Due to July 4th I have a very early deadline this week, so just some quick notes.
Huge Victory for Religious Liberty! Praised be Jesus Christ! How fitting that this week in which we celebrated American Freedom began with the Supreme Court defending religious liberty. Recall that in January of 2012 the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations under Obamacare requiring that businesses and not-for-profit organizations (including organizations run directly by churches) provide employees with insurance covering abortion-inducing drugs and contraception, with no exception to protect the religious liberty of these groups. Scores of court cases have been filed to overturn these regulations, and the first to make its way to the Supreme Court was decided this last Monday (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores). The Court ruled in favor of the Christian business owners, holding that the regulations placed an unnecessary “substantial burden” on the free exercise of religious liberty, thus violating the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court also ruled that incorporation of a family business does not mean the owners lose their religious liberty with regard to that business. While this does not directly affect the cases involving not-for-profit organizations (e.g., the Little Sisters of the Poor), it is a huge vindication of the rights of individual Christians: you don’t have to leave your faith-informed moral principles at home when you go to work, or when you seek the ordinary legal protections provided by incorporating your business. Let’s pray this is a sign of more good things to come from the Court in defense of religious freedom.
Fortnight for Freedom. No doubt all the prayers across the country and in our parish during the Fortnight contributed greatly in moving the Court in Hobby Lobby. Thanks to all who joined in by either coming to the holy hours in the church or participating privately at home with your prayers and sacrifices. In particular I’d like to thank Bob Laird for his untiring assistance, including setting up for all 14 holy hours! God bless you all.
Position Open: Parish Secretary. Do you know anyone interested in becoming our parish secretary? The position involves about 30 hours a week, and includes general office work as well as assisting parishioners (at the front desk, via phone and email, etc.), maintaining parish records, various forms of data entry, preparing correspondence, common secretarial duties, and other tasks to support the priests. The ideal candidate would possess the following attributes: a devout Catholic, trustworthy, able to keep confidences, organized, detail oriented, able to collaborate with others, good people and communication skills, familiarity with various common office software (especially MS Office, and preferably PDS) and hardware, and basic office skills. All applicants must have a minimum of a high school degree and be certifiable under our Child Protection policy. This is an hourly wage position, with benefits including health insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave. Please send resumes to Mary Butler in the parish office or to email@example.com.
Prayer for Government
by Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop and archbishop of Baltimore, and of the United States
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.
We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Oremus pro invicem, et pro patria. Fr. De Celles