Keeping the Spirit Alive!
I am filled with joy and in awe as I reflected on our Sunday gathering last weekend. Many of you commented that it felt like “pre-pandemic” times because of the number of people who came to Mass. There were some long-time members of our community that I met for the first time. Students, parents, and former associate pastor Fr. Angelo David were present. In the sacristy, Fr. Angelo told me that he too was in awe as he celebrated the Eucharist with us. “Wow, the number of people who came! This is truly a celebration of community. The Spirit is alive! Thanks be to God!” he said.
As we continue to celebrate our parish’s anniversary, I am very much encouraged by your participation. Despite the global and local challenges we that face, you give me hope. Your enthusiasm, joy, willingness to help and reach out to others, your patience and understanding, and your prayerfulness are testimonies that the Spirit continues to guide us and move us into the future.
Two weeks ago, Bishop Cantu reflected with the priests on what spiritual renewal means as we embark on our diocesan pastoral plan. Bishop Cantu reminded us that renewal does not only mean spending time to pray. Rather prayer must lead us to live in the Spirit – living a life that manifests the fruits of the Spirit.
My vision is to cultivate a community that is attentive to the promptings of the Spirit, celebrating how God is active in our lives by experiencing joyful worship that moves us closer to God. Then continuing to live out our faith through service, formation that includes family, children (school), youth and young adults, and people of all walks of life. To accomplish these, we need to ensure we have the proper structure by identifying parish leaders/volunteers who work collaboratively with the clergy and staff to ensure we have the resources needed to sustain our programs.
As we move forward into this “new normal,” let us continue to share the story of our faith, the story of our God beyond our liturgies. The story that is alive in our words and in our actions!