May the Joy of His Resurrection be with You!

Do not be afraid or ashamed
to be Christian.

~ Pope FrancisEaster 2015Dear Friend,

The sound of bombs exploding filled the night sky over the people of Karamlesh, Iraq. ISIS, the extremist group, was advancing. Martin, a 24-year-old seminarian, knew that danger was near.

Martin’s neighbors began to flee, clutching their children close, carrying what they could on their backs. The young seminarian rushed out of his home, then hesitated. He needed to get to safety, but his heart told him that something vitally important had to be done first.Martin Baani small 2

Martin ran to his neighborhood church, took up the Blessed Sacrament, close to his heart, and carried it to safety. “We must not be afraid,” Martin said with steadfast resolve. On a terrifying night, this heroic seminarian rose from the chaos and was not afraid or ashamed to be Christian.

Every Easter, we experience a renewal of our faith and love in Him. What does it mean that Jesus is risen? As the Holy Father said, “It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom. The love of God can do this!”

Your gift will help seminarians continue to bring God’s light to the darkest corners of Earth.  These young men of God bring the solace and hope that only the Risen Lord’s message can offer – a message of salvation at a time of death and violence.

As the nightmare of extremism continues so must the mission of these young men. Please help protect the vital service to God that seminarians such as Martin provide, so that they may bring comfort to the troubled and the weak and the lost.

May you and yours enjoy a peaceful Easter, and may the risen Christ guide you on the path of justice, love and peace.

Father Hugh and EFC signatures2

P.S.   This Easter, please help seminarians, under the Lord’s gentle guiding hand, change hatred into love. May God bless you.

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