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Reflections on Independence Day

July 3, 2018

Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, leads St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, as its administrator. In a recent bulletin, he shared these reflections as our country celebrates its independence:

Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV

“As a grateful nation pauses to give thanks to God ‘who shed his grace on thee,’ this national holiday reminds us of our origins as a nation,” Fr. Mike wrote. “What did our founding fathers have in mind when they pieced together a fledgling new nation that they called the United States of America?

“When pilgrims first came to the New World, they had one thing in common, they were dreamers. And the greatest legacy that you and I have received from our forefathers is the inheritance of that dream. Of what does this dream consist?

“First and foremost, it was a dream of freedom. Most of the early settlers who came to these shores were running from some sort of tyranny. This nation, at its best, has stood for the right of every individual to live that freedom, with all of its rights and responsibilities.

“Unfortunately, our record in this regard has not always been perfect, but the genius of our American form of government has not been its commitment to majority rule, but its concern for the  minority rights. If we continue to protect the rights of the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed, the freedom of all the rest of us will come along for the ride.

“Second, the American dream has been about unity. Our mottos is “E pluribus unum,” or “one from many.” Franklin Roosevelt was never more correct when he addressed a convention one time by saying, ‘My fellow immigrants.’

“And finally, it’s about destiny. The men and women who laid the foundations of this nation talked and acted out of a sense of destiny. They had a feeling that they were holding in trust something special for the whole world. It is in this sense of destiny, that we need to rekindle so much among us, a sense of responsibility, under God, holding in trust from God, something full of promise for the whole world.

“God said to Abraham: ‘I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

“I am convinced that God has said nothing less to you and me. The fulfillment of that destiny has been and must continue to be a vital part of the American dream.”