……from your Pastor’s Desk

My first day here [this time around] was July 11, 2014. From my perspective, standing in front of you, I get to see all your faces every week [well, those who aren’t masked!]. In the seven years since my arrival the faces have changed. Some are brand new baby faces, some have matured a bit; some now gaze on the face of God. Children have graduated to high school, high school youth to college. College students to whatever lies next for them. We’ve had Marriages, Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Memorial Services and Funerals. As a community of faith, we faced the events of last October and the subsequent recovery. Yes, many faces. Many new faces, many different faces. But all Catholic faces.

There are Catholics here from countries and continents far and near. Byzantine Catholics, cradle Catholics, recent convert Catholics, Catholics who have fallen away – Catholics who have fallen back in – just to name a few. All with their own stories, challenges, gifts and blessings. All different – yet – all the same.

Issues affecting women as women, men as men, youth, children, the sick and the elderly – have all been addressed and discussed from this pulpit regularly. Nothing, no one, no group was held more Sacred than another because – ALL ARE SACRED! Why? Because – the very word catholic means universal. It means EVERYBODY! And so….my goal was to make this is a place for everybody. To re-build both facility and community.

All of us together are formed by the Holy Spirit in the One Body of Christ. We are all united by the Holy Spirit to make up this Body. All partake of the heart of the Body’s existence.

Some of you are part of the specific ministries of the parish.
Some are talented teachers.
Some are musically talented.
Some visit the sick and homebound,
Some serve as members of the Ladies Club or Men’s Club
Some work with our young people.
Some serve in a liturgical positions.
Some help with the physical plant.
Some pray for me every day.

All you offer your prayers and financial support. None of you are on the fringe of the parish – and even if you only come here once a week for mass, you still make up the heart of the parish because…we are all united by the Holy Spirit. This is your home base. Here, you are ‘home-free’. This sanctuary IS a place of sanctuary.

We are all different – yet – we are the same. It doesn’t mean we always like everyone – that would be pretty much impossible – but it doesn’t stop us from loving each other or seeing each other as a child of God. As Catholics we don’t just put up with each other’s differences, we value each other’s differences as a unique manifestation of the Holy Spirit without which our faith body would be incomplete.

To do that I had to follow the Church Laws and guidance, listen to the Bishops Directives, your spirit and to the Holy Spirit, because what I may have personally thought or wanted may not have been best for you. Thank you all. We got A LOT done [addressing both corporal and spiritual needs] – to the greater honor and glory of God!

The work here goes on – the living church is always a work in progress. It has been a wonderful, productive, and, yes, occasionally challenging seven years. We’ve faced some tough times though, as pruning is always difficult, yet it also always responds with tremendous new growth – and we have.

I thank those who made the effort to welcome me then and work with me still.
I thank those who reached out a hand of friendship.
And I thank those that have prayed for me every day.
I ask you to continue those prayers. I love Holy Spirit Parish. And I love you!
As I always say: The best – is Yet to Come!

Father Ron

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