A Message from Father William

This weekend, May 30-31, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost,
remembering that 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 10 days after
His Ascension, Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the
Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room (Acts 1-2). Here at Saint Clement Parish and
throughout the Diocese of Madison, with the direction of Bishop Donald J. Hying, priests throughout the diocese are offering Holy Mass publicly for the first time in over
two months! Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we say: Alleluia! As happened at the first
Pentecost, often referred to as the “birthday of the Church,” the Holy Spirit strengthens
the Church and all of us, disciples of Christ, in our mission as witnesses for Jesus –
witnesses to His message of Salvation, bringing the Good News to all people, to all
nations, beginning in our own families and all our personal relationships (Matthew 28;
John 15). At that first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave strength to the Apostles and to
every disciple of Jesus Christ to proclaim Him in their words and deeds. To this day,
this very moment, the Holy Spirit strengthens and guides all who believe in, love, and
follow Jesus, as we have the duty, the mission, to proclaim that Jesus Christ has come
into the world and that He has died and is risen and has ascended into Heaven for our
salvation, that Jesus has conquered sin, death and Satan, and has wrought for us Eternal Life in Heaven – in this sense, the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not an isolated event in the Church’s life, but is to be lived every day by all disciples of Christ (Rev. Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God). In coming weeks and months, we will hear more about the Holy Spirit in our life as we hear from Bishop Hying and his initiative, “Go Make Disciples,” and prepare for the 75th anniversary of our diocese in 2021.

The Holy Spirit (the Paraclete) sanctifies the Church continually as He also sanctifies
every soul, Saint Francis de Sales has stated. God strengthens our heart with His
blessings, with His care and fatherly love, so as to move, encourage and draw us to live
a virtuous life… to heavenly love, to good resolutions: in short, to all that leads us to
our Eternal Life in Heaven (Introduction to the Devout Life, III, 18). We received the Holy Spirit when we were baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28); He strengthened us further in the Sacrament of Confirmation (Acts 1-2; let’s keep praying for 17 of our young people preparing to be Confirmed this Fall). The Holy Spirit is called upon throughout the Mass and all the Sacraments, as He helps us every day in the Sacraments we have received, and even enables us to pray (Romans 8)!

Let us pray, then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, with the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Saint Joseph and all the saints – for, like them, we need God’s grace in order to live
a virtuous life. We need the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist to give us strength for the
journey to Heaven ( John 6). Let us pray for an increase in the seven gifts of the Holy
Spirit: wisdom, counsel, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, piety and fear of the
Lord (Isaiah 11:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12); and let us pray to bear the fruits of the Holy
Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity (Galatians 5:22-23). In our prayers, may we ask God for the grace to have a greater openness to welcome the inspirations of His Holy Spirit with purity of heart. Let us pray for His help, healing and strength for all who are suffering as we get through the past season of viruses and flus, and His direction for hospitals, clinics, farms, businesses, first responders and U.S. Military, and for all people to return to and flourish in their work, for the common good, with common sense, prudence and reasonableness.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created; and You shall renew the face of the earth… Yes, come, Holy Spirit. Veni, Sancte Spiritus.”

With prayers and peace in Christ,
Fr. William