Guided by the Spirit

 In Pastor's Notes-Fr. Ritche

A few years ago, my cousin and I traveled to Japan. I was quite nervous for it was my first time to visit the country, and I didn’t speak the language. I told my cousin to bring a map with her. It might come in handy as we visit places in Japan.

Our first destination was the Senso-Ji Temple, about a few minutes from the train station. Not knowing where to go, we began looking at the map she brought. Then I remembered what a friend told me who visited Tokyo before, “just ask someone and they will help you. There is no need for a map.”  So, I went to a convenience store to ask for directions. Sure enough. They took us to the temple. It was like holding your hand saying, “don’t worry, I’ll take you there.” I was very impressed!

I share this with you because that has been the kind of guidance I received from the parishioners here at Holy Spirit. When I began in July, in addition to the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, I was nervous, and I didn’t know what to expect. But as we slowly opened for outdoor worship, we call the “Pilgrim Mass,” I also slowly met some of you. I felt the warmth and the hospitality, and more importantly, I felt the presence of the Spirit. You have all been very gracious in welcoming me to the parish.

As I am formally installed as your pastor, I look forward to many years of working with all of you. Empowered by God’s Spirit, we walk side by side in continuing the work of the Lord Jesus. As a community of faith, we will continue to deepen our faith, grow in our friendship with Jesus through the celebration of the Eucharist, personal prayer, reflecting on the Word of God, and reaching out to our brothers and sisters.

Today, it is providential that we, the Church, celebrate the Solemnity of All the Saints, our brothers, and sisters who have faithfully followed the gospel teachings of Christ. They continue to walk and pray with us during these unprecedented times. We are not alone. Let us have courage and hope, for we are the Easter people, people filled with life, faith, and love.

We pray, as we continue to write a new chapter of our community, that we may be constantly aware of the guidance by the Holy Spirit. May we be filled with the Spirit’s wisdom and insight that our story may be full of faith and love.

God bless,
Fr. Ritche

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