I am happy to announce St. Mary & St. Margaret Mary’s conclusion of the One Church, Many Disciples Capital Campaign for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. I had a wonderful team of parishioners who helped me meet with many families. Last week we took the campaign public with an appeal to all parishioners to consider participating in the campaign. The goal was to ask parish families to consider a monthly gift over five years. The largest part of this OC,MD Campaign is to build a fitting Shrine Church for Blessed Stanley Rother. Last weekend parishioners were encouraged to turn in a pledge envelope during Mass. If you were away last weekend and would like to be part of this campaign you can go online to onechurchmanydisciples.org and make a pledge. Please remember to assign the pledge to either St. Mary or St. Margaret Mary. Since we achieved both parish goals for the campaign we will get back 50% of every dollar pledged! Thank you to all who helped me in this effort and most of all thank you to those who gave to this campaign. While the campaign will do great things for our Local Church, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, I am very happy our part in this campaign is concluded! Thank you all!!
Now our attention is turned to preparing for Christmas. I am sure your family is making many preparations for this upcoming season. As you heard me preach this past Sunday, I am very glad 2018 is coming to an end! It has been a hard year. Sometimes the greatest fruit comes with great struggle. While this year has been a great struggle for me and for many with all the negative events going on in the Church and the world, I am finding a renewed peace. I can only describe this as a fruit from struggling with the events of this year. So often I tend towards ingratitude in many ways. It is easy to think of life as getting through the hoops – of checking off the boxes for things accomplished – but I am learning this leads to a very negative view of oneself and the world. I have faced that temptation this past year.
In the past few weeks of this year I have discovered the truly Christian way to live through periods of struggle and bad news in life: Gratitude. Gratitude is something that comes to me only with difficulty. My personality is to look for the negative in situations and try to make it right. When I can’t fix something it bothers me. I tend to ruminate over it. I have found gratitude is a powerful antidote to ingratitude. St. Ignatius of Loyola said ingratitude is the portal or gateway to every other sin and vice. Gratitude is then the cure for ingratitude! I have discovered I have much more to be grateful for than ingrateful.
I am pastor of two very unique parishes in St. Mary and St. Margaret Mary. We have many older families who grew up in times of great change for the Church. And then there is the newer phenomenon here of many young large families who desire many things and ways of faith from the past. For me it is a hard line to walk. My desire is that both these types of families may find a place here. These two parishes are arks of refuge in this world and I am thankful for all of you. I am grateful to be your pastor! -Fr. W.