Hello, brothers and sisters in Christ!
You have likely seen me around these past two months, and perhaps we have had a chance to speak. But, for those who don’t know me, my name is Fr. Gabriel Francis Alexander Terrill, but you can just call me Fr. Gabe. I am your new Parochial Vicar, and I am excited to be with you and serve you in my priestly ministry. To give you a better idea of who I am, I thought I might share a bit of my vocation story and how I became a priest.READ MORE
Yes, August 21st, is my birthday but unlike all the previous ones, I was not even almost aware of it until Facebook reminded me of it last week and Kelly just asked me to write something about my birthday from my heart. But this got me thinking as to why I don’t have any excitement and mood of celebration in me about my birthdays anymore? The obvious answer is the fact that I am becoming older and I don’t like it! But the more I thought about it, the more I also realized that it is not just about getting older but that getting older has re-ordered my priorities. I came to realize that over the last couple of years of living in my new country, the United States of America, I could have been greatly influenced by some aspects of our culture that constantly wants more and faster of most everything. I realized further that the more things I acquired for myself on my birthdays, the less fulfilled I was at every birthday. This new world order created by my new culture has therefore, made me to introspect the meaning of this particular birthday, which a friend of mine described as simply a bunch of numbers.READ MORE
A few days ago, I was having a brief conversation with a priest friend about this and that in our lives as pastors who have just recently taken over parishes. Something he said about adoration during that conversation not only shocked me but also made me sad, and got me thinking. He said he had replaced the full day adoration schedule in his parish with Mass at noon because he didn’t want to give people the reason to leave the church because of adoration! To leave the Church because of adoration? What a pity! To leave the Church because of adoration would mean that even if those people he is trying to retain come to the noon Mass, they most likely have no idea who they are coming to encounter or receive. If they did, they would never have enough of Him let alone leave the church because of Him being exposed for adoration. Moreover, those who want to leave the Church will still find other reasons to leave the Church no matter what. Therefore, pampering to those few denies the many the opportunity to spend time with the Lord in adoration. However, an excerpt from Matthew Kelly entitled “Beautiful Eucharist”, gives a very good perspective to this issue of leaving the Church. Matthew Kelly says:READ MORE
Since my assignment here among you, first as an associate pastor a year ago and now as your pastor a month ago, it has become increasingly very clear to me how community-oriented our parish is. We are a warm and indeed very welcoming community of believers. The concept of community means a lot to me because it has taught me precious values I can always relate with, and it has greatly influenced my leadership as a pastor over the years and here is why:
Growing up in my village in Uganda, I have always been made to understand myself as a child of my community. My life was shaped by the rural village environment where darkness brought out night runners, countless stars, and a variety of wildlife. Where every child was a child of the community regardless of whether that child was from a rich or poor family, was a biological child or child of a neighbor.READ MORE