Dear Sisters and Brothers –
This weekend we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. Jesus makes good on his promise not to leave us orphans. He sent his first disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit and he continues to do that for us today.
In the preface of our Second Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation, we read about the activity of the Holy Spirit and, consequently, the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Your Spirit changes our hearts:
enemies begin to speak to one another,
those who were estranged join hands in friendship,
and nations seek the way of peace together.
Your Spirit is at work
when understanding puts an end to strife,
when hatred is quenched by mercy,
and vengeance gives way to forgiveness.
The promise of the activity of the Holy Spirit gives us hope that the new life, the wholeness that God wants for us and for our world – the Reign of God, in other words – will one day be made complete among us.
We celebrate another bit of evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our world today – the 50th jubilee of the ordination of Fr. John Coleman, S.J. Fr. John has had an extraordinary life of many and varied ministries as a professor, author, lecturer, associate pastor, and more. He has lived and worked on five continents and published prolifically. By any standard, Fr. John is an accomplished human being. But, as I understand him, his most treasured titles are Jesuit and priest.
Fr. John continues to read voraciously, be intellectually curious, enjoy Shakespeare, theater, poetry, and art; have a passion for justice, particularly with regard to the environment, and to study Scripture, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus. All of that bears fruit in his wonderful pastoring and his engaging preaching. God blesses our faith community richly through Fr. John’s priesthood. Personally, I am sincerely grateful to work alongside him and live with him, to call him my brother.
There is a toast we often use in the Society on occasions such as this: ad multos annos. Literally, it translates “to many years,” or, “to a long life.” But for us Jesuits, those Latin words confer sincere good wishes, a prayer for God’s very richest blessings; they convey heartfelt respect, admiration, and appreciation and they are imbued with genuine and deep affection.
Fr. John, we are profoundly grateful to God for you today, and on behalf of all those whom God has touched and loved through you across these many decades, we thank you most sincerely. Ad multos annos.
Finally, I share with you the sad news that Fr. Al Grosskopf, S.J., a longtime associate pastor at St. Ignatius Parish, fell last week and severely injured his neck. He is recovering in our infirmary in Los Gatos. I know that he would appreciate your prayers. For those who would like to write, notes can be sent to him at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, 300 College Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95030. Thank you.
God bless you and St. Ignatius Parish.
Oremus pro invicem.