……from your Pastor’s Desk

YOUR VOTE COUNTS

This will be the 14th Presidential election in which I am eligible to vote. I also believe it is the most crucial. I must admit that I did not vote in all of them in my early years. A few I thought, oh well, what does one vote really matter? A few more it seemed that there just was not a ‘lesser of two evils’. Maybe you have experienced the same in the course of your life.

But not this time. I want emphasize as strongly as I can that I believe this coming election will be a major turning point for our country. We have an opportunity to become the great nation we once were based on morals and principles.

Does this mean I am telling you for whom to vote? Absolutely not. You can take that last statement and apply it to either candidate depending on your preference. Nor should any religious leader tell their people whom to vote for – because I do believe in the real meaning of separation of church and state. I am obligated as a religious leader to help you form and make conscientious, well informed decisions with full knowledge of what we believe and uphold as Roman Catholics. So, I will tell you how I chose to vote for the last 7 Presidential elections.

Campaigns always compare the final two candidates against each other – what their track record is, how much experience they actually have ‘governing’, how they voted, and such. That is all fine and well; we do need to know those things. But there is another way. Instead of comparing them to each other – compare each of them to Christ Himself. Does one more ‘talk the talk’ – than ‘walk the walk’? Who lives their life in more accord with Jesus’s life regardless of what religion they profess? This is not a ‘judgment’ on anyone – it is an honest appraisal needed to make a good decision.

Be wary of choosing because of just one issue or voting based purely on emotion. We believe God is the author of all life and God alone decides when it will start and when it will end. We have always held the sanctity of life most dear. Clearly, we know that just because something is legal does not make it moral. Personal research is imperative. What you ‘know’ is a better basis from which to decide than what you ‘think’ or what you ‘feel’.

Freedom of Religion: Catholics believe that all people should be free to exercise their beliefs and live their values without compromise. Federal law has long been generous in protecting the rights of individuals and institutions to not act against their religious beliefs or moral convictions. Is that now changing? Are we entering a time when the federal government may now force the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings? To many, it seems so.

The next section is a direct quote from the bulletin inserts published a few years ago by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Regarding the protection of conscience rights:

“What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live out our teaching. This right is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day.
…What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society—or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it.”

So, all this being said, here is my final recommendation on how to decide for whom to vote.
Pray.
Pray a lot… for wisdom… and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
And then do what you think God wants you to do.

Father Ron

PS: Many say that your individual vote does not matter. That the direction California is going for President has long ago been determined. That is probably true. But, your vote, for either candidate DOES matter to someone.
It matters to you.

On another note…

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to help set up/clean up before and after the weekend Masses. Any help would be much appreciated!
Please call the office if interested.

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