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Last week we hosted a group of 60 students from Leesville High School. The group has been learning about different religions, and they were here to learn more about the Catholic faith. We met in the church on a Friday morning, and both Steve K. and I spoke about our path to the friars, and then we opened it up to questions from the students. We found them to be both thoughtful and engaged. One of the students asked, how does a person hold onto their faith in a world that is filled with so much bad news – terrorism, inequality, angry political discourse? Both Steve and I said that’s why faith is so important. It’s the image of the Easter candle – the light of Christ – leading the way into the darkened church on the night before Easter Sunday, and the image of a dark church filled with hundreds of shining candles, as if to say, there is darkness in the world, but the light of Christ, and the light of this gathered people, shines through.

I was very much taken by an op-ed piece in the News & Observer written by a woman who attended a political rally in North Carolina recently. She lamented that all people seemed to do was yell at one another, and wrote about extending her hand to a woman who had yelled “y’all are stupid!” during the rally. The woman was surprised by the gracious gesture, and the two women eventually found themselves talking civilly with one another. She writes “this is what I know: peaceful discourse can be the key that unlocks our differences.” Such a moment of grace in a divided world!

We will soon wrap up our 2016 BAA campaign. Do you still have your pledge card at home? Still meaning to get to it? If you have already contributed, we thank you. If not, please consider making a contribution to the 2016 BAA.

Thank you, and blessings on your week!

 

Call St. Francis