This weekend our nation observes Memorial Day.  We honor and remember the soldiers who have died in all the wars and conflicts of our young nation’s history.  However, Abraham Lincoln said well of the battlefield at Gettysburg: “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”  Please celebrate courage and remember with your family the values our nation has fought to preserve – values that are especially challenged by the circumstances and more than a few misguided ideas of our time.  To the deceased soldiers, you have our gratitude and our prayers.  The columbarium under construction at St. Stephen’s cemetery will feature an altar.  In future years we might celebrate Mass there on Memorial Day.

I also want to take this opportunity to express gratitude to the Knights of Columbus who help with Honor and Remember events in our area throughout the year.  Patriotism is the fourth mark for the Knights of Columbus – after charity, unity, and fraternity.

Wednesday will be the second time our pastoral councils meet conjointly.  We will begin with items that affect the region as a whole.  Afterward the parish pastoral councils will meet individually.  Regional collaboration continues to be a work in progress.  In the long run, I think this model can serve us well.  I meant to receive nominations for pastoral council members in April, but we are still receiving nominations for each of the three parishes.

Friday’s Mass will be at St. Peter in Chains instead of at St. Joseph, as it is the last day of school for the students at St. Peter’s.

Rejoice in the Risen Christ.  He lives!

Fr. Rob