Attending a mission inspires and causes one to think. The first part of the mission with John Angotti has done just that. John has asked us to step back and look at ourselves and the world we live in. To explore how we serve others. Do we serve others as Jesus served others? Do we reach out to the homeless, sick and outcasts or do we stay in our comfort zone. Have we listened to the response God has for us after we pray the Lord's prayer or are we so busy praying we don't hear what the Lord has to say to us. Last night at the concert, John had us singing and praising God. It was a joyful experience and there was such a sense of community. Looking around, you could see the smilling faces filled with spirit as young and old together sang out the praises to our Lord. Watching Father Joseph and the Youth, swing back and forth, praising God filled me with lightness. As we locked arms together and prayed the Lord's Prayer my heart and spirit soared. We can be joyful and share our faith. But what does that mean exactly?
This morning we started to dig deeper into what it means to live our faith. John has asked us some tough questions such as " if we pray what we believe, do we live what we believe"? Where have you seen God today? How have we touched someone as Jesus touched the leper in this week's Gospel? (Mk.1:40-45). How do we take that light and spirit we experienced in the mission out the door and share it with others. Each one of us has been given different gifts, and different ways to share our light. We each need to reflect on these questions, to take them in prayer and share them as Jesus has shared with us.
What are some of your thoughts on the mission? Why not share them with us in the message boards?
If you haven't had a chance to come to the mission yet, there is a session Monday evening at 7PM and a morning Tuesday session at 9:30 AM and Tuesday evening session at 7PM. Come join us, it is not only about questions, but about sharing our joy and praise that we believe and have faith.
I get phone calls asking about volunteering for the Sick and Homebound Ministry. People want to know how they can decide if they are worthy to serve Communicants in the Home or in facilities. If we reflect on ministry, we realize that it involves more than doing a kind deed, it is a response to our Baptismal Call to spread the mission of Our Lord. It is a way to reach out to those unable to attend Mass. But they continue to ask, "how do I know that I am worthy to carry the Lord to others"? Honesty, none of us are worthy, but we are made worthy through His grace. "I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me" (Phil. 4:13). We have training and formation sessions where we will share with you how we serve the Lord in this ministry. Don't worry there are specific prayers for you to follow, you don't have to "wing" it and we will send someone with you after your training to guide you in how it is done. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound will tell you that they receive so much more than they give in this ministry. If you have any questions, why don't you give me a call at the Church Office. I am planning a training and formation session. Blessings, Karen
Hello everyone, welcome to the new website. We are very excited to have an interactive website and hope that you will join us as we learn together how to use this exciting medium in our faith journey. What type of things would you like to see on the website? Why don't you send me an email and let me know. Please know that I will respond online to any email that has a phone number and name. Blessings, Karen.
Second Saturday of Advent
I arose in stillness and darkness to the gift of another day...slipped my feet into soft blue slippers retrieved from under my bed, said “Good morning God, thank you for another chance to live… and love… and do your will…” .…remembered to disarm the house alarm…went out into the cool, clear early morning air to get the paper…looked up to the sky… gray with patchy puffy clouds and a bit of pink near the horizon…[every morning is different…new]…my thoughts shifted to the verse from Lamentations…“his mercies are new every morning…great is his faithfuness” and I smiled.
I returned to the house and made coffee in the dark kitchen with only the tiny stove light to illumine the coffee maker… went to wash my face while the coffee perked…lit the clay lamp and 2 purple candles on the Advent wreath in our chapel…lit the lantern too…set up my laptop for Morning Prayer…filled my mug with steaming coffee and made my way back to the chapel… and stillness…took a deep breath and sat for awhile…the rising steam from my coffee and the warmth of the mug in my hands comforting and centering. No one else was up…the house quiet… “Be still and know that I am God…” This treasured time gives depth and focus to the hours that lie before me and I wish the same for you. Advent blessings and peace…our God comes…always comes...where am I when God comes…? Where will I be...?
