Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The Faithful of St. Mary Church in Lafferty, Ohio have suffered a devastating loss due the burning and destruction of their beloved church on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The loss of a church is like the loss of a loved one. Having suffered loss myself as all of us have, we understand that each person will grieve in his or her own way. However, as we feel the pain of loss and go through the grieving process we remember, as Catholics of Faith, that Christ is ever present for us and with us.
Last weekend we celebrated the great Solemnity of the Ascension. Sadly, it was the last weekend Masses in their beloved church due to this tragedy. However, on this day, we celebrated the hope that even though Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father, he and the Father along with the Holy Spirit are ever close to us. As Pope Benedict XVI so brilliantly states: “The disciples do not feel abandoned. They do not consider Jesus to have disappeared far away into an inaccessible heaven. They are obviously convinced of a new presence of Jesus. They are certain that he is now present to them in a new and powerful way.” (Jesus of Nazareth)
We further believe as Catholics that God turns bad into good, he turns death into resurrection. I ask for your prayers at this time for the people of St. Mary’s. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians: “And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26) Due to their loss, we suffer with them.
Please pray that the Spirit come upon them at Pentecost with his divine presence of peace and love and fill them abundantly with his gifts, so that they go forward in Faith, knowing that Christ is ever with them.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Kurt H. Kemo