I know we’ve all had a lot to process over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve gotten behind on a few things amidst attending to the happenings of the transition both here at St. Mary’s as well as in my new assignment to St. Raphael’s, St. Peter’s and St. Bernard’s, as well as sorting through things in my own personal life. Thank you for your patience. More information will be coming as part of the process of the Road to Renewal, but please bear with us in the meantime. I have already met with Fr. Tom this past week to help onboard him with what’s happening at St. Mary’s. He has also begun to meet with our Staff and Teachers and is looking forward to meeting you all. I am trying to do the same things for my new family of parishes.
I’ll have a brief note on Corpus Christi, the feast we celebrate this weekend, in the Pastor’s Column next week, but let me take the moment to be sure to invite you to the Corpus Christi Procession at St. Teresa’s this Sunday, 6/11/23 at 1:30pm. While we’re catching up here, let me take the opportunity to wish everyone a belated happy Memorial Day – our gratitude and honor to our heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in laying down their lives for others, as well as condolences to all who grieve their loss. Also, a happy belated Trinity Sunday in which we celebrate the relationship of love that God is in Godself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and how we are invited through Faith into that relationship. Finally, a happy belated Pentecost. Regarding the Pentecost moment and the birth of the Church, I share with you this reflection from Fr. John Ricardo that was recently read at a parish council meeting:
“Consider the apostles in the Upper Room at the first evangelization committee meeting shortly after Jesus ascended. They’re all sitting there around a big table, and someone suggests they review the agenda, which is to bring the Gospel of Jesus to the world. Their resources:
|Bishops: eleven||Deacons: none||Trained Theologians: none|
|Seminarians: none||Seminaries: none|
|Religious Orders: none||Christian Believers: |
a few hundred
|Countries with Christians in them: one|
|Church buildings: none||Schools and universities: none||Societal attitude toward us:|
ranges from ignorant to hostile
|Experience in foreign missions: none||Influential contacts in high places: next to none|
|Written Gospels: none|
“It would have been easy for the apostle to be overwhelmed by discouragement. They faced crises in every direction: vocational, financial, catechetical, educational, and numerical. But they weren’t discouraged; they were filled with joy and hope. They had great confidence in their Lord, their message, and the creativity and fertility of the Church. They knew that their task was to let the Holy Spirit use them to grow the Church. They knew the graced means by which it was to grow. And grow it did. As my friend says, the Church today needs the same confidence in the power, goodness, and life-changing potency of the message she bears and in the Church’s power of regeneration and growth… The same God who destined the apostles to be alive at that time has destined you and me to be alive at this time. And just as he gave them gifts, so he’s given you and me natural and supernatural gifts. And he’s asking us not only to make a personal response to what he’s done for us in Jesus, but also to make a more expansive response. He’s sending us on a mission. He wants us to tell others about him and to live as active agents of transforming the world.”
From that Pentecost moment, the Church entered the world scene and has made countless differences on every level of society these last 2000 years. It was that same Spirit that animated the founding of our parish 175 years ago and the rest is history. And now we stand on the precipice of responding once again. The title of this article is “Stewardship.” It’s defined as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” This is your parish, it has been all along, and God is entrusting it’s care to you. God has a plan for us all, even if we don’t see all ends. Believe me when I say, you can and do make a difference. I’ve been privileged and honored to witness this firsthand. We’ve come so far – so keep up the good work! Be good stewards of the mission of our parish. I believe in you.