Fr. Daniel Gifford
THE MISSION GOES ON
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Last weekend, we concluded our series by focusing on the final pillar, Hospitality. The last couple of pillars focused more explicitly on how we live out the mission Christ entrusted to us. Fittingly, at the same time, we came to a turning point in the Gospel. We moved from the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, which focused on Christ gradually revealing His identity, into the second half, when the focus turns toward His mission in Jerusalem. As we continue that focus in our Gospel in the coming weeks, let us supplement that in our bulletin reflections by looking at some saints who carried out the mission of Christ in their generation. Each of the rooms currently dedicated to the faith formation of our children and youth has its own patron, whose image hangs outside the room, just as so many of our other rooms do as well. It is a fitting time, now that we have kicked off all of our formation programs for the fall, to turn our focus toward this important aspect of our mission. The classroom used for First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation for our second grade children has as its patron Saint Bernadette (front cover). When Bernadette was a humble little child, in Lourdes, France, our Blessed Mother appeared to her, revealed a hidden stream to her, which has held miraculous gifts of healing for many pilgrims even to this day. One detail not as commonly known is that later in life, when Bernadette became sick, the waters did not bring her healing. It was a moment of great faith amidst great suffering for her, as she chose to accept graciously that the Lord had chosen her to pass along a gift that was to benefit many, even if His plan for her was different. May we be so dedicated to the service of our Lord and trusting in His will that we may not seek benefits for ourselves, but be ready for the Lord to bless others through our lives. And may we also always remain ready for what the Lord wants to teach us through the faith of a child. Saint Bernadette, pray for us!
YOUTH LITURGICAL MINISTERS: For the past few weeks, you may have seen in the bulletin that we will be offering altar server training again in October, concluded by a retreat for all altar servers (details elsewhere in this bulletin). I am very much looking forward to training our new 4th graders and other children who have not yet been trained but would like to join the ranks, as well as to our second altar server retreat! I am also excited to share with the parish that we announced to our students preparing for Confirmation that their preparation will include being involved with at least one of the liturgical ministries. This includes that even those who are already servers are being invited and encouraged to consider trying out lectoring, ushering, or serving as a sacristan. So, you will be seeing more of our young people involved with the liturgy in the coming weeks. Please say a prayer that this will be a time of spiritual growth for them.
CANTORS AND MORE: Speaking of involvement in the liturgy, over the past year, I have had numerous parishioners address with me a desire, which I share, to see more of our parishioners involved in our music again. I am very grateful that Dave Gorenz has generously agreed to help coordinate the return of our cantors, as well as possibly involving others who are musically inclined and gifted. If you are someone given a musical gift that God might be calling you to share at the liturgy, please reach out to Dave.
PILLARS IN REVIEW: Now that the preaching series has concluded, I want to call your attention to our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/stlouisprinceton). I know that six weeks was a long series and some of us may have been travelling for some of them, or simply might want to go back and review. All of them were recorded and can be found there any time you want to listen to them or share them with someone. It is my desire that this series not be a moment come and gone, but something we continue to bring into our prayer and our practice. The focus of this series was on qualities we need to actively focus on if the parish community is to continue to grow and thrive. May we continue to be prayerful, humble, integrated, responsible and hospitable living stones, who allow the Lord to build the house!
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!