There was a complaint that the bulletin article was harsh, confusing, and judgmental. The complainant was right that the article could have been better. My intention was to examine why Black History Month and the racism that it hopes to address are relevant today, particularly to immigrants. My hope is that we are loving to all people. My hope is that we actively seek to stand with the poor, the disenfranchised, and the victims. Below find the article reflection, edited for clarity and content.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere" -MLK Jr.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman. A woman who not only was despised by many Jews for being a Samaritan, but also despised by the Samaritans for being sexually promiscuous. The Samaritans were not considered true worshippers of God because of their ethnicity and because of their customs. Jesus did not deny the woman his love and salvation because of ethnicity.
February marks "Black History Month" in America. It is a month dedicated to ending racism and bigotry through education. It is important to note that the US once divided people into white, black, and colored.
It is an inconvenient fact that Sunday is the most segregated day in America. Churches and communities self-segregate by language, culture, social status or custom. St. Ignatius of Antioch Church is not a church for any single ethnic group nor for any single language, Jesus commands us to "proclaim the Gospel to all" and we must.
Racism affects all of us. Racism is not an American problem and it is not a problem of the past. In the United States African Americans, Native Americans, new immigrants, Catholics, and others have been discriminated against. Some groups have won rights for themselves and have turned to partaking in racism against members of other groups. In the United States today, the quality of one’s school, the value of one’s house, one’s relationship with the law, and even the punishments one receives in kindergarten are different based on one’s race or ethnicity. In the Middle East, where many of us come from, racism is less subtle. Ethiopians, Sri Lankans, and Filipinos who constitute most of the domestic worker population face discrimination. Their business partners often treat them unjustly and inhumanely: hours are excessive, pay is withheld, freedom of movement is limited, the weekly day off and private quarters are stolen from them. Similarly, in the Middle East as in the US people often look down on people from neighboring countries, and people of one region often look down on people from a neighboring region.
How can we help?
-Refuse to participate in injustice. This includes predatory practices that affect the poor, and turning a blind eye to the poor treatment of workers and domestic servants.
-Be an advocate and friend to the poor, oppressed, and downtrodden. When society inhibits bright minds because of race or status all society suffers.
-Listen. Let individuals speak for themselves, hearing from them how best one can help.
-40 day liturgy for Jacqueline "Jeannette" Abdelnour, mother of Zelfa Chalitta Sunday, February 3 at 11am. May she rest in peace.
-40 day liturgy for Marcel Tabit, mother of May Albanna Sunday, February 10 at 11am. May she rest in peace.
- Ladies Sodality Wednesday, February 6 at 6pm.
- Feast of St. Maron Saturday, February 9 liturgy 11 am and Friday, February 8 liturgy 7pm.
- Potluck February 10.
-Pastoral Council Tuesday, February 19 at 7pm
- Liturgy for all our departed Sunday, February 24 please bring pictures.
- Burning of the Old Palms, Sunday March 3 after liturgy.
- Ash Monday March 4 7pm start of Lent.
-Friday Lenten Devotions and potlucks March 8,15,22,29, April 5,12
-Major feast of St. Joseph Tuesday, March 19 at 7pm.
-2 day retreat Saturday, March 23 (feast of St. Rafka) and Sunday, March 24.
-Feastday Annunciation/ Conception of Jesus March 25 7pm.
-Kids Easter egg hunt Saturday, April 13 with rain check April 20.
-Hosanna Sunday with procession Sunday, April 14
-Holy Week April 15-17 every night at 7pm
-Holy Thursday Washing of the Feet 7pm-Midnight
- Great Friday of the Crucifixion noon and 7pm
- Saturday of the Light noon
-Easter/ Resurrection Sunday Midnight liturgy and 11 am April 21.
- Regional Maronite Convention March 8-10 in Cincinnati, register online at namnews.org
- Initiatives- To what is God calling you? What are your hopes, dreams, and ideas for our parish? What do you want to do? Mission, charity, prayers, work, fundraisers, or maintenance? How can we support you?
-Volunteers needed in advance to volunteer for readings and procession of the gifts.
-Pastoral Council President, Jim Zaidan, can be reached at 937-371-8441, Ladies Sodality president, Rita Najem, can be reached at 937-602-0366
-Thank you for the purchase of a 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid with 41k miles for $13,100.
- Bible Study every Sunday at 10 am.
- Sunday liturgies 9 am and 11 am
- Confessions immediately before and after daily liturgies or by appointment.
St. Ignatius of Antioch Fourth Sunday of Epiphany February 2, 2019