It's been awhile since I last "mused" with everyone. How subtly time passes and seasons change, and one day we notice that the slant of the sun has shifted and the thinning leaves of the trees point to time moving on "ready or not." Every morning and evening on my way to and from Espiritu Santo, I cross a railroad track and am reminded of what I learned as a child: "STOP, LOOK, LISTEN"! And I wonder:'Does anyone do that anymore?' Not just for railroad crossings, but for life. I still catch myself at 74 walking too fast...zipping by what is around me...even when I walk in Philippe Park it's for exercise, not for "wonder". Only if I stop to sit on a bench at the top of the Indian ceremonial mound and look out over the bay, does the "STOP,LOOK, and LISTEN" take over and I find my whole being grow quiet and still before the Divine beauty of it all.
I've spent this weekend now in our Parish Center celebrating our annual Festival of Gifts, engaged in conversation with our parishioners, listening and enjoying everyone's company. At first, I was disappointed that very, very few people took the time to STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN at each display to absorb the spirit of our vibrant parish...most seemed to pass by without looking closely at anything...Then I realized that this "Festival of Gifts" weekend is not about the colorful booths and organizations and ministries in themselves, it's about YOU, the members of our parish family. We are celebrating YOU! YOU are the gifts. YOU make it all possible. Everything that was in the Parish Center is the expression of your spirit and the gift of yourself. So, to each person who is reading this I say, "Thank you" for the Gift of You...we could not be the community that we are without you. I wish you moments to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN in the days ahead.
Until next time, Be Blessed!
Do you ever feel spiritually saddened...feel that your witness to Christ is futile in our contemporary world? For some reason I have felt that way more than usual this Advent/Christmas season 2011. I think it all started with Black Friday and the blind greed that drove people to violent behavior over "hot items" they wanted for Christmas. Driven by everything but love, the human heart can lose all sense of dignity and meaning. And then of course, we have wars, poverty, disease, despair, homelessness, (and the list goes on of events and conditions in this world) that tempt us to lose hope. We forget that Jesus was born into a world as inhuman and violent as our own...into a culture that did everything it could to destroy him, silence his message of God's love, hope, mercy and peace. His Spirit, his message, however, have prevailed for over 2,000 years! Even a brutal death could not eliminate him. Jesus lives!!... how visibly depends on you and me.
Merry Christmas! Until next time, blessings and peace,
I know I haven’t written for awhile, not for lack of material…rather too much, but there is something that I feel compelled to share with you today.
Last night our community gathered in the Main Church just a little before sunset to remember our friends and relatives who have gone home to God since November 2010. Their passing is still fresh in our hearts…we remember them…the love, their laughter…their unique personalities…their eyes and smile…their voice…their presence…their manner…all that they were to us and we miss them.
If one can speak of a “favorite Mass”, this one is mine. The rituals, prayers and music are so filled with hope and promise, comfort and peace; the assurance of our faith in Jesus Christ. And though none of that can wash away the grief that remains within, we hear over and over again that life is “changed, not ended” for them and for us. They are with God and we are not alone. In the Gathering Procession, each mourner bears a vigil light, alive with dancing flame to remind us all of the new life each soul now has in God…the incense rises, bells are tolled as names are read of those called home, the altar steps shimmer with over 100 vigils, their living flames lighting up the darkness; vibrant and alive as are our loved ones now with God…and we remember them…together we remember them…together, we grieve and at the same time we believe…we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are with God and still with us too…the prayers, the scriptures, the songs… so full of hope…the words seem to seep into our hearts and we carry them with us.
The Sending Song at the end of the Mass was strong and free…voices and words resounding into the rafters: “We will run and not grow weary, for our God will be our strength, and we will fly like the eagle…we will rise again!!” We were all there in support of one another and that’s exactly what happened…love, care, support …another grace-filled experience of our dynamic community of faith! Thank you and God bless us all!
Until next time, Prayers always,
and Peace…Sr. Paula