Happy 40th Ordination Anniversary, Fr. Jerry!
I. Brescia University: A Valued Catholic Education: As Western Kentucky’s only Catholic college, BU shares in the teaching mission of Christ by helping our students realize their God-given potential. The one overarching goal for Brescia is to make a difference. Brescia University is committed to making a difference in our Catholic Church. One of the ways Brescia does this is by offering the Catholic Connection Grant, a 50% tuition reduction for new students who live on campus and who have graduated from a Catholic high school or have received a recommendation from their parish priest. During the 2014-15 academic year, $448,500 was awarded 52 students through the Catholic Connection Grant. This week is the special annual collection to show our support for Brescia University. Please be as generous as you can!
II. A Church Sign: “If you don’t feel strong enough, maybe you’re not eating the right kind of bread. Try the Bread of Life.” A sacrament is a “visible sign of an invisible reality;” it’s a “window of opportunity to experience God’s love.” Read and reflect on the fourth of six inserts which speak of important elements of the Mass/Eucharist as we reflect on Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John.
III. Down, Discouraged, Running on Empty? God has not left us hungering and lost in a desert, but has come to nourish us, stay with us and with our human family. In Jesus, our life has purpose and hope. We trust that God will not let us down, even when we want to cry out, as Elijah did, “That is enough, O Lord!” (Read/reflect upon I Kings 19:4-8). So we ask ourselves: What part of life feels strained and tested these days? How is God feeding your hunger and fatigue these days?
IV. Circling God’s Love for 40 Years! It seems I’ve come full circle, assigned as rector of St. Stephen Cathedral, where I was ordained on August 9, 1975 by Bishop Soenneker. Beginning the ministry of priesthood at St. Mary of the Woods in Whitesville, and then on to Owensboro Catholic High School, Saint Jerome in Fancy Farm, Saint Thomas More in Paducah, Holy Spirit Parish in Bowling Green, and now back to Owensboro to the community of Saint Stephen Cathedral. The circle of God’s love has held it all together in each location among the People of God whose faith shone forth brightly. I am constantly reminded of what St. Paul proclaimed to the Corinthians, “This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that it’s surpassing power comes from God and not from us. Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may be revealed…that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God…” (See II Corinthians 4:7ff). It’s been sheer grace! I am grateful! With you, I celebrate the gift of priesthood lived out in the community of the Church!
In Joy and Hope,