Graduation and a Memorial Mass for Fr. H.L. Brignac
Greetings and Blessings my Brothers and Sisters,
There is a word in the English language that we often turn to whenever struggles, strife, and sufferings enter into our lives. And that word is
. Why this? Why that? Why do you allow things? Why are things the way they are? Such a simple three-letter word, but one that is often our go-to when times are tough. This past Thursday, when, out of an abundance of caution, I went to an urgent care clinic to get tested, and then found out that I was positive for the IgM antibody (which means that I recently came into contact with Covid-19 and most likely contracted it myself) I immediately uttered that simple three-letter word: WHY? Once that positive result came back, I was on the phone for ten or more hours over the next two days talking with people, planning things, getting priest coverage, etc. And the whole time, that simple three-letter word kept creeping to the forefront of my mind. Why God? Thankfully, I still have not had any major symptoms, but it still takes me out of commission for two whole weeks. How did I get it? It’s not like I was going places I shouldn’t, or not washing my hands, or not wearing my mask when I should. Yet, with all of the precautions that I took, I still came in contact with the virus. Why?
Yet as I find myself uttering that simple three-letter word the past few days, God has drawn my attention to this coming
. All that we go through is because we have been shown the greatest treasure imaginable. The promise of eternal life in heaven with God. All that we endure. All that we suffer. All the things that make us question, “why.” All of these things are because we are being prepared for the promise of eternal life with God.
When we really think about it, though we oftentimes claim we desire heaven, when things get tough, we begin to struggle and question God. The “why” starts coming out. And while it is not wrong to wonder why, we can’t forget that God allows certain events in our lives to strengthen our faith in Him. One of my favorite go-to images is the image of when I first learned to swim. I remember that once I could finally begin to move my body in the water, the lifeguard removed her hands that were keeping me afloat and began to slowly step back as I swam towards her. At the moment, I was quite terrified.
Am I going to drown? Why can’t I feel her support anymore?
I desperately began to swim towards her. Finally, when she saw I couldn’t swim anymore, she came back to me and turned me around to show me all that I had done. I had swum by myself for the first time in my life.
Similarly, God doesn’t abandon us in times of adversity. He allows them because they are an opportunity to strengthen our hearts to believe in Him. He may allow certain struggles, and in those moments we may question why, because they are opportunities for us to grow our spiritual muscles; to grow in our trust in Him. Like with the lifeguard, He may watch us as we flail our arms and legs trying to move towards Him, but He won’t let us drown. Why does He do this? All of this is to teach us to keep our minds and hearts always focused and moving towards Him. Keep us moving towards the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field, the promise of eternal life.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Matthew Johnston
A Memorial Mass in honor of Fr. H.L. Brignac will take place at St. Benilde on Friday, June 24 at noon. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions seating is limited. Please arrive early in order to secure your spot. The liturgy will also be live-streamed on
for anyone unable to physically be present.
Fr. H.L. Brignac's Obituary
St. Vincent de Paul Report
During the last quarter, St. Benilde's St Vincent de Paul Society was able to provide $8,288 for rental and utility assistance. They also distributed approximately $1,125 worth of food to the needy and helped a total of 77 of our less fortunate neighbors. Your donations make all this possible. Please know that your generosity is deeply appreciated.
Congratulations to our 2020 St. Benilde Graduates who were able to officially graduate on Saturday, July 18. It was truly an unforgettable ceremony--with appearances made by both Fr. Robert Cooper and Fr. Patrick Wattigny--for an equally unforgettable class. Class of 2020, we pray you remain always "on the right bus" and know that St. Benilde will forever be your home.
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on Wednesday, July 22 at 9:00AM