1992 May 10 – 4th Sun Easter (Bulletin Letters)
GOD’S BLESSINGS ON ALL OUR MOTHERS ON THIS MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND. WITHIN YOUR WOMBS COMES THE PROMISE AND HOPE FOR OUR FUTURES!!
THE STATE OF THE PARISH Mindful this may be my last weekend with you for some time, I wish to reflect on the condition of our parishes. On the whole, I believe we are doing well although nobody is happy about the prospect of my going to jail again. However, despite this probability, there are many good signs and indicators that the people of St. Anne’s and Holy Family are alive and well.
The strongest and clearest sign of our communities good health is the way in which the parishes, through the leadership of our Parish Councils and the Joint Committee, have taken on the task of developing a Pastoral Plan for when I’m in jail. The major shortcoming of my two prior absences due to imprisonment, was the lack of parish involvement and ownership of the pastoral plan. This time the Bishop has given the go ahead to set up your own plan for the time when I am not here.
Fr. Jim Kiernan and Fr. Mike McLaughlin have agreed to cover weekend Masses and provide for all other the sacramental needs of the parishes while I’m in jail. The hiring of Dolores Klein as a part- time Pastoral Assistant for the coming year will allow our parishes the continued benefit of having a resource person working in our parishes after Sr. Therese is gone and the old “Harrison Co. Team Ministry” is finally put to rest.
Beyond the actual Pastoral Plan that we have in place, the process by which we came to develop and are now implementing this Pastoral Plan is a great indicator of the over all health and well-being of our parish communities. Instead of letting things just happen, the parish leadership took the initiative. They made an effort to find out the needs of the parishes. They came up with a plan to meet those needs. They sold the idea to the rest of the community. This speaks well of a strong emerging lay leadership within the communities.
People are realizing that the life and well being of our two small parishes cannot rise or fall solely on the priest assigned to our parishes. In large measure, the future of St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes rest with the people themselves.
If the last few months are any indication of what’s ahead for St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes, things look good. I go to trial and probably jail Friday, confident that the Pastoral needs for the people of St. Anne’s and Holy Family will be better met now than when I was locked up the last two times.
I WILL NEED YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT I’ve ask a great deal of you, each time I put myself in jeopardy of going back into jail. Most parish communities would not tolerate having their Pastor imprisoned for protesting nuclear weapons even once. Yet, here I am, about to begin my eighth year with you and posed to be sent back into jail for my third six month sentence. Your patience, tolerance, endurance and non-judgmental ‘spirit’ towards me is legendary in the region.
Still, I dare to ask for more. My last jail experience was difficult at best. The Feds made me do the whole six months in County Jails. Doing County Jail time is doing “hard time”. I am determined to ‘do the time’ better this time. I will need your prayers and support. You need not agree with what I have done to pray for and support me while I’m locked up. You need only care about my well-being.
My bi-weekly letters will keep you informed on my whereabouts and state of being. Kathryn Epperson will again serve as my main support person. She will need help at times in her efforts to support me. Be generous with your support of Kathryn. Know that I will hold you in my prayers daily.
With all my love,
P.S. My trial and sentencing date has been changed to Fri. May 15th at ______ . We are planning a good-by Mass and reception for me Thursday night at St. Anne’s at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome!
THE ORIGINS OF MOTHERS DAY, A DAY OF WOMEN’S ADVOCACY FOR PEACE
Most historians credit Anna Jarvis for the conception of Mother’s Day, the idea of setting aside one day of the year to honor mothers. In 1914, Jarvis’ one-women campaign of letter-writing to governors and legislators persuaded President Woodrow Wilson to declare the second Sunday of May as “Mother’s Day”.
There was, however, another Mother’s Day, an earlier celebration based on an entirely different premise. Julia Ward Howe, the author of the famous Civil War poem “Battle Hymn of the Republic” became increasingly involved in the women’s suffrage movement after the Civil War. In 1870, overcome by grief because of the outbreak of the Franco – Prussian war, Howe wrote her “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World”, calling for one great worldwide women’s congress to eliminate the need for all wars. When a congress appeared unlikely to take place, Howe began instead to promote a festival which would be called “Mother’s Day”, one day in the year set aside for women’s advocacy of peace. The first Mother’s Day was held on Monday, June 2, 1873, in over eighteen cities and towns.
The following is an excerpt from Howe’s 1870 “An Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World: