Peace be with you all!
Even through all of the uncertainty in the world, one thing remains: The never-ending love of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit. And, we know from Jesus’ life and ministry - a ministry he continues through and in the Church, the Body of Christ - that his mercy spreads through blessing and healing. Trusting in the healing love of God the Father, there will be prayer teams available after the 11:00AM Mass on the Fourth Sunday of each Month (for example, the 22nd of November). Please line up along the back of the church starting at the St. Anthony of Padua statue (the statue on the side of the church towards Manchester Road). The prayer team members will be wearing masks and using a hand sanitizer between prayer times. We ask you to please distance to your comfort level, safely. If you are not comfortable with the prayer teams placing a hand on your shoulder during prayer, for example, simply let the prayer team know and they will pray within proximity without the laying on of hands. We have seen God bless so many here at St. Francis de Sales, bringing comfort and healing in the midst of pain and suffering. Feel free to line up for prayer even if you haven't attended the 11:00AM Mass (but another Mass or live-streamed from home for safety reasons). Also, feel free to invite friends or family members who are in need of healing prayer regardless of their denomination affiliation or lack thereof. This time of prayer is a time for caring for anyone who comes forward for prayer, because God the Father desires to bless each of His children.
If you are interested in this ministry and are a parishioner of St. Francis de Sales, please know that after the winter there will be an opportunity to train for those prayer teams. After that training, parishioners will be eligible to be enrolled in the prayer teams and placed on a schedule. Registration for that training will open up with an online form in February 2021. Training will begin in March of 2021 and continue into April. Hopefully, we will be holding the training in the newly finished Memorare Center!
There is a danger that comes with all of this talk about healing prayer teams. The danger is this: We might start to think of praying for healing as a “team” thing rather than a “discipleship” thing. Praying for healing with people is something every Christian disciple is called to practice. You do not need to be a part of a healing prayer ministry to minister prayer for healing. In fact, not being a healing ministry team member can open up opportunities in situations where someone might be intimidated by an “official prayer team person.” As we hope to open this ministry up for more parishioners to take part in prayer teams, it is my hope that this will make us all more aware of the Christian call and duty to pray for the sick no matter our vocation or ministry affiliation. Please keep those sick in our parish in prayer, especially the homebound. And, please continue to fast and pray for the end of this virus’ grip on our society.