June 17, 2018, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  Bless Fathers & All Who Show A Father’s Love!  Faithful, trustworthy, teacher, example, leader, protector are some words used to describe a dad. “My father gave me the best gifts that any child could ever have wished for: he truly loved me, he taught me and more importantly he believed in me” (anonymous). Following the example of many fathers in the Scriptures, fathers, bless your children often (before they go to bed, to college, to war, to the altar). Happy Father’s Day to all those men who nurture & mentor children, and share their faith with them!

II.  Welcome Father Sinoj (sĭ-nōzh) to St. Stephen Cathedral!  Ordained a priest for the Heralds of Good News on January 6, 2008, Fr. Sinoj Esthappanu “Paul” Pynadath, HGN, spent several years teaching philosophy in their major seminary, being vice rector, then rector of their minor seminary in India. The youngest in a family of five children, Fr. Sinoj brings many gifts to our community, including a wonderful grasp of the English language and an enviable singing voice. We will welcome him officially at our Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, June 26, the 1/2 feast day of our patron, St. Stephen.

III. New Youth Minister:  it pleases me to announce that Crissy Stevenson will join our Pastoral Team at the Cathedral on August 1, 2018, to lead our youth program.  Crissy is originally from Princeton and graduated from Brescia University in Pastoral Ministry with an emphasis in the area of youth with 11 years experience as a part-time Youth Minister, she comes highly recommended; we enthusiastically welcome Crissy Stevenson!

IV.  Justify Wins the Triple Crown!  How can I not think of the Doctrine of Justification! Which comes first—the chicken or the egg, faith alone or faith with good works/deeds? The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by both Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church on October 31, 1999, clearly stated that “consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exist between Lutherans and Catholics:  we confess together that good works—a Christian life lived in faith, hope and love—follow justification and are its fruits. When the justified live in Christ and act in the grace they received, they bring forth good fruit.  Since Christians struggle against sin their entire lives, this consequence of justification is also for them an obligation they must fulfill. Thus both Jesus and the apostolic Scriptures admonish Christians to bring forth the works of love.” (Read James 2:15-18, Romans 8:33-39, Galatians 5:6, and Council of Jerusalem).

Time or Full Time Faith? “Do not be a ‘part-time’ Christian, at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain choices. Be Christian at all times! The truth of Christ, that the Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us, always and forever involves our daily lives. Let us invoke the Spirit more often, to guide us on the path of Christ disciples.” (Pope Francis)