Weekly pastor’s post (October 1)

The only torch with which I am truly comfortable!
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Last week we had our formal parish feedback session. I must admit that I was nervous about what it might look like – would there be torches and pitchforks….or possibly no one at all? I needn’t have worried about any of that: we had over 100 people show up and all of them came with thoughtful, enthusiastic, and generously offered input to offer. While some of the conversation was indeed charged, I found it to be fruitful and oriented towards being truly helpful. I look forward to having it transcribed for you to read yourselves – and most importantly, for the archbishop and his advisors to consider.

If you couldn’t make it to that session – or you have more input to offer – the archdiocese has gone live with their online public comment form. As I understand it, the window for submitting input ends towards the end of the month, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity soon.

As I mentioned in last week’s pastor’s post, one of the continuing takeaways for me in all of this is the emphasis on community. There is such a blessing in coming together in prayer, discussion, and simply enjoying being together. It is a helpful – and timely – reminder that I need to be deliberate in choosing to spend time with others: family, friends, and members of the community.

On a lighter note, may I introduce you to Gravity Falls? One of our parishioners enthusiastically recommended this 2012 television series to me – even going so far as to offer a truly delightful 3-page write up on why the series is one of the best animated offerings out there. I promised to watch it when I had the chance, which I was finally able to do over the last couple of weeks.

I am happy to report that it was a joy to watch! Coming in at exactly 40 episodes (roughly 30 minutes each), the show is one that I think most adults & children will enjoy – though I think it is probably best saved for children in the later grades of middle school (11+ years old). If you’re looking for a wholesome – but frequently surprisingly thoughtful – light fare for you and your family, this might be just the thing to check out!

In any case, I hope you have a wonderful week! As always, rest assured of my prayers.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer

October 1 – Though Sundays always trump memorials in liturgical celebrations, today is nonetheless a wonderful celebration – the memorial of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. She is also called ‘the Little Flower’ because of her dedication to great love through small actions. Read more at the Society of the Little Flower website.

October 2 – The memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels centers around Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” May we be sure to call upon the angels – especially our guardian angels – inviting them to guide us in our daily discernment of God’s will. And though it was posted on last week’s feast of the archangels, you may enjoy this art from Allan Rohan Crite of the angels at prayer with us.

October 4 – Every year we celebrate the memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, both at Mass and with an annual blessing of pets. We’ll be having the blessing of pets around 8:45 am in the school parking lot this Wednesday. You are most welcome to bring your pet – leashed or well-contained – for the blessing. Later that day – at 6:30 pm in the parish church – we will celebrate the memorial with Mass and a light reception hosted by the Friends of Saint Francis group.

October 7 – Today is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. This celebration holds a special place in my heart, as it is the namesake of my years as a priest and later, my first pastorship. Though the parish has since closed, it was that community who accompanied me through some especially formative experiences as a priest and as a leader. In your kindness, please join in me in praying for the parishioners of Holy Rosary, Tacoma, who are still finding their way to and in their new parishes.

The rosary itself is also dear to me. When I find myself without the right words or prayers – which is often! – reciting the familiar prayers of the rosary helps ground my thoughts & feelings. As the beads slip through my fingers, I am reminded that I, too, am a part of the Holy Family – both a brother of the Lord and an adoptive son of Mary & Joseph. Despite usually praying the rosary by myself, there is great comfort in knowing that this prayer is being echoed in the hearts and on the lips of Catholics throughout the world – there’s probably not a single second of any given day where the rosary is not being offered somewhere. If you’d like to learn more about the rosary – and pray it with some guidance – check out Bishop Barron on the rosary at Word on Fire.