Fr. Chuck Wood, pastor at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Scappoose, talks with Patrick Kessi, Scappoose City Council President and member at St. Wenceslaus, shortly after a Mass for the city March 2. “Even if they’re not Christian or don’t believe in God, we pray that the power of the Mass is released to guide them,” said Fr. Wood. (Sarah Wolf/Catholic Sentinel)
Fr. Chuck Wood, pastor at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Scappoose, talks with Patrick Kessi, Scappoose City Council President and member at St. Wenceslaus, shortly after a Mass for the city March 2. “Even if they’re not Christian or don’t believe in God, we pray that the power of the Mass is released to guide them,” said Fr. Wood. (Sarah Wolf/Catholic Sentinel)
SCAPPOOSE — Just an hour before city government officials gathered March 2 to hear from citizens and plan the city’s future at the Scappoose Annual Town Meeting, parishioners at St. Wenceslaus Parish here gathered to celebrate a Mass for the city.

The Mass was the first of its kind at the parish but Father Chuck Wood, pastor at St. Wenceslaus, hopes to make it an annual event. Father Wood celebrated the Mass, which included prayers from the Mass for Peace and Justice.

“With our understanding of the way God created the human person and the human conscience, God designed it so that every human can receive guidance and prompting from God, even if they don’t believe in God themselves,” said Father Wood, who came up with the idea for the Mass after spotting a sign for the meeting.

“You can have a Mass for the city — not trying to impose your religion on the city leaders or say that they need to be religious or Christian or anything. Even if they’re not Christian or don’t believe in God, we pray that the power of the Mass is released to guide them and even more so to guide those who are Christian.”

Among the attendees for the Mass was Patrick Kessi, Scappoose City Council President. Kessi’s family have been parishioners at St. Wenceslaus for generations and he has been a member there his entire life. He appreciated Father Wood’s willingness to pray for him and his peers on the council.

“It’s a beautiful idea to have a Mass,” said Kessi. “As we plan the next 50 years of the city and the long-term vision, long-term planning, it’s wonderful to have a Mass… [so] that we have wisdom to make good decisions and the right decisions for the community.”