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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-04-09

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Here is Bulletin_2017-04-09

Were you there – this time? Another Palm Sunday, another reading of the Passion, and it was yet another time when we were excluded. If you go back to what we wrote two years ago you will know what the problem is – there is no place for the sheep of St. Peter’s to participate in the Passion. (See Were You There? to find out why.) Once again the parishioners of St. Peter’s had to sit on the sidelines and watch passively as the mystery of the Passion unfolds. Even though we are sinners, we are not allowed to be members of the “crowd”. It’s as if we had nothing to do with Jesus having to die on the cross. We don’t see the acts of the “crowd” as being a “negative example” from which we should learn. It is worth reading Fr. Scalia’s words in his article One of the Twelve published in The Catholic Thing today:

“So it is a healthy thing to look at Judas’s negative example. Not with a view to condemning him all over again or to feel our own superiority. Rather, we do so with a certain empathy, aware that we labor under the same human weaknesses and are likewise capable of grave sin – of betrayal. What then do we find in the betrayer that we might also find in ourselves?”

It’s important that we participate in the Passion. It’s important that we play our part – “of betrayal.” As we have said here before:

“On Palm Sunday and on Good Friday the Church does its best to put us there – there at the triumphant entry, there at the betrayal, there in moment of weakness, there in the panic and fear, there in an act of cowardice, and there in murderous rage. There, assembled together at Mass, the priests, deacons, lectors read the Passion. But the Church does not leave it to them alone. The Church in Her wisdom writes us into the script as if we were the crowds, traitors, and cowards of the Passion. Those are the parts we play. In my life I have played every one of them – my sinful thoughts and deeds were among the wounds suffered at Calvary.”

But, once again, the Pastor at St. Peter’s has written us out of the script. The bitter irony today was that, during the harshest statements from the “crowd”, it was our Pastor’s voice that rang out – the very same voice that had also been the voice of Jesus. Why could it not have been the voices of the parishioners instead?

 

An Irrelevant Pastoral Council? In this week’s bulletin we have the rightful thanks to the people who made the new Parish Brochure available. We here at The Sheep of Kephas blog also extend our thanks to them. It’s a fine brochure.

But, just for the record, the idea for the brochure was first brought up by the Parish Pastoral Council on October 8th, 2016. The idea was to have a trifold printed to be placed at the Visitors Center, at various bed and breakfasts, etc. The Council discussed in detail how the brochures would inform visitors to Rapppahannock County and people not familiar with St. Peter’s about the parish so that they could make their way to the parish to join with us in the Mass, the Sacraments, and our community.

No minutes for the Pastoral Council have been published since November, 2015. Who knows what’s going on there? Who would ever know that good ideas have been brought to that forum and have actually been acted upon? Who would ever know?

Perhaps our Pastor should consider publishing the minutes and giving credit to the members of the Council for the efforts they are making on behalf of the parish. Or is it that, in his mind, the Pastoral Council is merely an irrelevant necessity to give the impression that the opinions of our parishioners have any merit?

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