Happy New Year to all of you. As we begin the New Year with the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, we recognize her role in bringing Jesus into the world to save us. She gave us something new, hope!
This weekend we also celebrate Epiphany, in which something new was realized by foreigners and celebrated. As tradition has it, three wisemen came and paid homage to the newborn King. Symbolically this is revealing the Savior to the entire world, not just to the chosen people. It is a reminder that all of us have to be open to something new in our lives. We need to let Jesus reveal the newness of love, hope, mercy, joy to us, so we can be changed. This is a great message for the new year! I hope you take advantage of the home blessing that is on the cover of the bulletin and use the blessed incense and chalk to signify your commitment to being the Disciple’s Jesus calls us to be.
As I have been mentioning ‘something new’, I want to share some important information on the Road to Renewal. I hope everyone is aware by now that the family our parish is going to be a part of includes; St. Mary’s, Nativity, Our Lady of Peace and St. Teresa’s. Our first celebration together was on New Year’s Day and it was a great reminder that we can do great things together. Please pray for the Renewal and for our Family of Parishes.
I also need to share that I have been given additional responsibility for several months with a Pilot Family of Parishes. Since I am the Vicar for Renewal, I need to experience what a pilot family will be going through so I can be of assistance and guide appropriately. Beginning in two weeks, I will have the responsibility of being Administrator of St. Margaret’s and Holy Spirit Parishes in North Buffalo as well as the Transition Leader for that Pilot Family of Parishes. I will be spending several months helping that family to be formed and move forward in the Renewal. I will be living for the most part at the parishes in North Buffalo while this Pilot Family forms. I want to assure you that I am still Pastor of St. Mary’s and that I am coming back to St. Mary’s when the pilot family is functioning. Fr. Luke, Fr. Ryan, Deacon Rick and the staff are all aware of this situation and will be helping in the interim to make sure St. Mary’s continues to be the vibrant parish we are. I will be around as needed, but will be focusing my attention on the Family in North Buffalo at least through Easter.
Please pray for the Renewal, St. Mary’s and I humbly ask that you pray for me. This will be a learning experience so that when other families are formed, I can answer questions since I will have gone through it.