In mid-January of 2011 I was on a chartered bus with a sizable group of former Sudanese refugees
relocated into Buffalo, traveling to Toronto Canada where they would have an opportunity to vote whether their
county should stay unified or separate into two countries. It was a thrilling experience for me to see this frightened
group, wait for hours in line on a cold Canadian Sunday in January to cast their vote. That year 98% of the people
registered to vote within and outside the country of Sudan, voted and independence was declared. Early in the
morning on July 9 th , by satellite TV, I witnessed the ceremony of the lowering and rising of a new flag for South
Sudan. The spirit of hope and the effort of twenty-five years of civil war had finally coming to bear. The world
community invested millions of dollars to assist in the new nation. Progress in some of the cities began to be noticed
but soon distrust between tribal factions resulted in an alleged overthrow by the vice president resulting in another
disturbance fueled they the support of outside nations. While the officials grow richer the ordinary poor of the
country grow in their distrust of each other and are indiscriminately killed by supporters of either side of the
conflict. The prophet Amos proclaims “Never will I forget a thing they have done!” Amos 8:7. One of the many factors that make our country great is that the citizenry from many nations can come together and take on a new
identity. To be American has always been to be free to disagree, discuss, argue, and promote our opinion and yet respect the fact that not all Americans will totally agree, yet we respect each other; we walk together. In recent years we have seen a growing intolerance and even demonization for those who disagree with some position or other as if to be American is to march to the beat of the same drum. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus says: “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones” Luke 16:10. We pray for our country during this time of election of new leadership. We pray for the cessation of character assassination and the rise of civil discourse about the issues that concern most Americans. We pray for our country.
PARISH CONVERSATIONS with Fr. Ron will take place following the 12Noon Mass on Sunday, September 25 th. This will be a time to “check in” on different matters that concern our parish life together. Please make plans to attend. Thank You.
WELCOME NICOLY THOMAS, a young man who grew up at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy who has volunteered to assist us with music ministry during the 10:00PM Liturgy. Your skill and talent are very much appreciated and assist us in turning our minds and thoughts to the Lord.