Weekly Reflections for March 19, 2023
“Community Of Faith”
A wise man once said,” There will be differences between us, but they should not cause division among us.” When Jesus began His ministry, He searched for disciples and formed a community of followers. They learned what it meant to be a Christian not only by listening to the Lord’s words and observing His actions but also by witnessing the actions of others. Christ knew that His message would only be spread by the men and women who had followed Him.
The same is true of our faith. We are called to be a community of believers journeying to heaven, not in spite of others, but with each other. It is the foundation of the Catholic Church. The family of faith is built on the parish family.
However, the pandemic tore at the very fabric of this structure. Separated from our fellow parishioners and the physical buildings, we lost much of our sense of community despite our best efforts to sustain it. Some of us have returned, while others continue to struggle in their attempts to reenter society. Still, others no longer see their church community, attendance at mass, or being active in their parish as priorities in their lives.
At Prince of Peace and St. Francis de Sales, we face yet another challenge—the Pastorate. While we have two vibrant and healthy parishes, they have their differences as well as their similarities. It is to everyone’s benefit that we look at this transition, not as an obstacle but rather an opportunity.
This Lent, our theme for our Pastorate Mission is “A Community of Faith.” Fr. Richard Jasper will be the guest homilist at all the masses on the weekend of March 25th and 26th. He will also speak at the Mission Prayer Service at Prince of Peace Church at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 25th, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Additionally, Fr. Jasper will speak to the youth of the Pastorate on Sunday. March 26th at 6 p.m. in Kilduff Hall at St. Francis de Sales, followed by a Mission Prayer Service in the Main Church at 7 p.m.
All are invited to attend the Mission as we discuss the many issues facing us personally, as a parishioner, and the Catholic Church at large during these changing times. Let us join as a community in prayer and fellowship, celebrating our diversity and commonality. In faith in ourselves, each other, and our God, we look forward to a bright future as we leave behind times of isolation and uncertainty.
And the identity of the wise man who encouraged us to not let our differences cause division among us? It was a statement made by our administrator, Fr. John Martinez, during a homily less than a month ago.
- Patrick J. Perkins