A Letter from Fr. Matthew Johnston
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This last week has been hard for all of us. My emotions have gone from disgusted to angry to sad to worried and back again several times these past several days. To say that I have been gut punched by the news would be an understatement. It was a complete haymaker that knocked me to the ground. The only blessing is that getting up from that brings me to my knees and humbles me before Our Lord.
I join all of you in sharing these emotions, among many others. This news is beyond simply disgusting; it is a betrayal at the deepest level of the trust that you give to us as priests. The Body of Christ has been grievously wounded by these travesties. For most of you, this is not the first time that your trust in the Church has been tested, and for that, I am truly sorry. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry that we have wounded so many. I am sorry that we have hurt the innocent. I am sorry that we haven’t lived up to our promises. I am sorry that we have so deeply hurt you, the Body of Christ.
So what next? How can we respond to such grievous wounds? By allowing the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ, to heal those wounds. This begins with you joining me on your knees before the wounded Sacred Heart of Our Loving God. This begins with you joining me in fasting and reparations for all of the horrible atrocities committed. This begins with the laity embracing the call of Our God and praying for the sanctity of the Church.
Please join me in re-committing yourself to being a disciple of Our Lord. We cannot let anything, and I mean
, separate us from the Church founded on Jesus Christ. If we leave in disgust or anger or frustration, Satan wins. We cannot let that happen. Instead, we must respond with the words spoken by St. Peter: “To whom shall we go Lord, you have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Although this time is painful, I humbly ask for your prayers for all priests that we may renew our own commitment to serving Christ and His Church by becoming the saints that He desires us all to be.
Please know that I am praying for you and encourage you to reach out if you would like. I am willing to journey with you, no matter where you are, even if you need to simply vent your anger or frustrations. Only by expressing our own pains are we able to invite in the Light of Christ and begin the healing that needs to happen.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Matthew Johnston
St Benilde Church
on Saturday, October 10 at 8:23AM