Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week most of the pastoral staff will be on retreat at Trinity Center. Therefore, the pastoral offices will mostly be closed except for pastoral emergencies. Please keep us in your prayers this week. There will be daily Mass on Monday and Tuesday, and communion services on
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday .

We have several more months to go until the national elections, and the media is abuzz with all sorts of ads. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have re-published a document to help Catholics, and indeed all citizens, to form our conscience. In part they write:

Our nation faces political challenges that demand urgent moral choices. We are a nation at war, with all of its human costs; a country often divided by race and ethnicity; a nation of immigrants struggling with immigration. We are an affluent society where too many live in poverty; part of a global community confronting terrorism and facing urgent threats to our environment; a culture built on families, where some now question the value of marriage and family life. We pride ourselves on supporting human rights, but we fail even to protect the fundamental right to life, especially for unborn children. We bishops seek to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with the truth, so they can make sound moral choices in addressing these challenges. We do not tell Catholics how to vote. The responsibility to make political choices rests with each person and his or her properly formed conscience.

(Excerpt from summary of “Forming Consciences
for Faithful Citizenship.)

The USCCB has compiled a quiz of 20 questions taken from issues addressed in the “Faithful Citizenship” document. You are invited to take the quiz (see column on right) or at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/all-catholics/faithful-citizenship-quiz-questions.cfm

The answers can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/all-catholics/faithful-citizenship-quiz-answers.cfm I found it to be worthwhile and hope you do also. In the months ahead, in the bulletin and on our website, we’ll have more information on how to form your conscience in preparation for the elections.

In the peace of Christ,
Fr. Mark