A month of pastor’s posts! Thank you to everyone who has offered encouragement to continue these – I’ve been having a blast putting them together (and learning about the saints as I research the upcoming liturgical feasts!).
With the summer coming to a close, there’s a lot to look forward. The most immediate is our ‘End of Summer’ BBQ, happening this Sunday after Masses (11:30 am to 1:30 pm). These picnic-style barbecues started as a post-pandemic effort to rekindle our connections as a community. While we had hopes, we never dreamed how popular they would be and how much folks with rally around them. I hope you’ll come for some food, stay for some fraternity, and enjoy a pleasant afternoon with your fellow parishioners.
This Sunday is also the last weekend with Deacon Kirk at Saint Mark parish. He will be sorely missed. Even before he was ordained, Deacon Kirk was volunteering frequently at our parish. During the pandemic he was assisting at the altar at practically every Mass and building remote programs for baptism, confirmation, RCIA, and weddings. Though he has been away from Saint Mark parish every third Sunday, this wasn’t a day off – he travels north to his son’s parish to assist and preach at the Spanish-speaking Mass there. Though I suspect he might be embarrassed by our attention, I nonetheless hope you’ll join me in offering personal thanks to him for his generous sharing of his time & talents and for his faithful ministry to our community.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out that our community is going to need many hands to help assist in ministry in the coming weeks and months. As of right now, we have exactly one person to lead RCIA classes for new adult Catholics, confirmation classes for our youth, baptismal preparation for expecting parents, and wedding instruction for engaged couples: the pastor. And while I am eager to see these ministries through, the fact of the matter is that I will not be able to do this alone. Please prayerfully consider sharing your faith with new Catholics, with our youth, with expecting parents, and couples preparing for marriage. More to come on this, but it’s not too soon to invite the Lord to help you discern if He is calling you to assist.
Finally, I want to follow up on my homily from Sunday, albeit tangentially. In just a few weeks, we’ll be entering the next phase of the archbishop’s pastoral project Partners in the Gospel. The long and short is that every parish in the archdiocese is going to be part of a parish family – a joining of 2-3 parishes under one pastor and (possibly) a parochial vicar. The draft of parish family configurations will be announced in September – with an input session for parishioners to follow afterward. For many Catholics, this has not been something that has received a lot of attention – I strongly encourage you to visit our dedicated Partners in the Gospel page, read some of the materials there – perhaps starting with the most recent letter from the archbishop.
One of Deacon Kirk’s go-to lines that I especially appreciate is that “the Lord is going to do something amazing”. Of course, only He knows what that will be! As for us, we will simply have to follow the Lord, trusting – as we know we can – that He works all things for our good. Let us continue to pray for each other, and work so as to build up the Body of Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Monday, August 21 – Pope Pius X is often only associated with the schismatic acts of Archbishop Lefebvre, founder of the Society of Saint Pius X – a group of irregularly ordained clerics who have yet to be reconciled with the Church even today. Lost in the noise is the fidelity and example of Pope Pius X himself, whose motto was “Restore all things in Christ”. I encourage you to take some time to learn about him, his life, and his ministry as we celebrate his memorial today.
Tuesday, August 22 – As we celebrate today the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we would do well to look to the Jewish tradition of the Queen Mother. Widow of the former king, mother of the new king, she was both advisor to the new king and advocate for the people. If that sounds familiar, good! Though Jesus has no need for an advisor, He nonetheless opens Himself to her intercession on our behalf – may we be sure to ask for her aid as we seek to follow Him.
Wednesday, August 23 – Saint Rose of Lima is perhaps most known for her persevering devotion and willingness to endure even great suffering on behalf of Christ and her love for Him. Read more about her at Franciscan Media as we celebrate her memorial today.
Thursday, August 24 – One of the twelve Apostles, Saint Bartholomew is said to have traveled to India to preach the Gospel before going on to Armenia. He is considered one of the co-patrons of the Church in Armenia. Unfortunately, apart from what is mentioned in Scripture, little of his life & work is known outside of tradition and legend. Nonetheless, we celebrate his feast today and thank God for his witness! Read more about him at uCatholic.