Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter | Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

This Thursday, our very own Fr. John Coleman will be honored by the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco, the oldest fellowship of Catholic lawyers and judges in the West. The award is named for the 16th-century lawyer, judge, diplomat, Lord Chancellor of England and martyr who chose death, rather than submit to the Oath of Supremacy demanded by King Henry VIII. The Society makes their own the saint’s last words: “The King’s good servant, but God’s first.” Part of their mission statement reads, “Together we ask God to bless, strengthen, and enlighten all servants of the law, and all people of faith, so that in solidarity and mutual trust we may more charitably achieve justice and freedom for society.” A worthy mission, to be sure!

Each year the Society honors someone in the local community who fosters spiritual growth and fellowship throughout the legal community; enhances appreciation for and observance of high ethical standards in the practice of law; encourages attentiveness among lawyers to legal and societal issues that affect morality, justice, and faith; and exemplifies the qualities of St. Thomas More. Through his talks and presentations to the Society over the years, as well as his spiritual counsel to individuals, Fr. John has had this kind of impact in the legal community in San Francisco, and the Society has chosen well to honor him. The award will be bestowed this Thursday at the St. Thomas More Society’s annual Red Mass at the Holy Rosary Chapel at St. Vincent’s School for Boys. Congratulations, Fr. John! We are happy for you that you are being recognized in this way.

By the way, several other members of our parish community have been honored with this award, including Bob Dondero, Tom Mellon and Raymond Williamson (dec.), people, as I know them, who richly deserved this honor as well.

On another note, one of my Jesuit brothers forwarded a letter to his parish by Fr. Mike Ryan, the Rector of St. James Cathedral in Seattle. It was published last Sunday, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. I think that it is a masterful letter, cutting through the cacophonous rhetoric about this election, even from within the Catholic community. With humor, intelligence, pastoral sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, Fr. Mike addresses many of the underlying critical issues we Catholic citizens face in our attempt to exercise our sacred duty to vote in away that it informed by our faith. You can access that letter HERE.

As important as Fr. Mike’s letter are the links at the bottom of that webpage. They are links to a compendium of wonderful resources about Catholic Social Teaching and Faithful Citizenship, which I think you will find informative and useful.

May God bless you and keep you safe.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Greg