This is a First
Well, it has finally happened: I have accepted the invitation to write my first of many weekly blog entries! Eighteen months ago—in my usual, helpless style—I asked one of our beloved young adult parishioners to read an article concerning evangelization and the use of technology to speak with the language of young adults and college students. My goal was to learn some of the “new fangled language” of this millennium so that I might better understand my growing appreciation for these upcoming generations. Ultimately this wise parishioner shared with me the hunger that so many young adults and college students face: a longing for meaning and connection; a thirst for appreciation and integration of their faith traditions; a deep, lasting desire for union with God and others…yes, all this, but within the confines of limited time, hectic responsibilities, the influx of so many doubts and fears, uncertainty about the present and concern for the future. These, and so many other challenges of contemporary daily life yet—as this young man told me—they are still drawn to something deeper, something longer-lasting, something most meaningful and worthy of their devotion, commitment and lively care. I was told that evening, that to meet these young people in the arenas in which they delve would be a wonderful opportunity to let them know of our care, of our desire for them to share our lives of faith, and hope and love, and to allow them to feel welcome to meet us, pray with us, know us and share in cherishing each other as disciples on the journey.
And so, after many months of grappling with this new process, and working with some of our generous parishioners who have shared countless hours helping me to develop this new website and the many treasures that are being—and will continue to be shared throughout this site, I am actually not as nervous as I thought I would be posting this entry.
You see, I believe strongly in the lived experience of the Church because, if I’m honest, that’s where I find myself supported and challenged to be a disciple: seeking holiness and virtue; seeking justice and peace; striving for union with God and his good people.
And so, I’m posting my first weekly blog. I hope to regularly share here some of the thoughts from our Sunday liturgies. I’ll do this for a couple of reasons. First, a lot of our parishioners regularly ask me to write a few comments each week in our bulletin…I don’t often do that simply because I speak with them during the homily at each Mass. Second, and following closely on the heels of the first reason, a lot of the time our young families are on the go, our older families are visiting family out-of-town, and all of our others are faced with scheduling conflicts and the like. In other words, there are times when our regular parishioners just aren’t here on a given weekend and they never want to miss anything. They’ll stop by or call and ask, “so, Father, what d’ya talk about this Sunday?”…this new blog will answer that question more readily!
Third—and probably my most pressing reason for beginning this weekly blog: I want those who are afraid to come into our church, those who may feel strange coming into a new place and a new gathering of folks, …I want each and every one of them to know that they are welcome here. None of us is any better or any worse than another: we simply are a people who are trying to respond to God’s invitation to love and serve.
Hopefully, this posting has given you a little bit of a sense of who I am as the parish priest here at St. Mary’s. Moreover, I hope that hasn’t scared you! In fact, I’d be so happy to welcome you to our parish anytime you wish to visit…or maybe even stay awhile…maybe even a lifetime! Here at our parish, we are a joyful, humble people who are professing faith, imparting hope, and bestowing love. And we welcome all who wish to share our prayer and our life.
God bless you and love you always,