Rev. Father Francis Stevenson, Pastor
Assigned Tahoe City: July 1, 2019
From Our Pastor Father Francis
September 12, 2021
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
9/11 In Memoriam
This weekend we commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I’m sure each one of us, who lived through those tragic days, recalls vividly where we were the moment we first heard about the attacks on our soil. At the time, I was living in Los Osos California, working as a Chaplain at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. I was just getting ready to celebrate Mass, that Tuesday morning, at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, when alarmed parishioners came rushing into the sacristy to tell me that New York City and the Pentagon were under attack! How can we ever forget what happened on that very grim day? The “looped” images of the falling towers, the black choking smoke rising from the rubble, the pain filled and suffering faces, and the haunting visages of heroes racing bravely into the towers trying to save innocent lives are permanently etched on our hearts and souls —we will carry them with us forever. This was America on 9-11, 2001.
In the days and weeks that followed, I felt a glimmer of hope. Many people came together to grieve, to mourn, and to rally around our country in order to bind up our national wounds and begin the long road to recovery and healing. In many neighborhoods families took to flying our beautiful and beloved Red White and Blue Flag from their homes. There seemed to be a positive new spirit of patriotism that was sweeping the nation and uniting us as Americans. Unfortunately, there were many who would soon voice their opposition to this view of America. Sadly, we’ve learned of people who live in this country but who do not want to be Americans. When asked what they think of America and what it means to them, they have a different agenda. Many of them regrettably would like to tear down our Constitutional Republic and replace it with socialism, communism, and globalism. Perhaps many of you have heard about the Antifa/communist teacher in Natomas California who recently told his students, on the first day of class this year, that he was trying to make revolutionaries out of them, so as to overthrow this country. His distain and hatred for America was not hidden. The question we must ask as we recall the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is “what does America mean to us?” Our Nation is not perfect —but this Constitutional Republic is our last best hope for freedom – and it is teetering on the cliff of Marxism.
The question we must all answer is: “Who do you say America is?” Are we willing to do battle as our Founders did? Are we willing to “pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” to save the Republic? Because it may come to that. It will take men and women of heroic Faith and true love of country to turn the tide, and right the ship. Let us pray for the strength to endure. God Bless America!