The parish community of St. Louis de Montfort was blessed to have Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop to the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region, break the bread for us at the 11:30 Mass this Sunday (October 2nd, 2016). The intention of the Mass was to receive those Catholics who have been away from the Church for a significant amount of time for one reason or another. He was welcomed by a full and exuberant church with warmth and excitement.
During his homily, Bishop Barron focused on mercy and faith. He spoke about the darkest time of the American Church which he defined as being the sexual abuse scandal of the last twenty-five years. In doing so, he emphasized that the Lord calls the Church to be in constant renewal. When the Church whose duty it is to bring people to faith fails to do so, and instead causes people to leave the faith, then it is a sure sign that the Church must undergo cleansing and renewal. This is where the Church is now, extending her arms of mercy towards those who have been victimized, towards those who have been marginalized. He said that the Church is calling us to have faith and to trust. Not to put faith and trust in flawed people, but in Christ himself. And so he extended his arms in welcome to those who have been away, giving the community a new breath of hope and love. After the Mass, the parish hosted a small reception for Bishop Barron in the Parish Center. The Josephite community then hosted him for lunch in the rectory.