ATLANTA—Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., offers the following words to the faithful in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24:
“Last week, I offered a statement of grief and support to those impacted by shootings in Buffalo, New York and Laguna Woods, California. I am not sure I even have words today. The epidemic of violence and hate in this country is unfathomable. I do not think we can make sense of another mass shooting, and yet, we face a scene of slaughter at an elementary school in Texas.
Many of you are asking ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
I am praying today for the dead; for the grieving; for the lonely and angry and lost.
If I find any comfort right now, it is in knowing we can trust our God who loves us. A God who wants the best for us. A God who told us, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ If you want to do something, show your love for someone today. Chose to offer light in a dark time. Love one another as God has loved you.”
This week in what is termed by Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court, an egregious breach of trust, a preliminary document on the court’s ruling on an abortion issue was leaked to the press. If the outcome from the preliminary document remains the same, it will overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the United States. While this might be seen as a tremendous victory for the Pro-Life movement, it also potentially brings greater division in our civil society. It is interesting to note that pro-choice advocates have failed to recognize the irresponsible act of leaking this preliminary document to the public. It is a complete disgrace on the individual or individuals who have broken their respect of office and the justices.
Certainly, as Catholics, we are pro-life and have continued for almost fifty years to endorse overturning this tragic ruling. The potential ruling will not make abortion illegal, but rather, will turn these decisions over to the states, an idea which even a previous pro-choice justice termed the proper ruling which should have happened with the original decision. As Catholics, we must continue to endorse respect for the dignity of life in all forms, certainly abortion, but which also, includes rescinding the death penalty, rescinding assisted suicide, standing in opposition to euthanasia and showing respect and dignity to all persons regardless of race, country of origin or religion.
The outpouring of anger and hateful remarks against those who are pro-life, including against the Church, by pro-choice advocates is unacceptable and an offense against human dignity and freedom of religion guaranteed in the Constitution. Equally offensive would be those who claim to be pro-life and yet endorse similar hateful words and tactics. As Catholics, we are called to promote peace and justice, dignity, and respect to all persons, even those whose views may be contrary to ours. I pray that our focus on the issue of abortion does not cause us to be blinded by the plight of so many other injustices around us. Archbishop Hartmayer issued a statement asking us to consider how we as Catholics can work to endorse respect of life in our various ministries and as Catholics. May we strive to advance peace and harmony in society. We must also pray for our political leaders, some of whom claim to be Catholics, yet reject the Church’s teaching on respect of life in the womb. Indeed, they need our prayers and to be reminded of the faith which they profess, a faith which is incompatible with taking of innocent life in the womb. You cannot be Catholic and pro-choice. May the Lord keep us in his hand as we fight this terrible evil in society.
“Pope Francis has invited the bishops of the whole world, along with their priests, to join him in the prayer for peace and in the consecration and entrustment of Russia and of Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”. A Mass will take place on Friday, March 25th at noon at the MisionCatolica San Juan Pablo II 2410 S Smith Rd SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30504
Peace and all good things! Our most basic mission in life is to become more like Jesus. I chose the theme of this year’s annual appeal to invite you to make a spiritual resolution to seek this transformation in your life through a renewed understanding of and devotion to Christ’s real Presence in the Eucharist.
The words of Pope Saint John Paul II remind us that: “If we are to experience the Eucharist as the ‘source and summit of all Christian life,’ then we must celebrate it with faith, receive it with reverence and allow it to transform our minds and hearts through the prayer of adoration. Only by deepening our Eucharistic communion with the Lord through personal prayer can we discover what He asks of us in daily life.” This transformation is witnessed in our actions as we love like He did and do His will, serving others.Support the Appeal
The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal is a major source of funding for all the work of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, including our many vital ministries, outreach, education and formation programs…programs, such as:
Each of us is called to be Transformed in Christ by renewing and deepening our encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist through the Eucharistic Renewal initiative and our Eucharistic Congress.
Our families are Transformed in Christ through the development of resources for family-based religious education programs.
Our Church is Transformed in Christ through the formation of 47 seminarians and 44 candidates to the diaconate who are preparing to serve our local Church.
Our communities and the world are Transformed in Christ through the Laudato Si’ care for creation initiative as we take care of that with which God has entrusted us.
Please prayerfully consider a gift to this year’s appeal. Beyond what a single parish can provide, your generous gift to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal allows us to continue our work building strong parishes with intentional disciples and funding archdiocese-wide initiatives that reach all the faithful in north and central Georgia, that we may be Transformed in Christ.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful action and support of our community.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
†Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv Archbishop of Atlanta
“…the purpose of this Synod, and therefore of this consultation, is not to produce documents, but to ‘plant dreams, draw forth prophesies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands’” (Preparatory Document, 32).
In the first millennium, ‘journeying together’—that is, practicing synodality—was the ordinary way in which the Church, understood as ‘People united in the unity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ acted” (Preparatory Document, 11). When there was disagreement and division in the early Church, bishops gathered to listen and discern the path forward. These were the first synods which developed at all levels of the Church—local, regional, and universal. St. John Chrysostom said that “Church and Synod are synonymous.” (Preparatory Document, 11).
ATLANTA–On Monday, Dec. 13, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Atlanta, offered a message in support of the tornado victims in Kentucky and its neighboring states:
“I hope that the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta will join me in prayer and generosity in response to the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky and Illinois this weekend. It is hard to comprehend the extent of the devastation.
Some powerful Members of Congress want taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion for poor women. To offer a woman a government-funded abortion, but not the resources she needs to care for her child, is not “choice” but coercion. Government money would be better spent supporting women in crisis pregnancies and struggling new mothers than paying to end the lives of their children. Tell Congress to save the Hyde amendment: https://bit.ly/no-taxpayer-abortion-action.