November 12-13, 2016

Friends,

I am writing these words prior to the November 8th election, but I hope by the time you read them we will be a country at peace, with each of you accepting the results of a contentious race. I trust the democratic process, but I realize there is a lot of unresolved anger in our society. Given “the perfect storm” we could easily experience havoc in our streets.

Divorcing myself from politics, I, along with others are thrilled for the Chicago Cubs. The Boston fans can truly tell the Chicago fans “We know how you feel.” We had an 86 year drought, they waited 108 years! Cleveland now enters our world as they have been waiting 68 years and counting. I am a huge Terry Francona fan so no matter who won it was a win/win situation for me. I also hope the festivities in and around the city of Chicago will be peaceful and respectful. Moving on from sports, let’s talk about religion. I have wonderful conversations with people of all religious affiliations. I respect everyone’s journey and listen to their stories.

With so many people of all ages, when I ask “what religion are you?” a great number respond “well, I was brought up Catholic.” I automatically interpret that as meaning they went through the sacramental process, up through and including confirmation, but are no longer coming to Church regularly. In many of these conversations we get into all of the issues that people face in their families and relationships that have challenged them to look more critically at what the Catholic Church teaches. Keep in mind, the great majority of these people have no desire to join another religion, or have any interest in divorcing themselves entirely form the Church, but they are unable to celebrate their faith in an institution they believe is out of touch with their reality. I feel so badly that the Catholic Church loses out on their presence and giftedness. I also believe they are missing out on the support and encouragement offered by the Catholic Family at their parish.

Unfortunately, what happens more often than we would like to believe is that the children in many of these families are not being baptized and therefore the faith ceases to be passed on and instilled in the next generation. I want to believe that religion can be one of the positive influences in our lives. If we remove that influence what takes its place? Some parents will tell us that they take responsibility for their children’s upbringing and I am thrilled to hear that. But then I begin to wonder where the parents are now getting their support, and what influences they invite into their lives to help them with decisions.

So, in mid-November that’s my take on politics, sports and religion. And the beat goes on.

Enjoy Life!
Fr Coyne

 

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