ANDERSON—Participants at a parish mission heard about the challenges facing the Church and the world and how to meet them through a united effort centered on God’s gifts to his followers.
Father Ricardo Pineda, with the Fathers of Mercy, spoke to about 200 participants at a recent mission at St. Joseph Church.
He told them that Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his death is a plea not only to the Apostles then, but also to today’s disciples.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus prays: “Holy Father, keep them in your name which you have given me, that they may be one just as we are one.“
“Who is Jesus talking about, there,” Father Pineda asks. “Us,” he said. “He was thinking of us, praying for us the night before he died, us Christians who would live centuries later. He was praying for us, too. He wants us to be united, too.”
Father Pineda’s talk was one of five held over the five-day parish mission. He also presented conferences on baptism, confession, the Eucharist, and an “extended homily” on the Blessed Mother.
“His homilies are beautiful,” said Elizabeth Woodruff, a parishioner at St. Andrew in Clemson. “Father Pineda’s message is very inspirational.”
Citing familiar Marian miracles from around the world and her influence on world events, Father Pineda said Catholics’ love of Mary comes simply because she is the mother of Jesus.
“God chose for his son to become man only through Mary,” Father Pineda said. “Mary is the mother of Jesus; Jesus is God and so we honor Mary as the mother of God. We’re acknowledging our belief, our faith that Jesus is God, the faith of the Incarnation.”
He said people should heed the message of Fatima and pray the rosary daily as the most effective way to help bring peace into today’s troubled world.
“Recognize that there’s something we can do when we see all the evil in world, the corruption and scandal,” he said. “Get down on our knees and pray to get our Blessed Mother’s attention.”
Father Philip Gillespie, pastor of St. Joseph Church, concluded the mission with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, the patron of those who put themselves in harm’s way for the common good.