Pastor’s Corner 9/10/2017

This was my homily for September 4, 2005.  I was just in my second year as pastor and, after keeping my promise “not to change anything for one year,” was inviting the parishioners to participate in a special survey that would guide us for the next five to ten years.  This Sunday I will be making reference to this time in our parish journey together and to a renewal of our commitment as Stewards of Christ’s Mission on Earth.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

What more encouraging words from the Gospel could we ask for as we launch our Parish Synod Process?  Today we embark on a spiritual and ecclesial journey worth any faith community, indeed any Roman Catholic parish such as ours.  We call it “A Parish Synod for the Formulation of a of Mission Declaration and Pastoral Plan,” which is meant to guide and direct the parish life and ministry of Saint Rita’s Church, Schools, and Organizations over the next five to ten years.

For me, as your pastor of just one year, I cannot stress enough the importance of a parish synod as a way to bond with you and to be on the same pages of parish life and ministry with you.  Our Parish Synod and especially the Synod Survey Process is nothing less than the call to BE CHURCH.

The members of the Pastoral Council and I invite you young or older, new or seasoned, over involved or estranged, to be heard and to be counted!  We, for our part, pledge to you a serious, prayerful, and professional follow-through to the formulation of our Parish Mission and Pastoral Plan.

Soon you will receive a copy of the Synod Survey with Introduction.  While you may simply take the survey and mail it in or drop it off at the parish office, we sincerely encourage you to take the survey in reflection and discussion with your family and other parishioners.  Please bring your survey with you to a planned gathering of an organization you belong to, or to attend one of the planned “after Sunday Mass” gatherings, or if you decide to participate in a gathering offered by St. Rita Elementary or Religious Education.

Finally, in the best tradition of our Church, join me in praying COME HOLY SPIRIT!

[That was then.  This is now.  As a matter of fact, the ten years of our pastoral plan have been completed as of 2016.  Our current Pastoral Council has been diligently reviewing our Pastoral Plan and the updated document will be offered to us soon.  As we re-enter our beautifully refurbished church and worship space next weekend, we will also be announcing a special St. Rita Holy Year.  Please see the SPECIAL FLYER INSERT for the next weekend’s schedule of our Church Re-entry Celebrations and Activities.]

Pastor’s Corner 8/27/2017

We have before us in the Gospel today bold and famous words of confession and faith from Simon bar-Jonah, renamed PETER; and amazing words from Jesus that bestow position and authority—the giving to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Well, there you have it! There is hardly anything in all of scripture that screams ROMAN CATHOLIC more loudly than these words. Faith and assent to Peter’s keys along with the Church’s power “to bind and loose” continues both to be our remaining major specific difference from other Christian denominations and, what is more, a persistent stumbling block to the ecumenical process. Continue Reading

Pastor’s Corner 9/3/2017

Is a Gucci Bag, an Armani suit, or a pair of GAP retro distressed jeans “TO DIE FOR!”? And then again there is always that lingering question:  “What would you really do for a Klondike Bar?” Ah yes, martyrdom, “dying for the cause,” can be a sticky wicket question.

In today’s first reading, Jeremiah the Prophet struggles with his cause and what might be required of him for the sake of that cause (and I can assure you he is not the least bit concerned about what to wear for the occasion). Continue Reading