Dear Brothers and Sister,

Peter asks Jesus a very important question about forgiving others. Jesus tells Peter that forgiving others needs to be abundant. This teaching of Jesus is particularly challenging when the forgiveness we want to offer is hidden behind hurt and disappointment. These strong emotions can control our ability to function and grow in the spiritual life.

In my own life I have not experienced a devastating situation where I could not overcome the hurt or disappointment that it caused me. However, many people carry burdens on their heart that prevent them from moving forward through forgiveness. Sometimes this hinders them from the practice of charity. In this weekend’s Gospel antiphon, we receive from Jesus a new commandment: to love as he loves us. Grudges, hurts, and disappointments towards others prevent us from reflecting Jesus’ love. But how do we do that when the situations have affected us so strongly?

Forgiveness is the process of forgiving, and for each of us the process may be different due to our life experiences and how we handle negative situations. That said, the foundation of forgiveness is the same for everyone, it’s rooted in charity. Out of charity for others, we must always desire to forgive those who may have offended us. Most times this forgiveness is readily offered as part of our nature or personality. Let us be mindful of the potential that a situation could have on our ability to forgive. A good spiritual practice is to pray for strength when those experiences occur and for those who may be challenged with forgiving. I included a simple prayer to serve as a starting point in the process.

Many people have noticed the “no parking” signs along the west side of the parking lot of St. James. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, the use of the parking lot is being limited to only church functions and the tenants of the school and rectory buildings. These signs should stop those that use the parking lot for neighboring businesses and residences. As we move to the final sale of the school building and rectory, it must be noted that the parking lot is NOT part of the sale. The parish retains the property with a parking easement granted to Oster Services to use during their normal business hours. With this partnership, we have begun making plans to renovate the west parking lot and restore the Detroit entryway to its original grade and to fix and improve the catch basins.

The beginning of a new P.S.R. year is just around the corner. If you are a new family or new to P.S.R., contact Colleen Houk for registration and important information about the upcoming year.

If you have not yet read Bishop Malesic’s letter, I encourage you to do so. You can find it attached to last week’s newsletter. Fr. Deo commented on the subtle changes in wording from the diocese over recent weeks, and noted that we are now “asked” to wear them while participating in Mass. Please be charitable and consider the people around you as we continue to navigate this pandemic together as a faith community responsible for not only ourselves but also for each other.

As we acknowledge the horrific events of September 11th this weekend, let us remember that we are called to be ministers of peace and compassion. This ministry is not always easy when life is radically altered so quickly. Through prayer may we find the strength to minister when we are called.

Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Workman