Because the Soul of our Nation is at Stake

Considering Catholic Morality: One Month Before the Election
By Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB
During this critical election, please pray for our nation, candidates and electorate.

So… I’ve viewed statements and videos from various bishops and priests about the role of the Church as we head into the elections. Some were a bit wimpy; some were ok. Few were strong enough – so I’ll write something.

I’ll start with this: As Catholics, remember that moral issues are hugely important. It’s not “just the economy” that is a concern when we go to the polls. Christian morality has always been fundamental to the roots and foundation of the United States. It’s okay to tell people that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and that these values were embraced by our Founding Fathers as the path that would make our democratic nation outstanding. We were not founded to be a purely secular state and certainly not an atheist one. Christian morality has always been at the heart of American life. Please feel obliged to speak about moral issues that are truly important in our nation. Issues like – the right to life in the womb, the education of our children, the importance of family, the beauty of marriage, the necessity of religious liberty, justice for the poor and marginalized, inclusion of all races and ethnicities and the inclusion of God in civil life.

Okay, ready for it? Here is the position of the Catholic Church when it comes to elections: The Church is prohibited from promoting or endorsing any candidate or political party and Catholics (including priests) are asked to avoid active campaigning while on church property. People have differences of opinion, and we should respect everyone’s right to free speech and recognize the dignity of each person made in the image and likeness of God amidst differing political opinions. The Church also teaches that we have a duty, in our universal mission of the salvation of souls, to inform consciences on issues important to society and for the common good. The Church hopes and prays that people will make informed decisions and offers guidance to help form consciences accordingly.

With that said (as a priest who’s fulfilling my duty to help form your conscience), here is your top issue: Abortion.

Some may say, “Why? Why is that the top issue?” Because it is. One third of pregnancies end in the killing of the baby in the womb. On average 3,200 elective abortions take place every day in this nation. That’s 1.2 million lives lost every year. Abortion is wrong, sad and mean – we are intentionally killing human beings.

The bishops of the United States have affirmed that the threat of abortion remains our top concern because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed.

FYI: There is one party and set of candidates who in general supports the right to life in the womb. There is another party and set of candidates who does not. The latter political party has formally and clearly stated that all of its politicians up for election – on all state and national tickets (Senators, Representatives of the House, Governors and of course the President) – must go “all in” on abortion. Unfettered rights to abortion, with no restrictions under any and all circumstances, is the party platform.

You want to talk about other issues? Go ahead. Make sure you talk about the two major political parties’ positions on things like euthanasia, God in the public sector, religious liberty to teach the Catholic religion in our institutes, and especially, the right to practice our faith and teach the truths of our religion to our children in their homes. One party has gone public on this: Christian moral values have no place in their new America.

One month before the election I can’t formally tell you how to vote. I shouldn’t tell you (in this newsletter or on any social media). But I can help form your conscience. I can tell you this – the party that touted themselves as the party of “the little guy” has gotten far away from that. What about the little guy in the womb?

In closing, abortion is enough to look at when deciding on whom to vote. The slippery slope into senselessness, stupidities and other immoralities feeds off of that one.

The Strenna 2021
Strenna in Italian is a motto or theme for the year. For the Salesian Family, it is given to us annually by the Rector Major. The Strenna for 2021 was just released. It is:
Moved by hope:
“See, I am making all things new” (Rev 21: 5).
The Strenna for 2021 is important as we continue in “COVID times” and in “turbulent times” in our culture and world. We Salesians are moved by HOPE. Christ is the main reason for that hope; He is at the center of that hope.

As you know, the poster/graphic that goes with the Strenna is important. Many Salesians remember the year’s Strenna by the poster. Here is this year’s poster:

The artist is Gustavo Daguerre from Argentina. Here is how he presents the poster:

“When I learned the phrase that will accompany the Strenna for 2021, I thought of the need to offer HOPE through an image. As a community of believers, our hope is in Jesus. We often feel, in these times in which we live, that people are without hope. A pandemic is enough to make humanity ‘tremble’ and make it much more vulnerable. And in that wounded humanity, there are also our young people… the privileged of our charism.

Jesus is at the center of all of this. He supports us, invites us to rise and comes to us – not only with an outstretched hand, but also with an understanding gaze. Through Him and with HIM there is an environment that tends to convert, from a gray, dark, dense scenario to another full of color and light.”

So dear friends, this year’s Strenna can be remembered pretty easily. We make all things new (bright and colorful) through Christ at the center! Our great challenge, as the Salesian Family, is simply to be a sign of Hope – to put light and color where this pandemic has hurt us. Christ at the center makes that happen!


Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB

Mary Helps!
By Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB
Use this attached 5-minute video prayer during the month of October. It’s set to music, dedicated to our Blessed Mother, with many images of her. It’s called “A New and Glorious Morn” and can be easily shared or posted on your web sites or social media pages. Barb did the images. It is truly a gift of grace!

God wants everyone to grow closer to His beautiful mother who is Comforter of the Afflicted, Lady of Mercy, Queen of Peace, Mirror of Justice, Treasure of Immortality, Gate of Heaven and Help of Christians. She helps us pull together in Her Son. She wants to bring us to Him for healing right now!

Musings on COVID
By Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB
Right now, San Francisco has the most stringent constraints on religious gatherings of any other city in the United States. If someone wants to pray in any church, only one person at a time can enter. There can be no ceremony in the church. Services can be held outside (parking lot, plaza, courtyard, etc.) but with only twenty-five participants. Yet, large megastores in San Fran can admit hundreds of customers. People are allowed to eat outdoors on restaurant patios with no set capacity limits.

The Archbishop of San Francisco finally spoke up last week. As people of faith who have the right and duty to worship and receive the sacraments – speak up and insist on religious liberty. We pray for Catholics and people of all faiths who are suffering discrimination during this time.

Submit a Comment

Please Login to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.