THANKS. Thanks for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Thanks for your generosity to the Josephite African Missions. Thanks, thanks, thanks. The little word, “thanks” acts like an Ikon in many ways. What it conveys is much greater than its tiny expression; it leads us into something deeper. The heart of all Catholic Christian spirituality is a profound sense of thanksgiving to God for all his mercies and blessings. It is why the Eucharist (Greek for thanksgiving) is the architype of all worship; as the document on the Liturgy from Vatican Council II says it is “the source and summit” of our Christian life. As the doxology at the end of each Eucharistic prayer end, “through Him, with Him, and in Him…”
Specifically I want to thank the Lord for His graces bestowed upon us in the Year of Mercy. We had many events, many visitors and we have grown as a community through this experience and the added honor of being the Northern most pilgrimage church with a Holy Door in our diocese. This Mercy theme will not abruptly end. Our Advent Mission has the theme of the Divine Mercy. After Easter we will again have a focus on the Mercy of God at the appropriate time and with the powerful witness to prayer of the Hispanic Congresso in May. As a Josephite parish with the Daughters of Mary and Joseph ,we have as a bedrock of our spirituality the understanding that we are “Instruments of mercy in the hand of God”. Next year is the 200 anniversary of the founding of our two religious orders so it will be a constant theme next year too.
I want to thank you for your openness of heart and generosity to our African missions and especially our young men in religious and priestly formation. If you haven’t given in your kind contribution it is never too late, just drop the envelope into the offertory basket with your weekly offering. Any financial assistance you give will make a great impact upon our ability to form these good young men to serve and teach the people of God in some of the most challenging places on earth.
Finally in this burst of thanks giving, I want to thank you for being you, the members of this great parish. Since I have been here for just over a year I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of our community. As we go out through the doors in to the world that great hymn rings in my ear “send us as a blessing Lord”…and you know what…he does!
God bless you, your families and the new Church year ahead,
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