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Getting ‘the Word’ out at Blessed Trinity

Getting ‘the Word’ out at Blessed Trinity

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Cath·o·hól·ic

Gospel reading John 14:23-29

Sixth Sunday of Easter : May 1, 2016

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “I have told you this while I am with you.

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.

Para leer este comentario en español, apriete aquí >>

Msgr. Michael Souckar

St. Andrew Church

Sixth Sunday of Easter : May 1, 2016

Maintaining a Safe Environment

Dear Parishioners of St. Andrew:

All of us have a serious moral duty to keep children safe from anyone who would harm them. The Catholic Church is committed to protecting minors and vulnerable adults placed in Her care. As I hope you know by now, all clergy, seminarians, employees of the parish, school (elementary and pre-school) and religious education program, as well as parish/school volunteers who are in contact with minors, are obliged to meet the safe environment requirements of the Archdiocese of Miami.

These include the following:

  • Successfully completing a national criminal background check (renewed every 5 years).
  • Signing and abiding by a “Code of Conduct”.
  • Attending a Virtus training seminar and keeping current with monthly updates on how to identify the signs of child sexual abuse.

St. Andrew School and religious education program also use “Teaching Touching Safety,” an age-appropriate program that speaks to children at various grade levels in an effort to keep them safe from abuse. I recently attended one of these sessions with some of the students in our religious education program. The instruction helps students to keep safe, understand proper boundaries with adults, and what is and is not an appropriate secret to keep.

Let us be clear, sexual abuse is a mortal sin, a grave offense in canon law and a felony in criminal law. It is a problem in many sectors of our society; we cannot deny it. It is never the “fault” of the one abused. All of us in the Church – from the Pope to parents – have a serious duty to do all that we can to educate ourselves about sexual abuse and to keep children and vulnerable adults safe. As pastor of St. Andrew Parish, I reiterate my commitment to abide by the Safe Environment Policies of the Archdiocese of Miami and to promote a loving, safe and joyful environment here for all, especially for our children. To learn more about the safe environment policies of the Archdiocese of Miami, please visit www.miamiarch.org and look for the “Protecting God’s Children” link or call Jan Rayburn, Safe Environment Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Miami, at 305-762-1250.

Very often those who experience sexual abuse – as a child or as an adult – face serious emotional and spiritual struggles to overcome the trauma. Should you wish to speak confidentially to one of the priests, please call the parish office for an appointment (there is no need to tell the receptionist the purpose of your meeting). The priest will provide you with spiritual assistance and, if helpful, suggest a professional counselor who abides by Catholic teachings.

To report child sexual abuse, notify the Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). To communicate concerns of incidents of sexual misconduct involving a cleric, employee or volunteer of the Catholic Church, contact Deacon Richard Turcotte, Ph.D., Victim Assistance Coordinator, at 1-866-80-ABUSE (1-866-802-2873).

Keeping children safe is a year-round commitment in fidelity to the Lord who said “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

May the Lord continue to bless you and your family with His love!

Msgr. Michael A. Souckar

Virgin forests and wetlands

April 29, 2016

The replacement of virgin forest with plantations of trees, usually monocultures, is rarely adequately analyzed. Yet this can seriously compromise a biodiversity which the new species being introduced does not accommodate. Similarly, wetlands converted into cultivated land lose the enormous biodiversity which they formerly hosted. In some coastal areas the disappearance of ecosystems sustained by mangrove swamps is a source of serious concern.

Source: Laudato Si’

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