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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Parishioners are proud of their church and their priest

To the Editor:

We are parishioners of St. Paul National Catholic Church in Belleview. Recently St. Paul and Fr. Mark Niznik were the subject of a Letter to the Editor in the Villages-News.com. The letter writer was very complimentary of both the church and Fr. Mark.
A number of mean-spirited individuals took it upon themselves to attack Fr. Mark and St. Paul. Negative comments were made about Fr. Mark’s previous profession as a stand-up comic before entering the seminary. Those same writers denounced St. Paul stating that the church was not Catholic. Most of those negative attacks came from people who have never attended a Mass at St. Paul nor have they heard Fr. Mark preach.
Many of us have been parishioners at St. Paul for years. We worship at St. Paul because it is a warm, loving environment. Fr. Mark is a superb preacher of the Word of God. He is an extremely talented priest who willing shares the Gospel to all who are willing to listen. And, yes, we are a Catholic church recognized by the Vatican, although we are not under the auspices of the Pope. All who attend may receive communion even when the Roman Catholic Church turns some of these same people away. No, we do not ordain women to the priesthood, and same-sex marriages are not performed at St. Paul. But those same sex couples are welcome to make St. Paul their spiritual home.
The original letter writer got it right! St. Paul Parish can be the religious home to any individual. St. Peter got it right in his Gospel, “God does not show any partiality.” St. Paul shows no partiality either. We are a Bible based, God-centric church offering a spiritual haven to all who seek a closer relationship with God. Fr. Mark and the parishioners of St. Paul will welcome you with open arms.

Deacon Gail Lazenby
Village of Belle Aire
and Parishioners of St. Paul National Catholic Church


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