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STM 2-17-13

STM 2-17-13

STM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Pastor’s Page First Sunday in Lent; February 17, 2013 Readings; Duet 26: 4-10; Romans 10: 8-13; Luke 4: 1-13 Why is Pope Benedict XVI Resigning? When I awoke on Monday morning, I looked at my iPhone to see what time it was. I had a text message from a priest-friend that read: “I heard they are summoning you to Rome.” I thought he was playing a joke on me – which he was – when I started to receive text messages from other priests indicating: “Holy Father has announced resignation.” I pulled up a news site on my internet browser and could not believe it. For the first time in almost 600 years, the Pope has decided to resign his office as Supreme Pontiff. Aside from the initial shock, many people including Catholics are confused about this decision. How can we reconcile our belief that a man who has been appointed by the Holy Spirit as Successor to St. Peter could give up this ministry while still living? Firstly, it is important to know that in Canon Law – the law of the Church – the Pope does have the right to resign freely and publicly (Can. 332 §2). Secondly, before we can jump to conspiracy theories, we should read what the Holy Father actually said . In his Declaratio, Pope Benedict admits that he does not have the sufficient health and energy to carry out the duties of the Petrine ministry amidst the demands of today’s world. In my opinion, the Pope is making a very prayerful and humble decision to concede the papacy to one who is more physically apt to carry out the heavy duties of Roman Pontiff. On a human level, I am saddened that he will no longer be known as His Holiness, Benedict XVI. I intensely studied his writings – both as Pope and as Cardinal Ratzinger – during my time in seminary, and I spent five wonderful years in Rome during his reign. I attended countless Masses celebrated by him, heard him preach often, and I even had the opportunity to meet him in January 2010. His contribution to maintaining a spirit of continuity with our theological and liturgical tradition – both pre- and post-Vatican II – is an aspect of his pontificate that I will greatly miss. However, I think he will be most remembered for his gentle, prudent leadership of the Church during a time of external persecution by a secular world and the internal healing after devastating scandals. The one that many thought would be God’s fierce Rottweiler in the Church turned out to be a benevolent German Shepherd. The next four weeks will be very interesting and exciting as the resignation becomes effective on February 28 and a conclave is convened in early-March. Although these are strange times in the Catholic Church, we must pray that the Holy Spirit inspires the cardinals to elect the one who will carry out the ministry of feeding Christ’s sheep (John 21:17). May the Lord greatly reward Pope Benedict XVI and may He abundantly bless his successor. Yours in Christ, Fr. Lowry St. Thomas More Catholic Mission PO Box 1400 – 1 Ranch Road Hilltop Lakes, Texas 77871 stthomasmorehilltop.org SUNDAY MASS 8:30 a.m. Daily Mass Thursday 9:30 am Stations of the Cross During Lent 5:00 pm Adoration 5:45 pm Stations PRIEST IN CHARGE Rev. Nolan Lowry, STL Rectory Phone: 903-536-5012 Emergency Cell: 903-520-9899 E-mail: priest@stthomasmorehilltop.org First Sunday In Lent February 17, 2013 DEACON Deacon James (Jim) Finegan Home Phone: 936-855-2640 Cell Phone: 979-595-0281 E-mail: jfinegan@txcyber.com MINISTRIES Faith Formation: Deacon Jim Finegan, Coordinator Pastoral Care of the Sick: Fr. Lowry Social Service: Margaret Patterson Accounting: Kathy Guillory FAMILY FAITH FORMATION February 20, 2013

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