Flexibility and Jesus Presence
A Super-human Twenty-fifth Anniversary
Last month I learned the good news that there is a super-human twenty-fifth anniversary being celebrated. By super-human I mean not just a person but rather a men’s group/book study at Incarnation. Let me explain.
Twenty-five years ago, some men of the parish, including Glen Carr, David Ryan, Roger Dunbar, Dan Kelleher (deceased), Bill Hoban (Deceased) Charlie Hickey (deceased) and Mike Chanatry gathered for a first meeting of the Tuesday, 6:30 am men’s group and book study. For a quarter century men of the parish have been reading a good Catholic book, sharing faith and uniting in prayer…indeed being the presence of Jesus for their families and Incarnation!
Current members of the group include Glen Carr, Mike Chanatry, Jeff Dundon, Tom Ireland, Joe Runser, Dave Ryan, Dave Seger and Mike Sobecki. Please pray for them. They are praying for us and growing closer to Jesus and inspiring us to do the same!
Mass Time Changes
At this past week’s pastoral council meeting, the Mass Time Subcommittee presented its recommendation for the new Mass times for St. Francis and Incarnation as Beacons of Light begins. They had met once and seemed to come quickly to a consensus about their recommendation. It was a recommendation for both parishes, being made up of parishioners from both parishes.
Before saying more, I want to reiterate that Incarnation Church needs to reduce our Mass schedule by two, to prepare for a family of parishes with only two priests. St. Francis has three Masses. We have six! Only one of our Masses, the 10:30 am Mass, has anywhere near half occupancy.
While pastoral council and I are most grateful for the work of the Mass Time Subcommittee, we asked them to continue meeting and create at least one other option.
In the meantime, may we pray well to prepare ourselves to diminish our Mass schedule by two. Even more importantly, as a part of that prayer, we ought also be praying for the grace to flex our current Mass time, by going to a different Mass time at Incarnation or St. Francis. In the right situations, flexibility can be a great sign of faith and an awesome and freeing presence of Christ!
Sincerely and with Love in Christ,
As we listen to the readings this Sunday and throughout the Easter season there is a subtle theme that pervades them all, transition. In the reading from Acts, Paul and Barnabas are faced with “violent abuse” from those who do not want to hear about a different way. Resistance is one way to meet transition and change.
As John recounts his vision in the book of Revelation he identifies people of “every nation, race, people and tongue” who have faithfully followed the Lord Jesus and who now inherit the promised Kingdom. Salvation, once thought to be for the Jewish people alone, is now revealed as available to all. This was quite a change from the 1800 years of thinking that had preceded it. Shifting one’s perspective is another way to engage with transition.
Following that same line of thinking from Revelation, in the gospel Jesus clearly states that those who are his “sheep”, his followers chosen by the Father, have been entrusted to him, and will know the joy of eternal life. Transition can also be addressed with faith, hope and an eye to all the possibilities of the future.
In the Easter readings we also witness the transition made by the apostles as they adjust to relating with the resurrected Jesus. Jesus is no longer with them in the same way, even though he is still physically present, and they will soon carry the full responsibility for the proclamation of the Good News as they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and sent forth to live and share truth of the Resurrection.
Here at Incarnation, and at St. Francis, we will start to notice transitions in the coming weeks as we prepare for the changes that have been initiated by Beacons of Light. While Fr. Pat will continue to share in the bulletin, staff members will gradually be taking over this task of weekly communication. The general intercessions (petitions) may have a different flavor as others share their writing talent. In a few weeks the new weekend Mass schedule will be shared, and we will need to consider how best to plan for our Sunday worship. Like the various groups in today’s readings we can react to these and future changes with resistance and hurt, we can engage with the call to shift our perspective and we can seek the grace to consider the changes with faith and hope. Realistically, we may pass through each of these experiences. Ultimately, let us pray for the grace and faith to see the possibilities that lie ahead for our Sister Parishes as we become the vibrant Beacons of Light we are capable of and called to be.