Last week I had the joy of meeting with our Parish Staff and our Parish Finance Council. It truly is an honor to minister with such good, holy, hard-working people of God. I look forward to meeting with more groups in our parish in the months ahead. As I sat and conversed with these individuals this week, I offered them a question to unpack: What is your favorite part of St. Francis de Sales Parish, or what do you love most about St. Francis de Sales Parish? The responses were beautiful. So many of them expressed how welcoming the parish is and how there is a true sense of feeling like you are home when you are here. It was also expressed how beautifully the parish is centered on the Eucharist and prayer in everything that it does. Many also mentioned how vital the parish school experience was for them, their children and grandchildren. What a blessing all of this is for our community!
Welcoming. Home. Eucharist. Prayer. Education. The list goes on…
Just in my short time here, I have been amazed at how I have experienced and witnessed these realities in such beautiful ways at this parish.
Welcoming: So many have lovingly welcomed me with kind words and air high-fives! Thank you!
Home. I too have experienced a deep sense that I am home. Also, so many have come to tend to the grotto and flowers like this is their home. How beautiful!
Eucharist. Your love for the Eucharist is alive! Whether it is through the Holy Hours during the week, well-attended daily Masses, or Sunday in-person or online Eucharistic celebrations, you understand how dependent you are on the Eucharist in all you do. Thank you for that witness!
Prayer. In speaking with a number of you, you have expressed how prayer is your source of peace during these troubled times.
Education. Just in the last few weeks, there have been numerous meetings that have focused on the well-being of our students. A big thank you to Mrs. Dougherty and all who are on the Task Force committee for their efforts in planning for a safe, holy and fun school year!
In the 2nd Reading for this Sunday, St. Paul says “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.”Sometimes making the time to pray can be challenging in our lives. Many of us struggle to know what prayer looks like when we do find the time. St. Therese of Lisieux calls prayer “” In essence, it can simply be that “inexpressible groaning” to God – that turning of our hearts to the one we know loves us. Always know that our loving God is with you through the Holy Spirit, through the Eucharist, through our faith formation, through prayer, and through this welcoming home we call St. Francis de Sales Parish.
Perhaps for this week, ponder the question yourself: What do you love most about St. Francis de Sales Parish? Don’t be afraid to share the fruits of your pondering with a family member, friend or co-worker. I would like to know too!
God’s peace and joy be with you,
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler