Dear Saint Augustine Family,
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Thanksgiving is a special time of the year for many of us. It is a time for us to gather with our families, and just enjoy each other’s presence in our life. It is also a time for us to gather with family and friends around our tables to break bread together and enjoy some good food. Like many of you I look forward to the Thanksgiving Feast, of Gumbo, well-seasoned Turkey, oyster dressing, dirty rice, candied yams, and host of other vegetables and my favorite New Orleans dish, seafood mirliton. The Thanksgiving Meal, New Orleans style is a real treat, especially for someone from up north, New York.
However, there is so much more to Thanksgiving, than just the meal, or even gathering with our families and friends. Thanksgiving calls each of us to reflect back over the year and realize the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us, and just say “Thank You Lord.” I realize this might sound strange, especially at this time, since this year has presented each of us with many challenges and hardships. Yet, as Saint Paul reminds us in his Letter to the Philippians that in spite of all our anxious moments, dealing with the pandemic, the endless hurricane season, even the economic crisis, the political unrest, that has affected everyone, that we should continue to pray to God in thanksgiving. In doing so, Saint Paul reminds us that, “the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is in that moment of giving thanks to God, that through His grace we can become aware of God’s blessings and presence in our life. It is through God’s continued blessings and presence in our Life that strengthens us and enables us to continue in this journey that we call life.
As we gather this Thanksgiving, let us offer a moment of prayer in Thanksgiving to God so that we can realize and count our many blessings that our God has sent our way. While the road that we had to travel this year has not been easy, it is only through God’s grace and mercy that we as a family, as a people, as a school have made it this far. And for this we can say, “Thank you Lord.”
May the blessings of our God be with you and your families, and may you be blessed with a Happy Thanksgiving.
Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J. Chief Religious Officer