Pastor's Letter - February 3, 2019

The last several weeks I have written about the Sacrament of Marriage. Today I would like to write about how best to prepare for marriage. One thing young people can do to prepare for marriage even before they meet their future spouse is to adopt a respectful attitude about marriage. This is something which is more likely caught, rather than taught, by the example of their own parents. As a young person begins to notice members of the opposite sex, it is important that a true respect for others be fostered. Those girls in your school or college are, most likely, someone’s future wife. Those boys in your school or college are, most likely, someone’s future husband. One must recognize the inherent dignity of each person so that you don’t look at or treat others as mere objects of desire to be used for one’s own pleasure. Each man, each woman, is a person to be loved, not a thing to be used. In order for marriage to be a true union of love – and not simply an arrangement where two people agree to use each other – a habit of respect must be established beforehand. The best way to insure a faithful relationship within marriage is to practice chastity before marriage. Chastity is not the mere absence of sexual activity. It is the integration of a person’s physical and spiritual reality. One cannot use sex now only as a means of pleasure before marriage and then expect it later to be the means of expressing love within marriage. God made us in such a way that a man and woman (husband and wife) express and deepen their love through the intimacy of sexual union. This is a good gift from God! Because it is a good gift, it ought not to be misused. The world in which we live often presents a different view of sexuality and marriage. And what are the results? A divorce rate of nearly 50% and a great deal of heartache. Try God’s way. It’s true, it’s good, and it works!

Lent begins in a little over a month from now! I am asking all parishioners to collect the palms from last year (or past years) and place them in the basket in the Holy Family Cenacle. I’ll burn them Sunday, March 3, after the 10am Mass and use the ashes for Ash Wednesday.

My thanks go to Fr. Richard Kunzman, on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach, who is celebrating all the Masses at SSPP this weekend while I am in Dayton, OH for my grand-niece’s baptism.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller