Weekly Pastor's Letter

From the Pastor's Desk

My dear brothers and sisters in our risen Lord Jesus Christ,

A continued blessed and joyful Eastertide to everyone!

Needless to say it is not easy being Christian in today’s world – and sometimes it seems it is even more difficult to be Roman Catholic!  Our society, largely because of the critical nature of the media, sometimes tends to view people of faith and morals with a level of distrust, if not even an implication of fanaticism.  That is a challenge for us in living and in witnessing our faith.  Paul and Barnabas experience something similar to this in today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles.  The people of Antioch in Pisidia “expel (them) from the territory.”  No one likes or appreciates rejection – it is always discouraging and can even be humiliating.  There may be times in our own lives when we follow firmly our Catholic beliefs and experience something similar.  However, following the witness of Paul and Barnabas, we need to become even more determined in our desire to be disciples of the Lord.  In their case, they moved on to Iconium and continued their ministry and their message.  In fact, as the Scripture adds, “The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” We, too, need to seek that joy and to understand that we have been blessed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Blessed (soon to be Saint) Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.”  We, too and always, need to seek and utilize God’s strength.

As you read in my April article in the Modern Saint, we have three ordinations/anniversaries being celebrated this spring.  Parishioner, Hans Schade, will be ordained a permanent deacon a week from this Saturday and parishioner, Tom Reagan, will be ordained a priest for the Fathers of Mercy in early June.  Please pray for Hans and Tom as they approach their ordination days.  Fr. John Porter, our founding pastor, will be celebrating his sixtieth anniversary of priesthood ordination at the 12 Noon Mass on May 22.  For his anniversary, he has asked not to buy any gifts or make any charitable donations in his name but for everyone to simply perform an act of mercy.  Once you have done this (once, twice, thrice or more!) simply write it on an index card (anonymously if you want) and we will collect all these cards and present them to him at his anniversary Mass.  What a great gesture for Fr. Porter’s anniversary during this Jubilee Year of Mercy!

Thanks to everyone for your extremely generous response to the 2016 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA).  If you have not yet made a gift or pledge, we invite you to do so online at www.catholicappeal.info.

Let us continue to remember in our prayers all those initiated at the Easter Vigil as well as those families preparing for Confirmation and First Communion throughout Eastertide.  We will welcome Archbishop Schnurr this Saturday, April 23, as we celebrate a Confirmation Mass at 1:00 PM.  Please pray for an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our confirmands.

And finally, all are invited to bring containers (small to modest sized!) with you to church during the Easter season so that each family might have blessed water from the Easter Vigil for use in your homes throughout the year.  Holy water for home use can be taken from the baptismal font at any time.

That’s it for now – God bless one and all!
 
 
 
 

Fr. Geoff

 

Farewell Fr. Geoff

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