Dear Holy Family, St. Mary and St. Anthony Parish:
“But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.”
Hurray! As the full churched finished singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” for the opening song at 8:30am Easter Mass, a 3 or 4 year old in the crowd shouted out with obvious enthusiasm: Hurray!! The child had sensed the joy that filled the church that morning and without fully understanding why, got caught up in the joy too. As they say, faith is caught not taught.
Although the picture above is small, the genuineness of the smiles is apparent. Even without the Chrism still glistening on their foreheads, or the bright red stoles, or even the white baptism gown…. Dusty and Connie would easily have stood out in the crowd Holy Saturday night because of the joy they radiated. They didn’t shout ‘Hurray” but their warm embraces and words of thanks just as surely announced that they had caught the Spirit flowing through our family of faith. Congratulations and welcome home to you Dusty and Connie.
I don’t know how anyone could have come to our Holy Week liturgies and not have caught the Spirit! Just walking into such beautifully adorned sanctuaries lifts the heart heavenward. Then the music! The Holy Thursday Procession, the Good Friday Veneration, the Holy Saturday Exultet and the Easter Sunday Gloria…..such beautiful music holds us and carries us through these powerful liturgies. Then the lectors, the cross bearers, the Eucharistic Ministers, and ushers! The number of people involved is also inspiring.
Thank you to all who ministered to us during the Holy Week liturgies. Thank you for all of the rehearsals, the hours decorating, the phone calling and practicing. Thank you to the RCIA team for walking with our candidates on the journey from seeker to baptized, confirmed and communed. One indication that people were catching the Spirit through your ministries was a woman who came up to me after attending our Holy Week liturgies and said “it all spoke very deeply to me. I know it is true. I want to become Catholic at next year’s Easter Vigil.”
During this Easter Season we will witness others catching the Spirit. Next Sunday the second graders from St. Anthony’s will glow just as brightly as Dusty and Connie did at the Easter Vigil. We will be celebrating their First Holy Communions. Although they are much older than the 3or 4 year old who shouted “Hurray” still much of what will take place next Sunday is beyond their comprehension. They will sense form all of us the importance and grandeur of what is taking place. St. Mary’s and Holy Family will celebrate First Communion the following weekend May 7
we will honor our Mothers, those from whom most of us caught the gift of faith. We will also hold parish council elections. May 20
we will be honoring our graduates: St. Anthony’s 6
graders at the Saturday 6:30pm Mass, the St. Mary and Holy Family Seniors at the 8:30am Mass and the St. Anthony Seniors at the 10:30am Mass.
Memorial Day weekend Fr. John Fortune will be visiting from our sister parish in Saikeri Kenya. If all goes as planned, he’ll be coming by way of New Zealand where he will meet the new born child of a niece. While here we will have the chance to renew our friendship and plan out the next stages of our Sister Parish Relationship. But most of all I hope to renew and deepen the joyous Spirit of the people of Saikeri and of their pastor Fr. John we caught when we visited there. Receptions are being planned after the 4:00pm, 8:30am and 10:30am liturgies, so everyone will have the chance to visit with Fr. John. Then over the noon hour the Social Concerns Committee will meet with him to make plans for deepening our Sister Parish Relationship.
Thank goodness John wrote his Gospel and shared his experiences with us. The Spirit he received from Christ continues to spread from heart to heart even to our day. Hurray!