as Jesus taught us.

I hope that you will join us for one of these praying and listening sessions; They will be held in the coming week:

Wednesday, July 29    7:00-9:00 pm
Thursday, July 30        9:30-11:30 am
Sunday August 2         3:00-5:00 pm

You may register for one of these sessions using by clicking here.

The reaction to Fr. Ted’s June 28 bulletin article shows that words indeed do matter. I need to be cognizant of that in my own words. Sometimes I use words loosely, figuring that the other person knows what I mean. Sometimes I find out that they didn’t understand what I was trying to say, and I must be more careful in the exact words that I use. Perhaps you’ve encountered a similar thing in your own life.

Our listening sessions will not be the final opportunity for our healing. That will undoubtedly take time. But it is a first step. I ask you to prayerfully consider whether you will attend, and then if you are willing, to come with an open heart and a positive attitude.

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit who would be with us until the end of time. That same Holy Spirit is with our parish now and will give us the wisdom and strength to endure and overcome this challenge.

Please pray for Fr. Ted. And please pray for our parish.

Deacon Bill Reid