Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
In light of the terrible natural disaster in Texas due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, I'm sure that there are already people making the claim that this phenomena is as "act of God" that is punishment for something that has been done or many things that have been done to anger God.  While the Old Testament story of the plagues being sent upon the Egyptians by God to push Pharoah to let the people of Israel leave their slavery in Egypt, might be quoted to say that "maybe" God has caused this hurricane and its effects to happen, I hope we would not be tempted to draw such a conclusion.  Instead, it seems clear that God is inspiring many people (including I hope, many of us) to come to the aid of the victims of this disaster in a variety of ways.  Firstly, our prayers for the victims and those who are physically working to come to their aid are powerful and needed now and for probably, a long time to come.  Secondly, our financial gifts are certainly needed and will be very much appreciated and used as needed.  If you were not ready to give a generous donation this weekend at Mass, please do so soon, and send your checks to our parish or bring it next week in an envelope marked "Hurricane Disaster Relief."  Our checks should be made out to Sacred Heart Church, as we will be sending one check to Catholic Charities USA.

It is indeed a blessing to hear so many stories of heroism and compassion in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy!  Know with confidence and trust that the Lord is working to bring comfort and hope to those in need.  He ALWAYS does.
Those who are blessed to spend at least one hour a week in our Perpetual Eucharistic Chapel speaking to the Lord, listening to Him, and/or growing in relationship with Him through spiritual reading, are regular recipients through their e-mail address of meditations that are called "Breakfast Food for the Soul."  The one I received this past Monday sounds like the Lord Himself encouraging everyone to come to Him to be refreshed and nourished.  While I believe this is a perfect invitation for those who are currently not a regular Adorer or substitute, to join us in this blessed activity, I believe it has something for what the Lord and only the Lord can satisfy.  I would like to give the rest of my column this week to this invitation.  Those who are drawn through this invitation to Eucharistic Adoration in our chapel, are encouraged to call Mike Kerwin at 922-1531 to find an hour each week that works for you.  I ask everyone to read this in a place of quiet, praying first for the grace needed to respond to what is said to you by the Lord.

BREAKFAST FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Before the end of day, Lord
help me make the time
and lead me to a place
where You might still the waters of my life,
calm my fear
and give me rest 
in the peace that's only Yours to give. . .

Be the still point of my spinning world,
the center of my heart,
the place wherein I find that peace
where I find You and know
that You've found me. . .

In chaos and in calm,
in rage and in relief,
in turmoil and tranquility:
make your dwelling place within me,
Your home within my heart
at the center of my being. . .

Help me make the time
and lead me to a place
where I might swim the waters of your mercy,
refreshed by peace in mind and heart,
restored by Your good grace. . .

Today, Lord, gently touch
the trouble waters of my life
and still them with a calm
that settles deep within my soul. . .

Amen.


A Concord Pastor
In case you weren't at Mass this past weekend at Sacred Heart Church, you may not know that I announced that our parish, as of August 21st is blessed to have a new employee, Cathy Silk, who will serve as a "Pastoral Associate," focusing on the "Parish Life" ministry at Sacred Heart Church.  Cathy and her husband Jeff (who is a sheriff's deputy in Saline County) have been active members of our parish for around two years.  Cathy has served for over a year in the area of Parish Life and has been a Parish Life representative on the Pastoral Council.  As a volunteer, she has given many hours to planning, organizing and seeing through a number of large activities including our marriage anniversary reception (in February), the reception for Deacon Nelson after his ordination to the diaconate last December, and receptions to say farewell to Deacon Bernie and Marilyn and the one following the Memorial Mass for Monsignor Malone. Her efforts have been commendable in these instances and in behind-the-scenes work in other happenings in the parish. It is hard to ask a volunteer to do so much so often, so the decision was made to hire Cathy and let her continue to work on these kind of activities, as well as other areas that need more attention than they are now receiving.  I believe Cathy will be offering new opportunities for our parishioners (and others) to gather for fellowship and to hear speakers who make presentations that will hopefully appeal to many.  I am hoping that Sacred Heart can, through Cathy's leadership, connect our parish and parishioners even more with the larger community here in the Village - and maybe beyond, as we seek to be witnesses of who we are and what we believe to the world outside of our parish.

Cathy has much enthusiasm and drive to get things done and recruit others to help.  She and her husband, Jeff, have four adult children, one of whom, Sarah, lives in the Village and is a member of our parish, along with her two-year-old Abbi.  Please welcome Cathy in this new position and don't hesitate to share your ideas with her.