School is back in session and parish activities are starting to pick up. We are not only returning from the normal summer lull, but also the devastating effects the pandemic has had on Church life, in general. Many have not returned to Mass because of their lingering uncertainty over the continued dangers of the virus. And there are also large numbers of Catholics who, over these past 16 months, have filled their weekends with other activities that don’t include attending Mass. Will all of them change these newly acquired habits and once again come back to Church? The answer to that question remains to be seen.
With this very question in mind, the U.S. Bishops have decided on a 3-year campaign entitled Eucharistic Revival. Beginning in 2022, they are planning a number of parish and nation-wide events designed to equip Catholics with a greater understanding of the Eucharist as well as practical wisdom on how to evangelize others to the Altar of Life, the Holy Eucharist. We await more on that. (By the way, when I learned of this campaign, this was the clinching motivation I needed to begin the 5-week series on the Eucharist that is currently underway in our parish.)
I was honored to give our school faculty their back-toschool retreat. It gave me the opportunity to meet the faculty and interact with them over the spiritual themes that constitute the mission of our Catholic School. We are blessed to have an excellent, dedicated faculty under the excellent leadership of Dr. Shewbridge and Mr. Groseta. It is my plan to show my support to them and the parents in as many ways as I can in the coming year.
When I agreed to come and serve at OLMC, I really anticipated a fairly smooth transition, allowing me to focus on the spiritual life of the parish. Not surprisingly, things have turned out a little differently than I expected. For starters, I am sad to report that Ike Ndolo has resigned as our music director. He did not give his reasons for his decision, but I trust that this is what he must do at this time. I ask you to pray for him and his family as he transitions to whatever is the next thing the Lord has in store for him.
I hope that by the time you are reading this we have at least begun to rebuild our music ministry. My goal is to find a strong leader who will bring forth some of the many talented musicians in our parish and form a home-grown ministry that leads us in joyful worship. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance in that.
Thankfully, my entire time has not been dedicated to administrative issues. A good example is that we have entered into an agreement with ACTS Missions. Headquartered in San Antonio, TX, they offer a weekend retreat that is truly remarkable and has been the catalyst for deep conversion in many people’s lives—by their count, to-date over 1 million people world-wide have attended the ACTS retreat since their beginning in 1987. I have sponsored them in previous parishes and can personally attest to the powerful impact of this retreat. Due to scheduling con#icts, we may not be able to host our first retreat for a few months, but we are preparing for it and praying for its success. If you’d like to know more about ACTS, spend a few moments looking at their website at www.actsmissions.org.
An anonymous donor offered to pay for a tapestry of St. Joseph that would complement the one of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel that is hanging to the side of the Tabernacle on the wall of the Sanctuary. We contacted the company who made the original and were able to find a beautiful image that will hang on the other side of the Tabernacle. It may take a few weeks to complete, but hopefully before long we will see St. Joseph the Carpenter helping in the human formation of his son. I hope you will all be pleased with it.
Ashley Hall and Sr. Monica have done a fine job in making our webpage more dynamic. I am going to make use of the Pastor’s Page to post a variety of information and even some of my photographs. I hope that you will find it useful. I am open to suggestions on what can make it more effective.
Last note: if you are free at 8:00am M-F and want to learn to pray Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours or want to do so in community with others, please join us in the Church. If you don’t already have a copy of the single or four-volume set, you’ll need to purchase a copy of the Christian Prayer. See the link below for the version of the single volume. It is also available in large print.
I suppose this could be called more of a progress report than the pastor’s letter, but I want all of you to be apprised of what has been taking place. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement so many of you have shown me in these past few weeks. I am very grateful.
God bless you with His grace and peace, Fr Charlie Goraieb
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