St. Stephen Cathedral Mass
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Mass
Published on June 28th, 2013
I. One of the first ministries I observed after arriving in the parish was Vacation Bible School. What an inspiring group of volunteers, leading our children to a greater understanding of their Catholic faith! Special thanks to Donna Murphy for coordinating the “Vatican Express” so well! As pastor, it is my responsibility to see that the Gospel/Good News is announced to all, so I am most grateful to all those who shared their faith through story, snacks, games, crafts and song, but mostly through their example of service to one another. I was also impressed by the number of teens who spent their week with the younger children. The children followed the example of these adults and youth in their willingness to share their treasures in a Peter’s Pence Collection throughout the week to the tune of $209.31! This Sunday, Catholic churches around the world will be taking up the Peter’s Pence collection which assists Pope Francis with his charities. I can already see that the Cathedral parish is a vibrant community of faith.
II. Fr. Suneesh and I are still organizing ourselves and our new quarters–rectory and office; the Church building is feeling more comfortable all the time! My first weekend Masses at St. Stephen Cathedral were grace-filled! It is true that Eucharist does unite us together as one. Just like the old, dusty violin, our value is increased when we allow ourselves to be “touched” by the Master’s hand! Thanks for your warm welcome; I appreciate so many of you introducing yourself. It will take a while for us to get to know one another. Thank you for your patience with me and Fr. Suneesh.
III. I wish to thank Fr. John Vaughan and Fr. Brandon Williams for their gracious welcome as they “let go” of the people whom they had grown to love, and as they transplant themselves in Christ the King and St. Thomas More parishes. It was a delight to have my friend, and your former pastor, Fr. John Vaughan, here to concelebrate Mass on Monday, June 24, the Feast of The Birth of John the Baptist–also Fr. John’s birthday! As your pastor for the past eighteen years, Fr. John has left his imprint on this parish but much more so on your hearts. As priests, being transferred is one of the most difficult things we must do. Pray for us!
IV. My homily last Sunday ended with the words printed on the back of my ordination cards. These words rang true for me the day I was ordained a priest in St. Stephen Cathedral on August 9, 1975; they ring true for me even more so today!
What I am FOR you terrifies me; what I am WITH you consoles me.
FOR you I am a priest; WITH you I am a Christian.
The first is a duty accepted, the second is a grace received.
The former is a danger, the latter, salvation.
Since it is a greater joy to me to be redeemed with you
than to be placed over you, I shall, as the Lord commanded,
be more completely your servant. (Sentiments from St. Augustine)