Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July Weekend, as this year’s celebration will be quite different due to the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as what our country is currently going through as it deals with racism, equality and justice.
On this 4th of July, I ask that we not forget the rich history of our nation and see how it has grown and continues to grow from its past and present mistakes. We remember that on July 4, 1776, in the midst of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia courageously declared the thirteen colonies independent from Great Britain. Today, 244 years later, we celebrate this Declaration. With all our fellow Americans, we celebrate our freedom on this Independence Day, the Fourth of July.
Our founding fathers believed that religion, virtue, and morality based on the natural law were essential foundations for the success of the American Experiment. In his farewell address, George Washington declared: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.” John Adams wrote: “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. Religion and virtue are the only foundations… of republicanism and of all free governments.” As Catholics, we agree with this vision of our founding fathers. Recently, Pope Francis said something very similar in the following words: “When, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from society, it ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights violated.”
We stand up for the freedom not only to worship, but also to live our faith without government coercion to violate the sacred sanctuary of our conscience. Pope Francis says: “Religious freedom is not only that of private thought or worship. It is the liberty to live, both privately and publicly, according to the ethical principles resulting from found truth.”
When we talk about Freedom, it is important to differentiate between the quality of being free and the right use of Freedom. Freedom ennobles us as human beings and allows us to participate in a certain way in God’s own freedom. But freedom can also be abused. That’s why we have laws, police and prisons due to the misuse of freedom. There can be no sin, no crime, and no violence without freedom, just as there can be no sanctity, no virtue, no kindness, and no love without freedom.
Freedom is never separate from responsibility. There is no true freedom without responsibility. Victor Frankl once remarked that the good work begun with the Statue of Liberty in New York ought to be completed by erecting the Statue of Responsibility in Los Angeles.
We are free, not because there is nothing holding us back, but because, with God’s grace, we are able to pursue our true end and destiny as children of God. Freedom is the root of our dignity as human beings. But it doesn’t end there. A root is not the whole tree, nor is freedom the ultimate goal of human existence. Freedom provides the possibility for our greatest triumph as creatures made in God’s image: Love, the pouring out of oneself for another.
Love is the highest form of Freedom. “Love and do as you please,” was St. Augustine’s startling maxim. Love sums up all that is good. It seeks the good of the other but ends up furnishing the greatest possible good to the one who loves. Human liberty in its fullest and deepest meaning is the principle driving force for the responsible giving of oneself to another.
May this year’s 4th of July be a year of growth in both our nation and individually in the highest form of Freedom, that is, Love.
Happy 4th of July,
Live Streamed Mass This Sunday
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time; July 5th @ 10:00 AM: Live Stream Link for Mass this Sunday
Attention Campers: All Aboard!
Vacation Bible Camp (VBS), Rocky Railway, is full steam ahead to August!
We now have clearance from Santa Clara County to have summer camps with stable groups and, if needed, this program will move to an online format.
Get your “train” reservation tickets online now to reserve your seat.
This train departs at 8:30 am and arrives back at the station (St. Nicholas School) at 12:30 pm, every day from August 3rd to 7th.
Sign up and learn more details online.
Help Us Stay Whole!
Now you can give online, by check, or send a text!
- Use your phone and TEXT the word GIVE to 650-200-2585 and follow the prompts.
- Donate ONLINE ~ make a one-time donation or setup a recurring gift
- Hand deliver or mail your CHECK to St. Nicholas & St. William at 473 Lincoln. Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022
Every Saturday in St. William Parking Lot: 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Resumption of Public Daily Masses
Daily Mass is now being held, Monday through Saturday, in the St. Nicholas courtyard beginning at 8:00 AM.
**NOTE: DUE TO CONSTRUCTION, THE ENTRANCE HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE ORANGE AVENUE SIDE OF THE BUILDING. **
As space is severely limited, we request that parishioners stagger the days that they attend based upon their last name:
Last Name begins with A thru K: Come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Last Name begins with L thru Z: Come on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Please enter from the Orange Avenue side and wait to be seated.