As you already know (or, sorry to say, should know), our Holy Father has declared this to be “The Year of Faith”. It is meant to be an opportunity for us Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
All of this to say, “bone-up on your faith, dude!”. Once suggestin being promulgated is that we read The Catechism of the Catholic Faith. I did that once. Once. So, I am reluctant to suggest you attempt it; although it was beneficial to me; it wasn’t exactly easy going. This website makes it much easier; much easier. Give it a try and see if I’m not right! “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified” Try it; you’ll like it! http://www.catholicity.com/catechism/
Today was our monthly Friends and Fellowship dinner at which various groups and parishioners serve a good hearty meal to anyone who wants it. Fr. Jim is our fearless leader in this endeavor as it was his brainchild, which began about 18 months ago with only 15 guests. We now serve about 70 guests, and we serve them over 100 meals; they like our food!
This month was sponsored by our school. We served salad, ham, green beans, rice, rolls, incredible bundt cakes from many different shaped pans, donuts (leftover that morning from Hospitality Sunday), soda, water, and milk. Water is especially popular, we used up over 6 cases. And donuts, SEVEN huge boxes; we're talking over 20 dozen!
Even better, this month we begin serving on two Sunday per month, the 2nd and 4th. Most of our guests already knew about it, but some were pleasantly surprised as I went around telling them about it. One guy told me that we don't know how much it means to him to be able to count on such a good meal each month.
But this was the best part of the day. See, we call this Friends and Fellowship because it's about being with people, not just shoving food at them. It has always been Fr. Jim's vision that this be a welcoming and friendly place to be, free of judgement and preaching. Our service speaks volumes, right?
So, about 15 minutes before we began serving, one of the school parents came over and said a lady was looking for "Don" and could I help her. Okay. So I go invite this elderly lady to sit down and tell me what's up. She tells me she has an old pickup truck that, being 72 years old herself, she can no longer drive, but she was thinking that maybe St. Vincent de Paul might like to borrow it sometimes. Um, sure, I tell her, not mentioning the impracticality of it. I take down her name and phone number and assure her that our President will give her a call. Then I invite her to stay and eat. She asks if I'm sure, and tell her that I am. I take her in and have her sit with a group of other elders who are there every month. Then I move on to other duties and sort of put her out of my mind for the moment.
Later on, I'm outside petting a doggie who belongs to one of our homeless guys and I hear a guest leaving. As John asks her if the food was good, she says, (and I quote), "Oh yes, very good. But today what I really needed was the fellowship, and I sure did get it". Wow! It was the lady with the pick up truck. Her words will be burned in my mind for a long time. Who gets to be in a position to be part of something as awesome as this? God is good!
Today is the feast of St. Edward which the parish will celebrate on Sunday. Today is also the Birthday of our Parish Director of Music, Sam Dorlaque. Why doesn't everyone chime in here and wish him a blessed birthday.
The Pilgrims have returned home and have many pictures and stories to tell. Father Keyes is staying in Rome for a few days of vacation. Sunday I will be spending with Msgr. Lopes, and the rest of the week I will be spending with some friends and seminarians. Pictures and reflections on the vacation part of this journey can be found over at Father Keyes' Blog
I will be attending the the opening Mass of the Year of Faith. The picture is of my ticket to the celebration. I am writing this at 7:30am on the morning of October 11, although now it is late evening on the 10th in California. Know that as I join in the celebration with the Holy Father at the Tomb of the Apostles, I will be holding as a special intention, the people of St. Edward Parish in Newark, CA, especially that this Year of Faith be a time of renewal for us, That we may know Jesus better and make him better known among our families, and in our city.
The Year of Faith begins today. The Holy Father has asked us all to look more closely at the Council documents, and not at all the commentary that seems to obscure what the Council was saying. Here is a great opportunity to renew our faith. Click Here
Today we had Mass at the Abbey of San Felice, the site where the Missionaries of the Precious Blood were founded in 1815. Then we had a festive Pranzo (lunch) at Ristorante Rifugio San Gaspare.
Here the pilgrims gather for a picture in the 4th century Chapel of San Felice.
News and views from the Catholic Parish of St. Edward in Newark, CA