Last Wednesday I had the great honor to do the funeral of Mary Chuba, mother of Mike Chuba. The service was at St Charles in Bridgeport and the pastor, Fr. Frank Gomez, could not have been more welcoming. The day made me proud to be Catholic. It also reminded me of the close ties I have with so many of you. As I looked out at the Chuba family that day, I saw them as if they were part of my own family. In the Gospels, Jesus redefines family. His family is anyone who hears and acts upon the Word of God. It is a great blessing to me to have such a large extended family.
On another note, we will extend the second order of memorial bricks until October 15th. The next day the order will be placed. Our thanks to all who have made this project possible.
I have certain spiritual and theological heroes and heroines: Karl Rahner, John Shea, Richard Rohr, Raymond Brown, Walter Brueggemann, Paul Tillich, and Abraham Heschel among them. Recently Arnold Eisen, a dean at Jewish Theological Seminary, did an interview with Krista Tippett on Rabbi Heschel. In that interview, Heschel was quoted as saying this about the many problems the country faced at his time. “In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” We live in times like that of Heschel and his contemporary Martin Luther King. The country is badly divided and the Church and other groups need to be both more challenging and more constructive.
In today’s bulletin, there is an insert from the U.S. Catholic Bishops making it clear that Catholic support of immigrants is not so that our Churches will be full but because it is the constant teaching of the Scriptures. That handout will be challenging to many Catholics.
But the Church needs to build up as well. Another issue that divides us is race relations. Late in October and early in November (Oct. 25 & Nov. 8th) we will be visiting Temple Israel in Westport to watch a movie on the experience of African Americans. Then, we will read the book “THE NEW JIM CROW” and discuss it at the temple. I have been working with African American Churches, as part of CONECT, and am only slowly coming to see the world as they do. We all need to do more of that study. The beauty of this is that we will get to do it in the company of a wonderful Jewish community. Sign-ups start this weekend.