These have been difficult days here in our country after the events in Charlottesville, VA, controversy regarding the words from President Trump and additional demonstrations around the country.
Our population in East Amherst/Clarence is predominantly Caucasian, so we do not have the history of racial discrimination that has affected a huge portion of the citizens of the United States.
In the book of Genesis it is written “God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them” Gn.1′ God didn’t create just white but all people. I was impressed with actor Morgan Freeman when he said he looks at a person “not as a white person or black person, but a person.”
It is terrible that a group of Americans who are KKK, neo-Nazis or white supremacists give the impression that a majority of Americans share their beliefs. Most Americans certainly know and appreciate the words of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that ALL MEN are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
While our country has come along way regarding race relations, we still have a ways to go to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream for the rights of all people of this country.
We need to do whatever we can in this little piece of the world here in the Amherst-Clarence area to make sure that we treat EVERYONE with dignity and respect. We then reflect what God has created us to do.
– Fr. Yetter
August 24, 2017
Please join our parish family on Monday for a spiritual training.
I don’t know one winner reaching up for gold medal without proper training, exercise and hard work including “painful” consultations with a coach. This is a great opportunity; after telling our best coach-Jesus, about our failings in confession, listening to His advice given in His name by a priest, being absolved, we can start again, with a new strength.
Let us run together for the best reward, which is Mercy of God, and joyful, spiritual celebration of Easter.
Come! Monday April 10 at 7 p.m., to church.
Come! To our parish family Penance Service.
Come! Let us run together and win this race together.
-Fr. Andrew, April 7, 2017
Get ready for Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States. Most priests and many people are anxious to hear what he has to say about our country and the world as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Some people of the world think that he is too “liberal” in his thinking as he speaks about climate change and migrants/refugees who are affecting Europe and the United States. It seems that some people are just waiting to criticize what he says. President Obama recognizes him as an important spokesperson for the world, but he certainly does not agrees with the President on every topic, especially his support for abortions. The President and the Pope share many of the same ideas on climate control. The Pope, though, is writing from the point of view – God’s view – of taking care of creation that as it says in the book of Genesis that what God made was “very good.”
As Catholics, we will be looking for his views on family life and relationships. He is coming to our country to attend the World Meeting on Family Life. As of today (Sept. 16) I don’t know what specific issues he will be addressing, but he will certainly support the sacrament of marriage as between a man and a woman. He is willing to address issues on divorce and remarriage for Catholics and homosexuals in the Church community, but I don’t believe he will make major changes in church teaching. He will present the Church as being more understanding and compassionate as he announces the Holy Year of Mercy beginning on December 8. We will have to wait and see how this pilgrimage will go!
Will God be happy if I give up something for Lent?
Giving up something doesn’t make God happy, but it should make us a better person. Living in America we have a surplus of so much that fasting doesn’t hurt us too much. Maybe if we are a smoker or heavy drinker, it could be harder, but we make up for things in different ways. Is that right also?
Lent is built three pillars: fasting, penance and works of charity. Maybe it is time to receive the Sacrament of Penance. Catholics still take advantage of the grace of the Sacrament but not as much as when I was ordained 4o years ago. I still feel God’s grace is when someone comes on a Saturday or during the day at the rectory and shares a part of their life that is in need of healing. Believe it – God’s grace is at work in the world.
Are works of charity time consuming? Maybe, but not necessarily. Sometimes we don’t have to look further than our own families who are in need of a conversation, visit or just simply being nice to them. God’s grace is at work there too. We still have some days left in this season of grace to do these things.
Will we make time? Time passes quickly, so don’t wait!
Fr. Robert Yetter
February 24, 2015
WHY DO CATHOLICS WORSHIP SAINTS!? This was a question I heard on one of the talk shows on April 27 when Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were declared canonized saints of the Catholic Church after leading good and worthy lives. As Catholics, we only worship God but we give honor to those who lived such good and holy lives among us. As Pope Francis said in his homily they were human who had their faults at times as any human does, but their lives of virtue are an example for us to follow. I was in grammar school when Pope John was elected in 1958. He was elected to be a short-term pope because of his age- 78- and not expected to do much. But he certainly did when he realized a need for Roman Catholics to take a new view of their church and as he called it to ”open up some windows and let in some fresh air.” He opened up the Second Vatican Council in 1962, but died in 1963.
All of us over nine years of age lived during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. His travels of over 750,000 miles around the world during 100 pilgrimages- as he called them- brought him and the papacy close to millions. It is thought that he spoke in front of more people than anyone in history with attendance at many Masses with over 1 million people. His was the third longest pontificate in Catholic history and 265 Popes. His election was at the young age of 58, but three years after he began he was shot in Vatican Square. His health began to deteriorate around 1995 with the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Coming to Rome with his background of WWII then the onslaught of Communism gave him a different perspective to the history of Europe and the world which served as a basis for many of his talks.
I was blessed to meet him seven times from 1990 – 1995 in Rome and in New York City. At that time. I realized his magnetic personality and holiness from celebrating Mass in his chapel, but in a million years would never have thought that I would be speaking with a canonized saint of the church. He urged all of us to “Be Not Afraid” as we take up the work of Jesus in leading our lives each day and speaking up for a greater concern and respect for life. We don’t worship him as a “god,” but honor and respect his words and holy life.
Fr. Robert Yetter
April 27, 2014