A famous politician once said, “All politics is local.” Perhaps it’s true for religion as well. Last year, Fr. Richard Erikson was assigned as Pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. Often since I have thought he was sent here just to nourish and invigorate my own faith. Many in our community feel the same.
Fr. Rich reminds me of the way I imagine Jesus conducted his own ministry. He is kind, sincere, approachable, humble, learned, a great preacher and full of a special grace that I can't quite describe. He makes me want to do better; to more fully live the Gospels; to be a better man, husband, father, and friend.
Fr. Rich didn't expect to land here in Sudbury. He is a general and chaplain in the Air Force, has served overseas, and has an office in the Pentagon. He didn't suspect he would be asked to return to the diocese of his birth where he was needed.
I know many Catholics have fallen away from the Church and many others are barely hanging on as a result of the terrible abuse scandal and a general feeling that the Church is out of touch with our modern society. I too have been saddened, angered, hurt and confused by many actions (and inactions) of the church hierarchy, but a wise friend reminded me why to stay. She said the Church is full of human frailty as it reflects the makeup of its members, who all have human faults and weaknesses, but the Church’s message of forgiveness, redemption and salvation are the beliefs that unite us.
Social and political issues will always divide us but those who are my age (58) or older will recognize the church has made progress in our lifetime, albeit more slowly than some of us wanted, and more will come if we remain involved and committed. When times get difficult for us in our own families, we don't abandon ship, we don't give up, we stay and we work for a greater good.
I have lived in Sudbury for almost 30 years and have never written a letter to the editor much less a campaign letter but if you believe in God and salvation and want to leave this legacy to your children and grandchildren then maybe it’s time to come back. Fr. Rich will help restore your faith and I would enjoy your fellowship.
Maynard Farm Road