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March 28, 2016 | Volume 91 Number 11


Reader thanks CV

Thanks to Annie Dixon for a very comprehensive and provocative article (Parish profile on St. Gerard Parish in Roanoke, March 14 issue).

With reference to the first Spanish Mass at St. Gerard, I would like to indicate that the Redemptorist Fathers celebrated Mass in Spanish in the 1950s for Mexican Migrant workers, their families and the Cuban boys who lived here in Roanoke at St. Vincent’s Home for Boys.

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Praying the Rosary for peace suggested

Thank you for sharing Tom Kallus’ excellent article “Looking at Ourselves in America” in the Feb. 15 edition of The Catholic Virginian.

While I agree with every word he wrote, I feel that there is something missing and that is: “What are we going to do about it?”

Did not our Heavenly Mother Mary ask and beg us in all her apparitions to pray the Rosary for Peace (daily)? And, did not great saints like Padre Pio tell us that “the Rosary is the weapon for our time?”

So, if we really believe that “there is strength in numbers,” why do we not get together in all parishes of the Diocese once a week, in great numbers, to pray the Rosary for Peace (maybe after daily Mass or weekend Masses)?

Maybe we could all become part of the solution! Dare we ask our Bishop and priests for a call to action?

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‘How can this be?’ is reaction to death

Recently a friend and fellow parishioner died. She was a unique gift to our community and to our lives.

Her husband lovingly attended to her every need as she slowly remembered less and less of the details of their adventurous time together. Watching him care for her these past years was such a testimony of their love, and what it meant to be loyal and faithful and merciful — every day, in every moment.

When we arrived at her funeral a friend shared the news that this woman’s husband had died the afternoon before from a stroke.

What? How could that be?

To say we entered that service in a state of shock and disbelief is a gross understatement of our conflicted emotions. It was easy to empathize with our pastor as he struggled to make sense of something that we all knew was beyond our understanding. His heart ached as did ours.

As the liturgy progressed my general numbness was replaced gradually with the feeling of being unburdened. The Eucharistic Prayer in the familiar voice of our pastor and the feeling of oneness and belonging it brings at God’s altar reminded me, as it always does, that this journey is about much more than ourselves.

Perhaps all of this was just a reflection of God’s mercy. They were inseparable in life and so they are now.

As I left that day my heart was overflowing with the awareness of God’s Presence.

I prayed that God would give us the courage to live beyond the designated time constraints of the Year of Mercy, seeking that compassion in every corner, around every bend, in every moment and in every person, and then witnessing to it as our friends did, and as our God calls us to do.

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