Pastor's Corner 041413

posted Apr 10, 2013, 9:58 AM by Music Director

As we traverse through the Easter season there are many events coming our way.  Next week we will welcome “Gifts From Bethlehem,” which supports the small Catholic Christian communities of Palestine in the Holy Land.  These communities are among the oldest of our faith, going back to Apostolic times, and they are in dire need.  Most Christians in the Holy Land are ethnic Arabs, but they are shunned and often discriminated against by the majority of their countrymen who are Sunni Muslim.  They are also shunned and discriminated against by the government of Israel, which controls the territory in which they live, because they are Arab.  They are indeed a people between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.”  “Gifts From Bethlehem” presents beautiful carvings of native olive wood for sale, the proceeds of which support our brothers and sisters in that holy city and the region surrounding it.

We are in the midst of the diocesan House of Charity-Bishop’s Annual Appeal, as introduced by the video presentation at this weekend’s Masses.  (I’ll write more about this in the coming weeks.)  And we are happily looking forward to our celebrations of First Communion and Confirmation for our young brothers and sisters. 

We are also nearing election time for our Pastoral Council, the visioning and planning body that fosters full participation in the life and mission of the Church.  In consultation with the pastor, the Pastoral Council actively listens to and identifies the needs and concerns of parishioners and creates a pastoral plan to respond to them.  It is comprised of elected and appointed parishioners charged with assisting the pastor in implementing the parish mission by discerning the strengths and needs of the community, assessing the effects of our efforts, and how we might improve on them.  As stated in the Introduction to our Pastoral Council Guidelines:

Recognizing that sound pastoral decisions are informed by the  wisdom of the                   people of God…[and] that Catholics have a  right and  duty to  express             their opinion  on  what pertains to the good of the Church…Pastors should     willingly consult their  people and use their prudent advice.  Therefore this     council [will] investigate, ponder and recommend actions necessary to ensure     the  present and  future  good of the parish  [and address] major issues brought before them.

In June, the terms of 3 members of the Council will end.  Nominations to replace them will take place at all Masses on the weekend of April 20-21.  Forms will be handed out as you enter the church on which you may nominate yourself or any parishioner you feel has the following qualities:  a desire for spiritual growth; an enthusiasm for the direction of the parish; a willingness to listen, speak honestly and work toward consensus; the ability to inspire and delegate; and flexibility and openness to people and ideas.

I ask that you begin to consider now persons you feel demonstrate such qualities.  After the forms have been gathered, each nominee will be contacted to ascertain whether or not s/he would be willing to serve on the Council for 3 years.  If there are more than 3 who accept nomination, an election will be held at all Masses on the weekend of June 1-2.  Profiles of each candidate will be made available prior to the election for your consideration.

Given the importance of having a council that is truly pastoral, I ask all parishioners to take this process seriously and give it the prayerful consideration it deserves.  We are a great parish; but there’s always room for growth; and an active, energetic and engaging Pastoral Council will lead us in that direction.

In His Love,

Fr. Mike