Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving, The Pilgrims and Squanto

A Little of the Rest of the Story

Recently, I received a note from Father Gordon MacRae when I posted links to his latest article in a post I did on the Fate of the Catholic Church in America

In his note, he mentioned that when he thinks and writes about America, he means North America, including my most of the year home here, in Canada.  He stated that his links to Canada include deep roots from his parents: "My father was from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and my mother was from St. Johns, Newfoundland.  I wrote of her, and of Newfoundland in a post called, "A Corner of the Veil" last December."  He used this as a small link between us, little knowing that the link was a bit stronger than that, at least in my mind.  My Dear Wife, Christina and I were married in Newfoundland 10 years ago, though on the west side of the Rock, near Corner Brook.

But, in his latest post on the "The True Story of Thanksgiving: Squanto, the Pilgrims, and the Pope", Father MacRae writes about growing up in the Boston area and about things he saw, like Plymouth Rock, and about the history that he has studied.  As he writes about the Mayflower, and the pilgrims who came to settle in North America, he touched on the family history of my 3 daughters.  Through their mother's side, my three young women are directly, linearly descended from one of the indentured servants who traveled on the Mayflower and settled here, George Soule.  Their great, great etc. grandfather was one of the 41 signers of the Mayflower Compact.

Connections, no matter how fuzzy they might be, this is another excellent article by Father Gordon.  Remember that this author is a man of God, who has been falsely imprisoned, for crimes that he could not have committed, and abandoned by his own Bishop and local church administration, as well as all those who because of the Church stand have believed ill of him.  Yet, he still writes about the faith of our Church, with grace and humility.

Like Father Mark Gruber, of whom I have written several times lately, as he struggles with the challenges of being falsely accused, Father Gordon would probably agree with this statement made by Father Mark to a friend: "while I’m certainly not guilty of this crime, we all deserve any sufferings short of the fires of hell, simply for being a sinner on this earth".

In closing, let me return to the article that Father Gordon wrote about the first Thanksgiving and how it came to happen.  He writes about the connections that exist among men, that like those who chose to run away from the Catholic Church and all things remotely Catholic, as the Pilgrims did in coming to America, you can no more run and hide from the Catholic Church that Christ created in His Own Image, than you can run and hide from Him, if you so choose.  And no matter how poorly you prepare yourself for what life sends your way, He, in His mercy is available to provide help and assistance to all those who call on His Name.

Pray for Father Gordon, that he will be exonerated of the crimes for which he was falsely accused. 

I would ask that you pray for him to be set free, but he is, in truth, more free than most of us at this very moment.  I would also pray that he be returned to ministry as a Catholic Priest, but the evidence is that he is carrying on his priestly duties in prison, probably more effectively than most priests in America today.

God Bless You, Father Gordon. We give thanks to God for your faithfulness to him in the midst of your own trials, and the witness that that is to our weak faith.

Father God, we ask you to give those who read these words a double portion of the faith and fidelity that Father Gordon is living where you have him planted at this time.

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