LETTER FROM FR. PAUL — MAY 15, 2016
Once again, congratulations to our youth who received Confirmation last Monday. May you always live your lives as witnesses to Christ’s love for all and may we support you with our good example and prayers!
I thank those who nominated themselves or others for parish leadership positions. Those nominated for Pastoral Council are receiving phone calls inviting them to an information/discernment session on May 23. Dennis Myers is the only person who received the required 10 nominations for Trustee, so he automatically will serve a second term. Congratulations and thank you, Dennis, for your willingness to continue serving the community.
In the past we have taken up our annual collection for our sister parish in the fall. Because of other things going on, the Stewardship Committee and Finance Council have decided it would be better to take it up before the summer. So this year our collection will be this coming weekend of May 21-22. The funds will continue to be used for materials to build catechetical centers in the outlying areas of the parish; the parishioners themselves provide the labor. There are envelopes in the pew for you to take home and return next weekend. Please be as generous as you can.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, Jesus’ gift of His Spirit which accompanies us and strengthens us to live a life of love and service. In the first reading, we have Luke’s version in which the disciples talk in tongues. This is a reversal of the story of Babel, where people become divided by language because of sin. In the Gospel we have John’s version, in which Jesus directly conveys the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sin.
There is no doubt something powerful happened: these disciples, who ran and hid or denied Jesus when He was arrested, these disciples whom we find cowering in a locked room over and over for fear of the Jews, suddenly are preaching publically without fear or second thoughts. The change is incredible: they obviously had a strength that came from without.
That same power and strength to do more than we ever dreamed is available to us through the Holy Spirit. Our task is to pay attention and use it. For a Christian there is no “I can’t.” We must say, as did St. Peter, “the Holy Spirit and we…”
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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