Dear Parish Family,
I recently attended a showing of the musical Hamilton with students, faculty, and parents from All Saints Catholic School. It felt like watching the American Revolution unfolding in real-time. The play features three songs by none other than King George III. In one of them, he sings, “What comes next? You’ve been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead?… Oceans rise, empires fall, it’s much harder when it’s all your call.”
This caused me to reflect a little more on the treasure we have received as citizens of the United States. I talk a lot about being stewards of the gifts that God has given us. Stewardship starts when we realize that we have been blessed with gifts that we don’t really deserve. We must be grateful for our blessings and use them to honor the Giver, serve our sisters and brother, and build up the human community. In doing so, we are living out our call to be disciples of Christ.
American patriotism, in its best form, is a natural outgrowth of Catholic stewardship and discipleship. It is a recognition that we have been blessed with a great country, with a rich history and diverse cultures, with amazing natural treasures, and with a rule of law. We should be grateful for these gifts and also use them wisely.
American patriotism is not the same as blind nationalism. We are called to love our country, but not at the expense of our faith or our commitment to justice and the common good. We must always be willing to critique our country when it falls short of its ideals and to work for change when necessary.
Our Catholic faith calls us to be good stewards, faithful disciples, and patriotic Americans. As we celebrate the July 4th holiday, let us remember the sacrifices our ancestors made to build what we see today. Let us pray for our country, our veterans, and our leaders. And let us commit ourselves to serve others, to work for justice, and to build up the common good to the glory of God.
May God bless you and your families, and may God bless the United States of America.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Joel Sember