Pastor's Column, September 7, 2014

Congratulations to Jessica Pasela & Cristian (no I didn’t spell that wrong) Florea who were wedded this Saturday, September 6th. Cristian is Romanian Orthodox so we included a couple of traditions from his tradition which were filled with symbolism: they both wore crowns and circled the altar three times (symbolic of how bride & groom share in the kingship of Christ & how they are called to “wear the crown of martyrdom” in witnessing to their faith), and then had their hands bound together as a sign of their one journey, their one life. May God keep them in His love.

On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, someone gave us a beautiful cake with our Lady’s image on it. I would like to thank them, but I don’t know who the donor was. So please let me know so I may thank you. Fortunately, Fr. Vesely got the part of the cake filled with calories. But we both enjoyed it very much.

A few weeks ago I spoke briefly about an opportunity for you to grow in faith. It is called the ARISE program and we have been saying a prayer asking for God’s blessings on this at every weekend Mass for several weeks. We finally come to Sign Up Sunday where you can indicate your desire to participate in these small group faith sharing sessions. Two things I would like to reiterate. First, these small communities will use a structured format of prayer and Scripture reflection, along with faith-sharing questions. The atmosphere however will be informal, so no one will be forced to talk, and each person will be respected if he/she chooses just to listen. All that is shared will always be kept within the group. 

After very brief words following the Gospel, I will welcome a member of the ARISE team to instruct you on how to fill out a card that expresses your interest. You can give it to a team member after Mass and they are happy to answer any questions you have. We are already getting a sense that many people are interested in this opportunity and plan to participate. Please remember that God is sure to bless anyone who desires to grow in faith. We never grow apart from the community. We need each other for support, encouragement, understanding and love. We need to share what’s on our minds & in our hearts. We need others to listen to us with respect, while not trying to give us all the answers. And we need to help others do the same. Please consider this offer, both for your sake & for the sake of others who need your support. Arise & stand among those seeking these gifts.