Dear Sisters and Brothers –
One of the most gratifying parts of my ministry is the opportunity I have to listen to parishioners speak about and explore their faith lives. It happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently enough, but it most commonly occurs in the context of pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. Truly, I am always inspired by your goodness and holiness.
Though the details are different, the broad themes are the same: the sincere desire to know and do God’s will and to live lives faithful to Jesus’ call to love as he loved. Also different in kind, but not uncommon, are the obstacles to faith that we encounter: questions about various teachings of the Church, fear of what God might be asking of us, lingering hurts or resentments because of some Church-related experience, uncertainty about how to discern God’s call, for example.
One way of addressing these kinds of faith questions is through small communities of fellow pilgrims that come together to listen, encourage, and support each other through those obstacles and across those thresholds. Here, at St. Ignatius Parish, we are looking to create such a community for people with questions about their faith or the Church, who have a desire to deepen their relationship with God or to return to their faith.
We want to form a team of people willing to share their own lived faith-journey stories with others and accompany them as they share and question, explore and heal, and integrate and grow. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact Gary Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.422.2937.
On another note, we bid farewell to Fr. Sam Restivo, C.R., who joined us in January while Fr. John was away; this is his last weekend among us. Fr. Sam, on behalf of our faith community, I thank you for the many ways you have shared your own faith and spiritual gifts with us these months. Your preaching has moved our hearts, your kindness has been received with gratitude, and your generosity of time and spirit has touched those whom you have met. We wish you well as you return to your native Canada and to a new dual assignment in hospital chaplaincy and parish work. Know that we will leave the door ajar in anticipation of your return visit, eh? :-) God bless you.
Let us continue to pray for one another and St. Ignatius Parish.
Oremus pro invicem,