Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It’s Been a Year, Already!

Dear Parishioners,

First of all, if you haven’t realized it by now, I humbly confess that I have a few flaws.  (My confessor would probably tell you that there are considerably more than just a few flaws—but he won’t/can’t break the seal of confession!  Thank God!)

I know this may come as a complete and utter shock, but I can sometimes procrastinate a bit.  Put this along side of my being a tad bit unorganized and you could potentially have some of the ingredients present in a recipe for certain disaster.

Thank God, again, for the very competent office and parish staff that surrounds me, supports me and helps to keep me on track!  I don’t know what I would do without them.  They are a godsend!

That being said, I want to do a few things that I have been putting off.

I take this time to say “thank you” to all of the people who were so kind, loving, generous and helpful to me at the time of my 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood back in May.  There are far too many to mention individually and by name here.  (It is always a danger that in doing so, someone would be forgotten unintentionally, thus leading to hurt feelings.)  So I make this general thank you to all who made the day, the Mass, the celebration and my priestly ministry—that I am so privileged to have been given—completely joy-filled and beautiful!  You are all remembered in my thoughts, prayers and Masses.

Next, I can tell you that the church parking lot, after much frustration, worry and consternation on my part, should be re-lined shortly.  This will involve a new parking pattern in which cars will no longer be blocked in by others.  Successful results depend, however, on whether or not people follow the new pattern and park within the lines!  The arrangement calls for multiple handicapped spots close to the church doors.  I wait with bated breath!

Unfortunately, across the street in the school lot, we are facing a mysterious sinkhole which we hope to remedy as soon as possible.  I pray that no one gets swallowed up in the meantime!  Stay clear!

Moreover, plans are underway to turn part of the vestibule of the church into a multi-use confessional, cry room and bride’s room.  I had something similar in my last parish and the concept worked pretty well there.

Finally, I express my gratitude to those who stepped forward and answered my Help Wanted ad in the church bulletin.  I once again remind all of you, my parishioners, that this is your parish (as well as mine) and it will only be as active and dynamic as your willingness to be an active part of it.  We are always looking for your help!  Please volunteer your services.  Don’t wait to be asked!

My year at St. Joseph’s has been one of the best in my life!  Thanks to all of you who make it great to be here and to serve you as your priest and pastor!

I love you all!

Fr. Ed Namiotka

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom

Dear Parishioners,

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has declared the fourteen days from June 21 to July 4 as a “fortnight for freedom.”

The fortnight began with the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More and continues to Independence Day.  The bishops remind us that “Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.”
It is a special time dedicated to prayer, study, catechesis as well as public action emphasizing “both our Christian and our American heritage of liberty.”

Why now?
According to the Catholic News Agency, “The initiative was created in response to several moves by the Obama administration that are threatening the Church’s religious freedom.  The most well-known action is the Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to cover birth control and other services that Catholics and other believers find morally objectionable.”

Various forces in the media and in politics have tried to make it appear that this issue is only about the Catholic Church’s opposition to artificial birth control or abortion.  This is truly not what the matter is all about.  It concerns our ability as Catholics to practice our faith freely and in the manner in which we see fit.  No government can mandate what we can or should believe and how we must practice our beliefs.  The entire situation seems to be an attempt to confuse and to split the ranks of Catholics—in essence, to divide and conquer.

I urge you to become more informed about the issue by reading information supplied by the USCCB ( or similar resources.  Be aware of how the secular media and certain groups, organizations or factions may try to slant or spin the issue to suit their own purposes—political or otherwise.

This matter has become a slippery slope and a grave danger to all believers where our government has overstepped its bounds and attacked religious liberty in the land of the free.

We should be worried.

Fr. Ed Namiotka