On Sunday at Mass, the priest came down from the altar after the Gospel and took a beautiful baby boy from the arms of his mother. Father stated that he rarely sees youngsters with their parents in church, and this is particularly true of those who worship at King’s College. He then commented he thought about insisting on making the attendees move to the empty front of the church, but then decided against it, explaining he sometimes sits in the back pews when he worships and emphasizing people should be in a comfortable spot when they pray.
Sunday’s Gospel was from Luke and it discussed the serious topic of an enduring faith. Jesus talks about a time of strife, with wars, famine and terrifying signs. He discusses persecution and a person’s opportunity to bear witness in these times. The Gospel ends with these words:
“Through perseverance you will possess your own selves.”
I thought about this Gospel again Monday when I discussed a flier I received Sunday night from a listener named Tom, who was greatly disturbed at the announcement by the members of Westboro Baptist Church that they would preach their message in Pittston at a “lawful distance” during the Funeral Mass of Spc. Dale J. Kridlo, a Hughestown resident killed in Afghanistan a little over a week ago.
Does this sound like a message that should be delivered anywhere near a funeral? It’s from their press release on their website:
Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool.
There’s a lot more to their vitriolic message and you can certainly view it on their website if you need to feel any more outrage. Their message ends with large bold letters: “Thank God for IEDs.”
Since that information was posted on their website last Friday, the members of the obscure church have made it known that they will appear in Pittston on Wednesday. When word spread, people of all stripes have banded together in a show of strength for the Kridlo family and their friends.
The list includes: Bikers, Catholics, atheists. Democrats. Republicans, liberals. conservatives, the gay community, Baptists, students, veterans and many more not named here. You would probably be surprised at how many people have stopped fighting each other in order to stand up for this family in their time of grief.
The intrusion into this town by people looking for a fight, looking for someone to throw the first punch so they can launch a lawsuit has brought out the strength of our own. Sometimes, Northeastern Pennsylvanians look in the mirror and see a beaten, downtrodden, hard luck face, one that doesn’t deserve anything good or merit respect. Let the reflection today show that we are united in our desire to honor and protect our own. May God bless and keep Spc. Dale Kridlo and may our people hold his family in their hearts as he make his journey to his heavenly reward, and may his path be clear of the Phelps family and their vile message.