From Our Pastor...
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE TO GOD
FOR 50 YEARS OF PRIESTHOOD
St. Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in the City of Corinth, “We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”
For many years we have been blest to have two seminarians, who are studying to be priests, join us at Annunziata on Sunday mornings. They come, seeking to experience parish life and to learn something of what it means to be a parish priest. As the seminarians reflect on their pastoral experience, they have learned that the People of God want their priests to be holy men. They want priests to be signs of God’s presence and symbols of hope. Priests fulfill these expectations by being men of prayer, being present to people in their times of joy and sorrow, offering a compassionate and sympathetic ear, assuring them that God loves them, and will never abandon them—no matter what happens. Christ’s Church is a community and a way of life which depends totally on God’s grace and our free human response.
I give thanks to God for my family and all the parishioners I have come to know over these past fifty years. It is a privilege to share our stories of faith, to celebrate the Sacraments, and to pray together. I thank you for all you have taught, and continue to teach me about God’s goodness, patience and forgiveness! I ask you for forgiveness for the times I have let you down, disappointed you, or not been attentive to your needs.
As I give praise to God for the Priesthood, I ask you to join me in praying for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Please pray daily and encourage your children or grandchildren by asking them if they have ever thought about a vocation as a priest or religious. If they ask you why you believe they would be a good priest, tell them honestly about your admiration of the Christ like person they are becoming, and affirm the qualities they have that would make them a good priest or religious.
Please, pray daily for vocations!