Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter - 04/14/201

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

All of Lent has prepared us to walk with Jesus through the events of Holy Week.  We are invited to join the crowd that joyfully proclaims him King on Palm Sunday, to dine with him at table on Holy Thursday, and to walk with him on the road to Calvary on Good Friday.

Accompanying Jesus will change us.  I invite you to do so by joining us in our Holy Week liturgies.  We begin with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday at 7:00 pm.  Bread, wine, a basin and a towel tell the story of the institution and celebration of the first Eucharist and teach us that genuine Eucharist always culminates in loving service.  I invite you to enter into four moments of the Passion through art and reflection from noon to 1:30 pm on Good Friday, commemorate the Passion and venerate the Cross of Christ beginning at 1:45 pm, veneration of the Relic of the True Cross from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm, or walk with Jesus through the Way of the Cross at our Family Stations of the Cross at 7:00 pm.  Our Easter Vigil celebration will begin at 8:00 pm on Saturday.  As we prepare to walk with Jesus through these events of Holy Week, may this Traditional Celtic Prayer be our guide:

May the Christ who walks on wounded feet

walk with you on the road.

May the Christ who serves with wounded hands

stretch out your hands to serve.

May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart

open your heart to love.

May you see the face of Christ

in everyone you meet,

and may everyone you meet

see the face of Christ in you. Amen.

Today’s bulletin contains the last essays of our series “Why I Am Catholic.” [click HERE] I am deeply grateful for our fellow parishioners who entered into the project with such vulnerable sincerity, sharing their stories with us.  I’ve heard innumerable expressions of respect, wonder, and gratitude for our sisters and brothers who have opened their hearts and revealed how God has been and remains active in their lives.

I attended the in-person presentations the past two weekends.  They, too, were moments of great grace, as the presenters’ own sharing invited that of those who attended.  Written and spoken words of struggle and hope, confusion and joy, gratitude and peace these weeks have been a feast for the soul.

Common themes of community, personal and shared history, fidelity to one’s own experience, and hope emerged.  Last weekend, one person began speaking by saying, “Things are a train wreck, but …”  It is what follows that “but” that we sit with, explore, savor, and hold onto because that is where God is.

I wish that I could outline clearly what follows, but it’s vague.  I’ve had beautiful input from the Parish Council and other leaders, and things are taking shape.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, let us all pray for the grace to continue to notice how God is working in our individual lives and is calling us to be Church.

Finally, two weeks ago we launched the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal here at St. Ignatius.  I’m pleased and gratified to report that just over $50,000 was pledged or given that weekend! Thank you.  To date, we’re about $68,000 in gifts and pledges, which is just over 30% of our goal.  We have a long way to go, but I know I can count on the generosity of those who have yet to give.  Pledge and gift flyers are in the pews.

As we walk with Jesus this week, we do so in the company of one another.  Let us hold one another in our hearts and prayers.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Greg