Pastor's Message Archives

Looking back at the weekly messages of Father Paul Counce, first published in The Carpenter, our weekly Parish Bulletin

Pot-Luck Patriotism

Published: July 09, 2017

My dear Parishioners and Friends,

            I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday this past week as our nation celebrated its independence. Here at the Cathedral we’re going to carry on the spirit of the 4th of July all the way through to next Monday, July 17, at 6 pm in the Parish Hall. We’re having a « Patriotic Pot-Luck Supper «, so be a good citizen and come out join us! Bring an all-American salad, side or dessert – and the whole family! – and we’ll make sure the hamburgers and hot dogs are here waiting for you!

While all our Parish Pot-Luck Suppers do a great deal in advancing a sense of community among our parishioners, this month’s theme will – I hope! – also foster a little bit of proper reflection on what it means to be a good American in today’s day and age. If you have a moment, stop and think about this a little with me.

No matter what your political persuasion is, or whether you’re publicly active or not in espousing your views, I think everyone can agree that in recent years and especially months things have changed, and not for the better. The emotional climate surrounding political discourse has become so negatively charged and confrontational. Just about everybody agrees that it seems always on the cusp of getting out of hand – and indeed this can provoke tragedy, such as when Rep. Steve Scalise was shot a few weeks ago by that deranged man in Washington.

What’s the antidote to all of this? What needs to happen, to inspire a lessening of tensions and a return to civil dialogue and commitment to working together for the good of the country and world? I cannot help but think that we have to recall the fundamental values of our nation. The so-called “founding fathers,” and our national heroes and heroines since then, based their words and actions on virtuous ideals, which did not eliminate differences of opinion, or even mistakes, but did guarantee good will throughout and ultimately the common good as best this could be achieved.

Whether you want to go back to famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence or the Preamble to the federal Constitution, for instance, you find indications that there are some priorities that transcend political viewpoints. As a person of faith, I particularly like the former’s appeal to the natural law that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, [and] that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This kind of color-blind, non-sectarian, fair and flexible perspective ought to point the way forward for our country, to ensure both sacrifice and justice for all.

Well, that’s about as close to a political screed as I’m ever going to get. But I assure you that for my part many prayers continue to Almighty God for ourselves and our leaders and our future, with thanks that divine providence and not human claims will ultimately prevail.

                                    Sincerely in the Lord,

                                    Fr. Paul

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