Pastoral Letter to Parishioners from Fr. Darrin
June 25, 2021
There is no doubt that the most recent findings of the unmarked graves at two Residential Schools in western Canada have become a great cause for sadness, anger and shame as it so closely touches our Catholic history.
Even though we know that the sins of the parents do not pass on to the children, this legacy affecting our mission and ministry has marked our integrity and ability to continue to preach a gospel of hope, of life and of justice for all.
As a priest who has given over 30 years in ministry, I find it very difficult to comprehend these most recent discoveries as well as continue to minister under the dark cloud of the overall clergy sexual abuse crisis that has prevailed for simply too long. It has been extremely trying to continue to present a church still filled with more goodness than bad, more hope than despair, more holiness than sin.
I know as faithful parishioners that you too have carried and continue to carry similar burdens as you strive to remain committed to the church, pass on your faith to your children and grandchildren, and keep your head held high as Catholics in the world today.
More than ever, how easy and justifiable is it for all of us to “throw in the towel”, to revoke our membership and association with the church.
As we continue to work through these most difficult days and confront yet again the sinful saga of our church, compounded with our isolation from one another due to the pandemic, we must ask ourselves what is it that God is asking of us?
I still believe that God is working in our church and that God is walking with us through these days of darkness and despair. I believe that God needs each and every one of us to be more committed than ever to walk the walk of suffering, pain and reconciliation, not only for ourselves and this present generation, but also for generations to come. If we do not stay steadfast to do the hard work in building a new church from the inside out, then we will miss the important role that Christ is calling us to as his disciples at this time in history.
I firmly believe that a new church is on the horizon. One that may be healed from the sins of its past, however, will also have its own struggles and sins to contend with.
A church that will continue to know the paschal mystery of Christ’s own life, death and resurrection. I believe that there will be future disciples like us, who will also be tasked with the same responsibility to bridge the gap that will mark their own world experience.
My dear parishioners, today I write you this brief message in the hope that it will bind us together even more with a spirit of urgency to create a community that will bring hope, peace, truth and reconciliation. May we continue to be committed to “transforming the world by unconditional love and sacrifice”.