In our first reading today we see Abraham offering hospitality to strangers. For his generosity and kindness, he is given a promise that brings him great joy. The scriptures teach us that hospitality is of great importance. It creates an atmosphere that respects others, puts people at ease and allows the Word of God to be heard.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that hospitality is an extension of the virtue of charity. (CCC#1971) This virtue comes from a life deeply rooted in the love of God. In order for faith to flourish, for communities to grow and be marked by charity, patience, hope and joy, they need to be communities that demonstrate hospitality. That is the type of community we wish to be here at St. John’s. Let me share with you some of the things being done to help us become that type of Community:
According to Canon Law, when a new pastor is appointed, the parish’s pastoral council and finance council cease to be. I am finding that many people in the parish were not aware that these two important groups existed. I would like to publically thank those men and women who served on these groups with Fr. Medeiros.
To assist me in assuming the duties as Pastor, a transition committee was formed in June. We had our first meeting June 26. This group is made up of a cross section of the parish: longtime parishioners, parents, young, old, male, female, etc. They will serve as a temporary pastoral and finance council and will help me to create new councils in the Spring.
The work that needs to be done though must involve all of us.
I am eager to hear from as many people as possible. What are the hopes, dreams and expectations that you have for our parish? There are two formal tools being implemented for collecting this input. One is a survey that may be found at the doors of the Church or online. The second is a parish meeting scheduled for Monday August 5 at 7PM in the Parish Center . All of the information collected will help the transition committee and I create a five year plan for our parish.
Some committees are being formed to assist in the work of our parish. The current committees are: Finance and Fundraising, Liturgy, Family Life, Hospitality, Social Teaching and Service, and Sustainability. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, I invite you to contact me about the possibilities.
Third, an aspect of hospitality is making sure that people feel welcome when they gather with us at the Altar. I am thankful to those who serve as ushers/greeters at St. John’s and am aware that we need to add to their numbers. If you would be willing to serve our community in this very important service, please let me know.
Finally, the most important responsibility of the pastor is to daily offer prayers for his parishioners. This is a responsibility I take very seriously. You are all remembered in my prayers at Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours and quiet meditation. If you have special intentions or requests for me to pray for, send me an email or give me a call. I also ask that you please pray for me as well.