5 July 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

This past week we welcomed Dr. Annette Jones as the new principal of Saint John Regional Catholic School.  Dr. Jones is an experienced teacher, vice-principal, and principal, and has more recently worked for the National Catholic Education Association in Washington DC.  I served on the principal search committee, which was very pleased that we were able to hire one of our top candidates.  Welcome to Fredrick and our parish school, Dr. Jones!

We also want to thank Karen Smith who is retiring after serving in Catholic Schools for 40 years, and as SJRCS principal for the last 15 years.  Her dedicated leadership enabled our regional school to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award twice, both in 2009 and 2017.  Her retirement is well -deserved, and we wish her much happiness in the years ahead!

Catholic pastors are having a problem all over the country with e-mail scams.  People posing as the pastor of a parish contact parishioners– and if they respond, will wind up asking for gift cards or some other way of obtaining money.  Please know that I will never send an e-mail saying “Are you busy?  Let me know if we can talk…”   or “I need a favor—could you purchase a gift card for my niece in the hospital?”  If you are ever in doubt, please give me a call and check with me—but, otherwise, just delete. Unfortunately, we have been told there is nothing we can do to stop what is a very irritating problem.

July 4th is celebrated annually in our country as “Independence Day”, and this weekend we remember the freedom we are supposed to enjoy as Americans.  Protests in recent weeks have brought to our attention that not all Americans experience freedom and opportunity in the same way.  As Christians, we know and believe that we are all part of God’s family, and that all of God’s children are loved equally by God.  We are invited by Jesus to love as God loves—and we can best honor this holiday by pledging to do so.

Fr. Keith

P.S.  Please take a moment to review other information concerning our parish and it’s gradual re-opening by clicking here for the weekly bulletin.

UPCOMING Zoom sessions:

Coffee and Zoom

Available every Sunday at 12:00. Contact Brian McCrohan for a link to join.

Centering Prayer – now on Zoom!

We will be resuming our weekly Centering Prayer group beginning on Sunday July 12th at 4:30 on zoom.  This opportunity for prayer focus on the practice of Christian silent centering prayer, to deepen our relationship with God and one another.  In a time when our lives have been disrupted in a number of ways and anxiety is high, this is a great opportunity to experience some peace and benefit from some stillness.  For more information contact Amy Kulesa at askulesa@gmail.com.

Film Discussion “13th”

The documentary film “13th” which is available on Netflix provides an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.  To continue our parish conversation on the issues of race and racism we encourage you to watch the film on your own and then join us for a discussion on Tuesday July 21st at 7:00 PM.  For more information contact me at bmccrohan@saintdrexel.org.

Book study on “Reaching Out” by Henri Nouwen

Wednesday July 22nd at 7:00PM on zoom will see a new book study launched online for “Reaching Out” by Henri Nouwen.  Nouwen views our spiritual “ascent” as evolving in three movements. The first, from loneliness to solitude, focuses on the spiritual life as it relates to the experience of our own selves. The second, from hostility to hospitality, deals with our spiritual life as a life for others. The final movement, from illusion to prayer, offers penetrating thoughts on the most mysterious relationship of all: our relationship to God.  The book can be ordered through Amazon and other online retailers.  For more information contact Pat O’Connor Pat.OConnor@saintdrexel.org.

Scripture Study

Beginning Thursday July 23rd at 7:00PM we will begin offering a weekly scripture study through zoom focusing on the readings for the upcoming weekend.  This type of scripture study gives us the chance to unpack and reflect upon the readings before we arrive at Mass, thus allowing us to benefit even more from our experience of hearing God’s Word.  For more information contact Deacon Kevin Kulesa at kkulesa68@gmail.com.

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